In its continued efforts to connect the Coachella Valley community to care, DAP Health will be hosting a wellness pavilion all weekend at Palm Springs Pride. The pavilion, located at 205 S. Palm Canyon Drive, at the intersection of Palm Canyon and Arenas Drive, will open on Friday, November 4 at 11:00 am with continuous programming through Sunday, November 6 at 5:00 pm.  An official ribbon cutting by the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce to open the space is scheduled for Friday, November 4 at the DAP Health Pavilion.

Featuring a wide range of programs, services, and activities, the advocacy-based health care organization and its partners continue to connect the community to care.

“Everyone is more focused on wellness this year and looking for ways to take care of their physical and mental health. We have responded to feedback from community members looking to balance celebrating at Pride with self-care and calm,” said CJ Tobe, director of community health & sexual wellness. “So, the purpose of this pavilion is to provide a free space for people to take Pride in their health alongside the opportunities they will have to party with their friends.” 

There were other factors that contributed to DAP Health’s increased programming presence at Pride. “It became evident that this is a very important year”, said Dr. Jill Gover, DAP Health’s behavioral health director and member of the organization’s Pride committee. “It’s an election year, and it’s a year where Roe vs. Wade was overturned. We have a hostile Supreme Court and hostility toward social justice movements in general. We have a lot of work to do and it’s very important this year that we make a statement with Pride that yes, it’s a celebration and a parade, but it’s also a political statement.” 

“We wanted to do more than just what we’d done in the past,” Gover continued. “We wanted to do some programming to mix fun things with some political work. “DAP Health is an advocacy organization as well as a health organization; that it’s part of our mission: to advocate for health equity and to advocate for social justice. We wanted to have a pavilion where we could bring people in to talk about these very pertinent and relevant issues.” 

There is a full slate of free programs and activities planned for the weekend. From yoga to speed friending to country dancing, there is something for everyone at the pavilion. The Recovery Oasis, a smaller, more private tent adjacent to the pavilion, will host 12-step meetings. There will also be special presentations from partner organizations including Planned Parenthood, Queer Works, Brothers of the Desert, and the L-Fund.  

 “The focus of DAP Health as an advocacy-based healthcare organization, throughout the pandemic has been about collaborating and convening, with other organizations that share the vision of a healthier Coachella Valley,” said Steven Henke, DAP Health’s director of brand marketing.  “And because of the work that we’ve been doing with partner organizations — particularly the work that we did for the AIDS Walk where our theme was “Walk Out Loud” focusing on LGBT health equity – we wanted to continue to amplify the voices of other organizations that are doing the work to connect the community to care.”  

Workshops on fulfilling your sexual desires, harm reduction, and artistic healing are also on the schedule. Other presentations include: “How to Stay Sober and Sane,” “Trans Non-Binary 101 for the LGB community,” “Internalizing Homophobia and Transphobia and Health Outcomes,” “Raw Talk,” and “When the Applause Stops,” an exploration of the African American LGBTQ+ experience.  “These workshops are going to be for anybody and everybody regardless of race, gender, economic status, language, you name it,” said Tobe.  “One of our core values of being a humanitarian organization is that we welcome all people, period. The DAP Health pavilion, focusing on health and wellness, exemplifies our values as an organization.” 

As it does at all events, DAP Health will have its mobile clinic onsite. “We will be offering HIV, hepatitis C and STI testing at the pavilion as well as safe sex kits and any kind of linkage to care that may be needed for anyone with HIV or who wants Prep,” said Tobe. “DAP Health is excited to partner with Riverside University Health Systems to provide Monkeypox vaccines to the community at our wellness pavilion.”  For those with HIV who have fallen out of care, members of DAP Health’s community health team will be available to reconnect them to care through its Rapid Start program.  

On Sunday, the Wellness pavilion programming will start after the annual Pride parade.  “We’re going to show up at the Pride parade bringing forward our message of “Walk Out Loud,” which is really meant to express our origins as an advocacy-based healthcare organization,” said Henke.  “We were born during the AIDS crisis, and we have been advocating for LGBT health equity since 1984. We are going to be wearing shirts that say, “Health Equity for All” and we will be carrying signs that bring our message of advocacy to life.” 

DAP Health’s entire presence during Pride weekend is based on showing the community that the organization is so much more than what they think it is. “It’s still the same advocacy-based healthcare organization pushing for comprehensive care regardless of someone’s ability to pay,” said Henke. “But the work we do has grown to encompass everything from affordable housing to mental health.” 

“We hope that the community sees that we’re going to meet them where they are,” Henke continued.  “We want to meet them.  And we want to have conversations with them. And we want to provide opportunities for them to connect, to communicate, to ask questions and really to tap into the resources that are available to them and to make sure that they know that the care that they need and deserve is available.” 

DAP Health Pavilion and Recovery Oasis ScheduleFriday, November 4  

10:00 am Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting at DAP Health Pavilion

11:00 am Say Namasté Restorative Yoga with Kristin Olson and  James Meyer from Urban Yoga 

1:00 pm Spirituality and Recovery – Its Place In Sobriety” Open Discussion led by David M. (Recovery Oasis Tent) 

12:30 pm hARTisistic Healing with Cecelia Cruz: Guided Meditation, Breathwork, Expressing Painting 

3:00 pm “California Sober – What Is It?” Open Discussion Group led by Bill B and Jim E. from Marijuana Anonymous (Recovery Oasis Tent) 

3:30 pm “Raw Talk” Rusty Waters leads a panel discussion with  Drew Sebastian and David Wichman 

5:00 pm Sex and Relationships In Recovery – Where, Where, and How?” – Speaker Meeting and Q&A led by Todd N.  (Recovery Oasis Tent) 

5:00 pm Speed Friending hosted by Patty Cakes – Have fun getting to know new friends 

6:30 pm Queer Works – Jacob Rostovksy presents “Trans \ Non-Binary 101 for the LGB Community” 

8:00 pm Planned Parenthood – Olga Montes, Community Engagement and Education Manager offers an introduction to Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest (PPPSW). The presentation will provide an overview of the mission of PPPSW, health center services, and locations, sexual health education programs, and volunteer opportunities.  

Saturday, November 5  

8:00 am Say Namasté Restorative Yoga with Kristin Olson  and Tracey Engelking from Urban Yoga 

9:30 am Fulfilling Your Sexual Desires – An interactive workshop that explores flirting, dating, kink, and other topics presented by Robert Black and Brent Heinz 

10:30 pm Smart Recovery – A Non-12-Step Program Open Discussion Meeting led by Damien S. and Scott S. (Recovery Oasis Tent) 

11:00 am Everything You Wanted to Know about Harm Reduction but were Afraid to Ask

12:00 pm “We Do Recover – Recovery from Active Addiction” Open AA 12-Step Speaker Meeting led by Rory S (Recovery Oasis Tent) 

12:30 pm “Queer & Healthy –  Questions every LGBTQ+ Individual Should Ask Their Doctor” Led by Doctor Carlton (Tik Tok and Instagram), Trent Broadus – Nurse Practitioner, MSN, ACNP-BC, AAHIVS, and Anthony Velasco  – Senior Nurse Practitioner Specialist, MSN, AGPCNP-BC, AAHIVS 

1:30 pm Rehabs – Treatment Information for In-Patient \ After Care featuring Michael’s House, Ken Seeley’s, and Banyan staff members  (Recovery Oasis Tent) 

2:00 pm Meet The L Fund – Co-Board Chair Magi Raible talks about the local organization and its mission to reach Lesbians in need 

3:30 pm “When the Applause Stops” Brothers of the Desert Previews Their Wellness Summit with speakers Dr. Stephan Scoggins and Rev. Tony Bradford 

5:00 pm “How to Stay Sober and Sane – Patterns, Triggers, Challenges” Open AA 12-Step Speaker Meeting led by Benjamin S (Recovery Oasis Tent) 

6:30 pm The LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert presents “Internalized Oppression in the LGBTQ+ Community and Mental Health” A conversation with Amy Prescott, MS 

Sunday, November 6  

8:00 am Walk, Out Loud – Join DAP Health marching for LGBTQ+ Health Equity in the Parade 

2:00 pm Yee Haw! Learn to Country Western Dance – A class taught by Rob Ollander-Krane 

3:30 pm Take a renewing Sound Bath – a 90-minute journey with Lisa Botts