Due to the recent COVID-19 surge and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, DAP Health announced today that it will require its 229 employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. David Morris, DAP Health chief medical officer, explains, “universal mask-wearing is not sufficient to prevent transmission of the Delta variant, which is more transmissible and causes more severe disease. COVID-19 vaccinations are the most effective means of preventing disease transmission.”
The new requirement includes the organization’s health care campus in Palm Springs and its four Revivals stores across the Coachella Valley. The announcement comes as hospitalizations and deaths are rising throughout the United States due to the substantial number of unvaccinated people and the highly contagious Delta variant. Vaccination is the primary way to put the pandemic to rest and avoid the return of restrictive public health measures.
Morris explains, “As DAP Health and the health care community lead the way in requiring vaccines for our team members, DAP Health hopes all employers across the valley will follow our lead and implement policies to encourage vaccination. The health and safety of individuals, families and the Coachella Valley depend on it.”
“We are proud 95% of our employees have already been vaccinated. DAP Health team members made an ethical commitment to ensure the health and well-being of our patients, colleagues, and community. This is essential to protect those who are vulnerable, including the immunocompromised,” says David Brinkman, CEO of DAP Health. “As members of the health care community, we need to have the courage of our convictions.”
“Ending epidemics, whether HIV or COVID-19, is the charge of DAP Health. In mid-June, California had about 900 COVID cases severe enough to require hospitalization versus nearly 3,000 now. It is critical the entire health care workforce gets vaccinated against COVID to ensure patient safety,” Morris says. “With nearly 4 billion doses administered worldwide, we know the vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe illness and death. Vaccinations reduce the spread of COVID and the harmful toll this virus is taking within the health care workforce and those we serve.”
“As specialists in HIV and LGBTQ+ care, DAP Health recognizes the historical mistrust of health care institutions. DAP Health is committed to addressing team members’ concerns, engage with marginalized populations, and work with trusted messengers to improve vaccine acceptance,” Brinkman says.
DAP Health recognizes some workers may not receive the vaccine because of medical or religious reasons. They will be exempt from this mandate, will wear N95 masks, and be tested weekly for COVID-19.
About DAP Health
DAP Health is an advocacy-based health center in Palm Springs, serving more than 10,000 patients. The health center offers medical and mental healthcare, STI testing and treatment, dentistry, pharmacy, and lab services. A variety of wraparound services enable patients to experience optimal health, including social services, support groups, alternative therapies, and other wellness services. Excellent HIV care is provided by the largest team of specialized clinicians in the area.
DAP Health opened one of California’s first COVID-19 clinics and hotlines to offer screening, testing, and treatment. DAP Health also is working to address the social determinants of health that are causing negative health outcomes during this pandemic, like food and housing insecurity, joblessness, isolation, and access to ongoing healthcare.
DAP Health’s sexual health clinic offers STI testing and treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) testing. DAP Health has earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the twelfth consecutive year –– landing the health center in the top 6% of nonprofits rated. The distinction recognizes that DAP Health exceeds industry standards in terms of financial health, accountability, and transparency.
Visit daphealth.org to learn more.