Homeless Health Care Collaborative working outside Bull St. Branch Library on a Wednesday morning.
Meet your local Homeless Medical Care Collaborative!
This collaborative was brought together by community partners to bring basic medical care to the Chatham County homeless community through ad-hoc street clinics and “home visits” at key homeless sites.
Partners include J.C. Lewis Primary Healthcare Center (JC Lewis), , Memorial Family Medicine Residency (Memorial Family Medicine), Mercer School of Medicine (Mercer), Union Mission, Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless, Gateway Community Service Board (Gateway).and Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council (Planning Council).
This collaboration is truly unique in bringing together five distinct agencies working together on a common goal. The Homeless Health Care Collaborative is only the second initiative providing street medicine for homeless citizens in the state of Georgia.
The Homeless Medical Care team provides care in the community weekly on Wednesdays. Each partner fulfills a unique role in this effort:
- JC Lewis coordinates medical care, referrals, and medications as needed
- Gateway provides case management services to address behavioral health needs
- Memorial Family Medicine provides medical care through its faculty and supervision to residents working with JC Lewis
- Mercer School of Medicine provides medical students to help in logistics
- Union Mission helps to garner support for this effort in the homeless community and to the other service providers.
- Chatham-Savannah Authority on the Homeless provides staff to act as a liaison for the team in the field. They also works to garner support for this effort in the homeless community and to the service providers
- The Planning Council facilitate the partner collaborative, provides project management support for this effort including researching funding opportunities and best practices for homeless healthcare delivery and provides portal access to the community health information exchange, ChathamHealthLink/GRAChIE for the team in the field
Every Tuesday (the day before the Wednesday morning clinics), a dedicated full-time outreach worker from JC Lewis with the help of Mercer medical students go into the community and reach out to homeless citizens in need of services. This enables them to take the time to do the lengthy intake process for the patients, collect important health history information before seeing a doctor and arrange for the patient to be seen at the clinic the next day.
On Wednesdays, the Homeless Medical Care team meet at various locations including Emmaus House, Inner City Night Shelter, Bull St. Branch Library, Savannah Baptist Church, Union Mission and homeless camp sites throughout the county.