Leadership from the non-profit community health center led to funding from the United Way to develop a guide to providing care to people experiencing homelessness
VENICE, Calif., February 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Venice Family Clinic, a nonprofit community health center that provides primary care to 45,000 people in LA County, today announced the launch of its Street medicine programa step-by-step training guide designed to inspire and educate the next generation of homeless healthcare providers.
The Venice Family Clinic was the first community health center in LA County to send health care providers to the streets to provide care for homeless people. Since that beginning in 1985, the Clinic has created a street medicine program that has grown to nine teams with eleven health care providers. Medical residents, students and other health care providers often join the Clinic teams to learn how to provide care to people experiencing homelessness.
The Venice Family Clinic’s leadership in health care for the homeless has led United Way of Greater Los Angeles to provide funding for the development of the Street Medicine program, which provides students and practitioners with clinical and social tools to address the complex challenges faced by homeless people. The grant also funded the construction of a structure for training medical students and residents.
“In developing the Street Medicine program, our goal is to build a competent and caring community so that together we can ensure that all of our neighbors in need can be healthy and housed,” said Dr. Coley M. King, director of health care services for the homeless at the Venice Family Clinic. “Homeless people face enormous health challenges and place a significant burden on our healthcare system. Our challenge is to do everything we can to locate these homeless people, meet their survival needs, and provide quality health care to each person.
The program provides integrated, evidence-based guidelines for street medicine with social care best practices. It details how to approach people on the streets and deal with the variety of issues they may have, including trauma, substance use disorders and mental illness. The program also outlines how health care providers can work with other agencies that provide homeless services to ensure patients have access to housing, transportation, and other services that also have a impact on their health and well-being.
Other healthcare providers, medical residents, students and teachers who have reviewed the program have given it positive reviews, with one instructor commenting, “I am so impressed with how thoughtful, thorough and comprehensive this program is. , and (I’m) excited to share with students and colleagues interested in street medicine.”
The Venice Family Clinic makes the street medicine program available in line and through printed materials to health care providers, educators, and students.
About Venice Family Clinic
The Venice Family Clinic is a non-profit community health center that is a leader in providing high quality, comprehensive primary health care to 45,000 people in need each year, regardless of income, insurance or immigration status. Having recently merged with South Bay Family Health Care, the clinic now serves an area from the Santa Monica Mountains to South Bay in Los Angeles County. The Clinic has 17 sites located in Venice, santa monica, March Vista, Inglewood, City of Culver, Redondo Beach, carson, Gardena and Hawthorne, plus two mobile clinics. Its comprehensive care includes mental health services, dental care, homeless street medicine, vision services, addiction treatment, prescription medication, domestic violence counseling, HIV services, healthy food distributions, health education, health insurance subscription, child development services and more. For more information, please visit VeniceFamilyClinic.org and follow Facebook, Twitter and instagram.
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SOURCE Venice Family Clinic