SMI Program Collaborations Around the World

The map below depicts most of the cities throughout the world where Street Medicine Institute leaders have engaged in collaborative efforts toward the development and improvement of Street Medicine Programs.  To become a Program Member, click here.


THOUGHT-PROVOKING SPEECHES, USEFUL WORKSHOPS, NEW DATA and a KEY TO THE CITY:  ISMS XV full of opportunities to learn, collaborate and be inspired!

The International Street Medicine Symposium (ISMS) XV took place on October 21-23, 2019.  Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net and the Allegheny Health Network’s Center for Inclusion Health served as co-hosts for this 15th anniversary celebration of the global street medicine community as it returned to Pittsburgh, PA – site of the very first ISMS in 2005 and birthplace of the Street Medicine Institute (SMI).  A special pre-symposium Street Medicine 101 workshop offered on October 20 attracted a record number of attendees. 

Nearly 500 individuals attended the main event, representing 35 US states, and 70 cities located in 15 countries.  The three-day convention, which took place in the beautiful August Wilson African American Cultural Center, included keynote addresses by Dr. Jim Withers, SMI’s Founder, and William Peduto, Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh.  In a surprise moment for all, Mayor Peduto awarded Dr. Withers with a Key to the City for his work both locally through Operation Safety Net and internationally with SMI - an honor previously bestowed on only seven other persons. 

Speakers from around the world described their work, explained how to address a variety of clinical conditions in rough-sleeping settings, shared data and research findings, discussed how to build and fund a street medicine program and spoke about advocacy issues.  The energy in the August Wilson Center was palpable as attendees caught up with old friends, made new acquaintances and discussed their issues and concerns.  If you attended the event and are seeking CE credits, please be sure to complete the electronic evaluation forms emailed to all participants.  We extend our deep appreciation to all who attended making this another rewarding and uplifting international gathering of people focused on the care of the rough sleeping homeless person.

As ISMS XV closed, symposium committee chair, Dr. Liz Frye, announced that the host city for International Street Medicine Symposium XVI will be Toronto, Ontario, Canada on October 14 – 17, 2020.  Please watch our website for further news about next year!




We are pleased to introduce the launch of a new Street Medicine Fellowship in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!  This one-year position started July of 2019 under the medical direction of Jim Withers, MD, and is available to physicians who have successfully completed a residency such as Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine or Psychiatry.   The Department of Medicine at the UPMC Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh is the academic host for the program in collaboration with Pittsburgh Mercy’s Operation Safety Net. This is the first known Street Medicine Fellowship and is non-accredited.  The year will be focused on the development of expertise and leadership within the new field of Street Medicine.  

For more information contact Medical Director James Withers at [email protected].


The Street Medicine Institute recently published its first set of Street Medicine Clinical Guidelines (click on our Resources tab)!  

Street Medicine represents the intersection where evidence-based medicine and reality-based medicine meet.  It is the first essential step in obtaining the necessary levels of medical, mental health, and social care; and, it's the conduit for assertive, coordinated, and collaborative care management in general.  Street Medicine, then, is best viewed as a form of intermediate "home" care, with the aim of transitioning patients to a comprehensive, longitudinal primary-care relationship.  Therefore, the care that we, as providers of Street Medicine, deliver to our patients must be of the highest possible quality, aligned as far as possible with traditional standards of care.

Our new quick reference tool for providers of Street Medicine was created specifically to guide the treatment of rough sleeping homeless persons.  Of course, the guidelines are not intended to be comprehensive, and the recommendations are not a prescriptive protocol.  Each guideline is linked to a published guidelines accepted by the general medical community.  Clinicians must exercise their own clinical judgment in the treatment of an particular patient.

Creation of these guidelines began in 2016 at the 12th Annual International Street Medicine Symposium in Geneva, Switzerland, with a workshop attended by experienced Street Medicine clinicians from around the globe.  Then from 2016 until present the guidelines have been circulated among the Street Medicine community to ensure a thorough vetting process and allow for additional contributions to the body of knowledge.  We hope that the guidelines will continue to adapt and evolve, much as our patients surviving on the streets of our cities and towns.  SMI welcomes your suggestions on these guidelines at any time.