PROGRESS REPORT Summer 2013
Beginning our 30 year th
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Barbara Keller, Chair Hon. Steve Lachs, Vice Chair Tammy Fox, Secretary Fred Drewette, Treasurer Kevin Bass Ted Briggs Carolyn Caldwell Jim Casey Robert Karl Jr., DDS Steve Kaufer Terri Ketover, PhD Garry Kief Bruce Purdy Curtis Ringness Jr., Board Chair Emeritus Sheila Williams, Esq.
David Brinkman, MBA Chief Executive Officer Barry Dayton Director of Marketing & Communications Robin Johnson Director of Social Services Brande Orr, MBA Director of Grants and Quality Assurance Mary Park, CPA Chief Financial Officer Bill Quinn Chief Program Officer Sheri Saenz Director of Human Resources Mike Scarff Director of Retail Dr. Steven Scheibel Interim Medical Director Darrell Tucci Chief Development Officer
CURT RINGNESS PASSES THE GAVEL TO BARBARA KELLER
When I first visited Desert AIDS Project
in 2008 with my dear friend, Tim Hanlon – angel of the very generous Wells Fargo Foundation – I confess that I was afraid it was going to lead to a request for volunteer time that I didn’t think I had. But after touring D.A.P. with CEO David Brinkman, I understood why Tim followed quietly with a sly smile on his face. He knew that I couldn’t help but be impressed, watching D.A.P.’s staff go cheerfully and efficiently about their work, running this amazing facility dedicated to holistic healthcare through an astounding array of wraparound services. Before I left, I knew I MUST do something to help this good work continue. The years since then have flown by and I feel so grateful to have played even a small part in helping D.A.P. with its very essential work in serving our beautiful, philanthropic community. I feel I am the fortunate one in all of this. I’ve had the great, good fortune of serving as co-chair of the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards for five years alongside the incredible Jim Casey who brightens my life on a daily basis – we are now hard at work, with the rest of the committee, planning the 20th annual gala. Make sure to put February 8, 2014 on your calendar because it’s going to be VERY special. I greeted my invitation to join the board of Desert AIDS Project as an honor because I already knew it to be a group of hardworking volunteers, some of whom have served for many years. As the new chair of D.A.P.’s board, I must say a big THANK YOU to Curt Ringness, who joined the board in 2000 and served as chair for six years before passing the gavel. Luckily for me … and everyone who serves and supports Desert AIDS Project … Curt is continuing as a board member. Curt, your contributions and dedication will never go unnoticed by the community, and most especially not by the tens of thousands of clients D.A.P. has served over the years. As Desert AIDS Project begins its 30th year of service, our collective community gratitude goes out to the volunteers who started
it all on August 22, 1984. After the first diagnoses of AIDS in June of 1981, they knew they must do something to help fight this terrible epidemic that was threatening the future health of the entire world. Early activists like Steve Chase, Father Andrew Green, Steve Kaufer, Andy Linsky, Dick Taylor and Guy Lawson, and many more joined the fight in those earliest days, generously donating their time, money, and talents. Some of those same volunteer warriors remain among the more than 400 volunteers that faithfully serve D.A.P. today. Every day, this incredibly philanthropic community continues to benefit from the examples set by these pioneers, as well as people like Annette Bloch, Georgia and Jerry Fogelson, Barbara and Bernie Fromm, Helene Galen, David Kaplan and Glenn Ostergaard, Dorothy and Mel Lefkowitz, Donna MacMillan, Harold Matzner, Dorothy and Harold Meyerman, Bruce Purdy and Barrett Shepard … and so many more who open their hearts to so many good causes in our Valley, including Desert AIDS Project. They are joined by equally-generous organizations like the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Bank of America, Eisenhower Medical Center, Integrated Wealth Management, Wells Fargo, Walgreens, and so many others who make such important investments in the health and well-being of our community. If you haven’t already, please plan to Walk or support a Walker in the 26th Desert AIDS Walk on Saturday, October 19 at Ruth Hardy Park in Palm Springs. It will be extra-special this year because we will be launching Get Tested Coachella Valley, the nation’s first region-wide HIV testing initiative. With “champions” like Carolyn Caldwell, CEO of Desert Regional Medical Center and Rep. Raul Ruiz – not to mention the Clinton Foundation’s Health Matters Initiative and so many other community partners who have joined D.A.P. – we seem poised for the very real future of an AIDS-free generation.
See you at the Walk!!
Happy Birthday, Palm Springs!
On April 20, 2013 the City of Palm Springs celebrated 75 years of incorporation. Desert AIDS Project was honored to be chosen as one of the 75 organizations, businesses, or events chosen to represent what’s happened over those years. Proudly representing 1984 – the year of our founding – here are some of the banners we displayed at the O’Donnell Golf Course celebration. Just for good measure, we’ve thrown in some historical photos … to remember how far we’ve come over those years, as we’ve fought the AIDS epidemic and further HIV infections.
1 Desert AIDS Project walks in the 1994 Palm Springs Pride Parade. 2 Film legend Kirk Douglas, along with wife Anne, and former First Lady Betty Ford were co-chairs of the first Desert AIDS Walk in 1989. 3 President Gerald Ford and wife Betty talk to the cast and crew of â€œMother, Mother,â€? at the Palm Springs premiere of the 1989 hard-hitting short film drama about a young man estranged from his mother over his AIDS diagnosis. Actors Bess Armstrong, Polly Bergen, John Dye, and Piper Laurie all donated their time and talent to the film. 4 Ted Danson accompanied wife Mary Steenburgen, Arts & Activism Award honoree at the very first Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards gala in 1995. 5 Rep. Nancy Pelosi welcomes D.A.P. clients to annual AIDS Watch advocacy meetings, along with Richard See, much-beloved and now-retired Director of Case Management.
SHORTER MISSION STATEMENT...
UNWAVERING COMMITMENT On a recent Tuesday morning, CEO David Brinkman asked an assembly of all D.A.P. staff members if anyone could recite our mission statement from memory. After the expected fidgeting and blushing faces, David said, “I know we all understand the intent of our mission statement. It’s just too many words to remember, right? Well, our board of directors thought the same thing.” In strategic planning sessions just prior to David’s question to staff members, D.A.P. board and senior management decided it was time for a more focused emphasis on the true purpose of Desert AIDS Project. The result is this new and elegantly‑simple statement
that we can all remember as simply as we put it into action every day:
“THE MISSION OF DESERT AIDS PROJECT IS TO ENHANCE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING.” While some small changes have also been made to the beliefs and guiding principles you see here, all of these convictions form the basis of our organizational culture. They are posted on the walls in every hallway at Desert AIDS Project – not only as a reminder to us all but so that our clients and supporters can remind us if we ever fail to live up to them.
DESERT AIDS PROJECT BELIEVES: Everyone in a community has a right to a decent quality of life.
Everyone is worthy of respect and equal consideration.
Bias – because of race, religion, class, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, etc – has no place at Desert AIDS Project.
Fairness demands that everyone affected by an issue should have the opportunity for either direct participation or representation in planning, implementing, and evaluating the work conducted by Desert AIDS Project.
All efforts to fulfill our mission have the ultimate aim of being useful in improving people’s lives, particularly the lives of those most in need. Our work is not about power or turf, but about the public good.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES We will be excited by what we do, by the challenges we face and the opportunities we create. We will surround ourselves with people dedicated to assisting us in achieving our mission and upholding our principles. The diversity of our people, their skills and experience is one of our agency’s greatest assets. We are committed to leveraging this asset as a source of strength.
We will always listen first, and then act with openness, honesty, and integrity so that our relationships flourish. We will provide effective, accessible, and responsive services, and we commit to evaluating our effort so that changes can be made when it is in the best interest of those we serve. We will set demanding targets and make tough decisions and take considered risks to achieve them, and pursue partnerships to obtain resources that enable us to do so.
We will provide our team with skilled management and quality training opportunities. We will commit ourselves to excellence to ensure that Desert AIDS Project is the provider of choice, employer of choice, and investment of choice in the communities we serve. We will embrace change to positively improve services, outcomes, and the community while remaining true to our mission.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO PUTTING OUR REVAMPED MISSION STATEMENT, BELIEFS, AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES INTO ACTION, AND INVITE OUR DONORS AND SUPPORTERS LIKE YOURSELF TO JOIN US IN DOING SO. 7
Walk. Get Tested. Stop AIDS.
53.3% of Coachella Valley residents have never been tested for HIV.
Supporters of Desert AIDS Project will once again rally to the cause of providing care for those living with HIV or AIDS, while attracting attention to the need for everyone to be tested for HIV, at the 26th Desert AIDS Walk on Saturday, October 19 at Ruth Hardy Park in Palm Springs.
The first quarter-century of the Desert AIDS Walk has raised almost $6.25 million from Walkers who have secured donation pledges from friends and family, as well as through significant sponsorships from community partnerships. But the 26th Desert AIDS Walk will bring the community together as never before. This year, the Desert AIDS Walk will share its proceeds with a variety of community partners, as well as D.A.P., who are joining a new initiative called Get Tested Coachella Valley – a regionwide campaign that’s needed more than ever to dramatically reduce transmission of HIV:
The CDC estimates that one-in-five people are living with HIV but don’t know it. HIV prevalence in the Coachella Valley is estimated as 67% higher than the national average. The key is to know your HIV status. The international study, hailed by the journal Science as the “2011 Breakthrough of the Year,” has proven that if an HIV-positive individual begins taking medications soon after infection, s/he is 96% less likely to pass the virus to others With each step we take and every dollar we raise, we can test more people, bring those who are HIV-positive into care, and move closer to ending the epidemic in our Valley. Please join us.
D.A.P. named a “Top 20 HIV/ AIDS Charity” by About.com In August, Desert AIDS Project was selected as one of only a handful of HIV/AIDS charities that met a set of standards, including:
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians returns as Presenting Sponsor of the 26th Desert AIDS Walk Our gratitude also to these generous sponsors:
BENEFITING DESERT AIDS PROJECT
DONATE | CONSIGN | VOLUNTEER | SHOP
BENEFITING DESERT AIDS PROJECT
DONATE | CONSIGN | VOLUNTEER | SHOP
• Spending at least 75% of budget on programs • Raising $100 from every $15 spent fundraising • Operating with complete financial transparency “While we are immensely proud to be recognized in this way, we know that it really does take a global village, with each community in each country fighting the continuing spread of HIV while caring and advocating for those already infected,” said David Brinkman, CEO of D.A.P.
Saturday, October 19, 2013 7:30 AM – Registration Health & Wellness Festival, Entertainment, Rally 9:30 AM – Step Off
Ruth Hardy Park
700 Tamarisk Lane, Palm Springs Register or Donate to a Walker
DESERTAIDSWALK.ORG 760-323-2118, ext. 790
Effective Interventions ARTAS aims to keep people in care In the last Progress Report, we reported several ways D.A.P. currently delivers effective HIV prevention to high-risk groups in our area. Now, yet another new intervention model is being implemented at D.A.P. Called ARTAS (Antiretroviral Treatment and Access to Services,) its overall goals are to better link newly diagnosed clients to care … and retain them in care over the long-term for improved health outcomes. D.A.P. case managers and early intervention specialists, along with staff from Bienestar and the Riverside County Department of Public Health, received a two-day ARTAS training from the California HIV Prevention Training Center, as funded by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) The CDC knows that clients in care tend to manage their HIV better, stay on medication therapies, and become less likely to pass the disease to others. ARTAS encourages clients to create personal goals while maintaining a positive working relationship with their case manager or care coordinator. No wonder the ARTAS model, which closely aligns with the goals outlined in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, is increasingly being adopted among HIV prevention and testing counselors and coordinators around the country.
WE WILL PROVIDE EFFECTIVE, ACCESSIBLE, AND RESPONSIVE SERVICES, AND WE COMMIT TO EVALUATING OUR EFFORT SO THAT CHANGES CAN BE MADE WHEN IT IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THOSE WE SERVE. - D.A.P. GUIDING PRINCIPLE
Patient Satisfaction Improves From April to June, an annual survey asked clients of our Wells Fargo Health Center and our HIV-specialty dental clinic whether they were satisfied with services they received. These completely confidential surveys provided an opportunity for D.A.P. to learn not only the areas where clients feel we excel – which is always nice to hear – but also to point out where we can improve. HIV Health Center Results Notably, the survey indicated a near-double increase -- to 87% -- as clients chose either “great” or “good” to describe their overall satisfaction. Clients further noted highest satisfaction in these areas: • Friendly and helpful during phone calls - 98% • Gives excellent medical advice and treatment - 96% • Ease of getting appointments - 94% • Appointment reminder calls - 94% • Providers explains what you want to know - 92%
Dental Clinic Results What do you like best or least about the center? “The Staff! This office should be a training place for other clinics.”
Beyond comments like that, we were gratified by the overwhelmingly positive response – 92% of survey participants rated their dentist and dental assistant as “great” or “good” at listening, answering questions, and overall friendliness. Aside from letting us know that our dental staff could improve on referral waiting time and prompt return of calls, nearly all
survey areas received high satisfaction responses. Little wonder why dental clinic staffers were chosen as two of the last three “Employee of the Month” at D.A.P. Areas for future improvement Some areas we’d like to see future improvement for patient satisfaction include decreasing the time in the waiting room and waiting for prescription refills and referals. Additionally, we’d like to improve satisfaction with the medical reception answering patients’ questions.
Dental Clinic EXTREME MAKEOVER: Edition Big-hearted donors give us something to smile about
Since its opening in October 2008 as Riverside Countyâ€™s first HIVspecialty dental facility, the Desert AIDS Project dental clinic has been hailed by clients and staff alike for its quality of care and services. Unfortunately, due to limited funding and even smaller space, the dental clinic has had a waiting list since its first days. Fortunately, a generous gift from Georgia and Jerry Fogelson last year enabled us to expand the dental clinic to meet ever-increasing need. Construction began December 1, and until mid-March of this year, it was common to see painterâ€™s tarps, plastic, and construction equipment outside the Dental Clinic, located in the West Wing of our building. However, despite appearances, there was little to no disruption of client services in the clinic during this three-and-ahalf month period. In fact, the dental clinic was only shut down for one day. The new expansion more than doubled the size of the waiting room and operatories - the number of dental chairs where clients are treated - from three to seven. And while the clinic currently still operates with a waiting list, Dental Clinic Manager, Kim
Tollison, expects that the expansion and the future addition of staff members will help alleviate that demand. Currently, the dental clinic has 860 active clients on the rosters, with an average of 280 visits per month. The average client has 2 appointments per year, but for those patients who need more in-depth care and treatment, the dental clinic has adjusted its scope of service, which now includes preventative care, basic dentistry, major dentistry, and removables, along with limited root canals. Referrals to outside providers
Home Health Care crucial for some D.A.P. clients In more recent times, Home Health Care services have declined as more people get diagnosed early and improvements in antiretroviral medications make it easier to live with HIV and AIDS. Yet the need for home health services is as crucial as ever for those patients who have been living with the disease for decades, or are diagnosed late when the virus has already progressed to AIDS and the body’s immune system is tremendously weakened. That’s why the Home Health Care program at Desert AIDS Project can be a blessing. While it is one among a myriad of other services available to D.A.P. clients, those patients who need home health care often are not able to access these other services due to frailty or limited mobility. For these reasons, home care services encompass nurses and social workers providing case management, attendant care, homemaker services, psychotherapy, and non-emergency medical transportation.
are sometimes made, but less occasionally than in previous years, due to the ongoing commitment of D.A.P. staff and especially donors to increase the clinic’s hours, personnel, and equipment. In addition to the expansion of the physical clinic, the dental clinic has also added a parttime dentist, Dr. Annie Suh, and a part-time dental assistant. They round out the team, which also includes full-time dentist Dr. Margaret Soh, a full-time dental assistant, a hygienist, the receptionist, and Tollison as the clinic’s manager. Additional donor support and funding could increase staffing even further and eliminate waiting lists faster. Until then however, our dental clinic team is committed to providing the best treatment and care for a growing client base with distinct oral health needs.
Thanks to grant funding, Home Health Care services are administered at no cost to clients - no copays, no deductibles, no fees whatsoever. Social workers, certified nursing assistants, and certified home health aides travel to clients’ homes to provide care and therapy, with the ultimate goal of “graduating” clients from the program so that they are once again independent. Medical Case Manager, Registered Nurse, and Public Health Nurse Pat Walthers has been with the Home Health Care program since 2000. She’s proud to say that she’s personally seen dozens of clients graduate from the program, with a renewed sense of life and purpose. 13
AIDS 2.0? Aging with HIV By STEVE BOLERJACK
“At his age, it’s no surprise he had a bout of something AIDS-related, but if the new meds work, he should be okay.” This improbable but increasingly common remark is certainly not the way we used to put things during 30 years of plague. At the worst of it, you either had AIDS or you didn’t and if you did, you wouldn’t be with us very long.
year, my battered immune system fell prey to an unknown pathogen that led to ten days in ICU with sepsis, pneumonia, kidney failure and a 50-50 percent of survival. My old meds had stopped working; prescribed new ones fortunately kicked in quickly.
But if AIDS doesn’t mean what it once did, such comments, if medically imprecise, sum up what it can mean today, particularly for we older folk. As the largest group of people living long-term with the disease—baby-boomers about 48 to 68—we’re facing the unknown, untested challenges of aging with HIV/ AIDS, something we really never expected to do. While grateful for survival after all, we find ourselves as new geriatric guinea pigs, contributing our experiences to a growing amount of data proving that HIV is indeed affecting and even accelerating the aging process. In fact, there is such an accumulation of evidence that “Aging with HIV” is now a major section of most HIV publications and websites as well as DAPCAN, the Desert AIDS Project weekly client newsletter.
Was it full blown AIDS? Not necessarily, but a likely combination of slow meds failure, possible virus mutation and early overall deterioration of some important system functions. None of the doctors was quite sure. The point is my experience may be increasingly typical of what longterm HIV survivors will eventually face. While the actual parameters measuring correlations between HIV and quickening of natural aging processes (that might happen eventually anyway) remain hard to measure, ongoing research is confirming the trends. Aging and HIV are becoming less distinct and more integrated areas of study.
Nearing 60 and living 25 years with HIV, one tries to avoid any hint of hypochondria. But various bad patches, including pneumonias, lymphoma scares, cardiomyopathy, high triglycerides, premature arthritis and other ills too tedious to mention are hard to ignore. Last
As one of several volunteer client editors of DAPCAN, the Desert AIDS Project Community Action Newsletter, I see D.A.P.’s commitment to helping clients face age as well as HIV. Not only are most of our clients within this age group, the others eventually will be. Clearly, we have no choice but to increase education and resources toward counseling and treatment that will give HIV-positive people a chance to grow old as well as possible. 15
Glen Buckner & David DeLisle: Two Partners Forever in our heart
Recently, two dedicated supporters of D.A.P. - Glen Buckner & David DeLisle - passed away. They attended the Chase for several years and were devoted Partners for Life members. They leave a legacy of love and support for people living with HIV and AIDS. Glen was a seasoned trust officer who was well respected in the world of finance for his knowledge of estate planning and the nuances of trust administration. He had a happygo-lucky personality along with the heart of a teacher. Glen saw the importance of sharing his knowledge with those just starting out their careers and peers came to him for his insight and guidance. The words “gentle soul” comes to mind when recalling Glen and the way he communicated with everyone. Glen continued to work for many years into retirement on special projects at Wells Fargo. Glen died shortly after returning from a cruise with his partner David DeLisle, one of their many travel adventures together. Glen’s memorial service in 2008 was filled with family and friends in addition to many former banking colleagues who came to pay tribute to their dear friend. Glen’s obituary provides some interesting details of his life before banking: Glen L. Buckner, 72, of Cathedral City, passed away peacefully on January 2, 2008. Buckner was a professional dancer and performed with greats such as Judy Garland and Betty Grable. He then went on to have a successful
banking career. He will be deeply missed by his many friends, family and his partner of 41 years. David DeLisle was an accountant. He worked for a big firm in the LA area for many years. Glen and David lived in the Long Beach, CA area before moving to the desert full time in the late 90’s. After relocating to the desert, David established his own firm where he did fiduciary accounting. After Glen’s passing David could be seen at PFL and 100 Women events along with some of his female neighbors he recruited to join him. Despite the loss of Glen and David, their spirit lives on through the half-a-million dollar gift from their estate, through Partners Forever. With this money, D.A.P. can keep vital services like our programming for our Community Center for nearly a year and a half, provide a year of dental care to 50 clients, or fill our Food Depot. We thank Glen & David for enormous contributions to our mission and their generosity in both life and death.
On August 24, 2013, we began our 30th year of service. Read about what we're doing to grow our services, like access to dental care, and sta...