Congratulations to the 2022 Seed Grant Winners

Now in its second year, the Seed Grant program has been designed to assist eligible entities in the creation of new Street Medicine programs in their local communities. The program facilitates and enhances the direct provision of health care to the unsheltered homeless where they live by providing communities and clinicians with expert training, guidance, and support to develop and grow their own Street Medicine programs. This year, we were delighted to have received over twenty deserving and qualified applications.

We are pleased to announce that the two award recipients are Sidewalk Doc Street Medicine Program in PA and HEAL (Health Equity in Action League) OmahaBoth programs have received a free Program Membership to SMI including registration for the International Street Medicine Symposium. Further, each has been awarded a grant in the amount of $10,000 along with an intensive consultation with a team of street medicine experts from the SMI Board of Directors. Congratulations!

HEAL (Health Equity in Action League) Omaha 

HEAL (Health Equity in Action League) Omaha was created to meet the medical and mental health needs of those experiencing homelessness in the Omaha Metro community. Their team of mobile volunteers will provide first aid and function as a bridge to primary care, mental health care and specialty services at FQHCs that already exist in the community. This team is led by family nurse practitioners, Wendy Pecoraro and Ann Wieseler, who are two of the managing partners at Element Primary Care. Wendy and Ann both have extensive emergency department experience and have worked in the Omaha healthcare community for over 20 years.

The goal at HEAL Omaha is to connect with services providers in the areas of shelter, housing, food pantries, soup kitchens, clothing centers, social services, and the medical community to narrow the health equity gap. They will partner with Community Alliance and Together, Inc. for Street Rounds that are already in progress but lack a medical presence. The first community event is schedule in August - a Pop-Up Village in a church parking lot - that will provide blood pressure and diabetes screenings. Other services available will include a shower trailer, Cricket Mobile vendor, access to clothing, food pantry, and social services to help with gathering documents necessary for employment and housing. For now, they will be carrying backpacks with supplies, but within the next year, they hope to secure funding for a mobile medical unit.

 

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (LG Health) 

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (LG Health) is a not-for-profit health system with a mission to advance the health and well-being of the communities we serve. In a Pennsylvania county without a public health department, LG Health has demonstrated a strong commitment to addressing health equity and access to care for everyone in our community. For decades, we have looked beyond the walls of our hospitals and worked with community partners to address social determinants of health, and we were honored to receive the American Hospital Association 2018 Foster G. McGaw Prize for those efforts. We are excited to further enhance our commitment to community health improvement by taking primary care services to a new level with support from the Street Medicine Institute. 

The Sidewalk Doc Street Medicine program at LG Health, which began the provision of care in early 2022, aims to identify and engage unsheltered individuals who are hesitant to pursue traditional medical care, in an effort to prevent adverse health outcomes and improve overall health. Operating as a partnership between the Lancaster General Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program and LG Health’s Community Health Department, the Sidewalk Doc program also collaborates with a network of trusted community partners who already provide comprehensive services across the spectrum of social needs.  

The Sidewalk Doc street team consists of medical residents (with support from faculty), a nurse from a partner organization serving this population, and an outreach worker, who round twice monthly at two locations identified as “hot spot” gathering areas for individuals experiencing homelessness. To date, clinical encounters have included basic physical exams, acute care services, minor procedures (including podiatric services), and prescribed pharmaceutical therapies (including leave behind naloxone).  With the ultimate goal of improving health and well-being by providing equitable access to person-centered medical care, the Sidewalk Doc team uses a trauma informed approach to work with each patient to reduce and remove barriers to care.