|Episode Two: Med Students, Doctors Serve Rochester’s Homeless|
|Tuesday, January 08 2013|
Join Emma Lo, a third-year student at UR's School of Medicine and Dentistry, as she works with Mel Dynek to explore how she might help him wrangle his high blood pressure – despite being homeless and keeping warm in a local parking garage.
Find out more by watching Lo in this second episode of The Street Medicine Chronicles.
The ‘Street Medicine’ Program
Lo has spent a lot of time in city parks, under bridges and wandering city streets -- settings not usually recommended for students.
But the neighborhoods and the people there hold great interest for her and are the target of the School’s UR Street Outreach, a street medicine program she helped launch last year to improve access to quality health care for Rochester’s homeless population.
“You realize that these people, who superficially seem so different, could really be you,” Lo said. “They're some of the most challenging patients, which makes every small success so rewarding."
Lo says the program's goals are two-fold -- both to improve access to health care and resources for the street homeless, and to break down barriers between the medical world and this very misunderstood population.
In UR Street Outreach, at least one night a week, one or two medical students and a physician or nurse join a former homeless person, who acts as a liaison, for visits to sites where the homeless gather to sleep, to camp or to get a free meal. It’s actually one of several programs supported by the School of Medicine’s and Dentistry’s Center for Advocacy, Community Health, Education and Diversity (CACHED), through which medical students volunteer at clinics, schools and other community organizations.
About 25 medical students participate in UR Street Outreach. You can learn even more about the program here.
As health care reform challenges us to expand health insurance to cover 30 million more Americans – and improve the quality and effectiveness of that care, all on a smaller dime – traditional industry arrangements will only go so far. We sat down with URMC Chief Operating Officer Peter Robinson to make sense of how reform’s new financial incentives are rewriting relationships among players.