URBAN HEALTH: Unique Partnership Provides Care To Homeless
This month's California Physician profiles a community program in San Francisco that combines the efforts of a local church, the University of California-San Francisco and Catholic HealthCare West to provide health care to the area's homeless. Located in "one of San Francisco's roughest neighborhoods," the Glide Health Clinic was started by Glide Memorial Methodist Church with the support of UCSF's School of Nursing and CHW of the Bay Area and "combines the staffing, financial and material resources [of the] two mammoth health care organizations with the community trust earned by the church through decades of service." UCSF's Grace Galzagorry said, "It's a model example of how agencies can come together and create something for the common good, a real service with each of (our) strengths being high-lighted." CHW contributed $200,000 in startup funds for the clinic and continues to provide free medical supplies and urgent diagnostic testing. UCSF "designated the clinic as a nurse-practitioner faculty practice for its department of community health systems, and brings in graduate nursing students for educational and research opportunities." The church "provides the location, its reputation in the community and its knowledge about the special needs of this population." Since its inception in 1997, the clinic has "treated more than 1,000 adults, many of them homeless," and 90% of whom suffer from substance abuse or mental illness. While the clinic treats ailments ranging from black eyes to depression, patients with more urgent needs are transported to CHW's San Francisco General Hospital or Saint Francis Memorial Hospital. Children and adolescents are referred to St. Anthony's Free Medical Clinic. The clinic also provides a case manager who helps "patients make phone calls and obtain free dental care, eyeglasses, temporary housing, bus passes to San Francisco General, and counseling when needed." The case manager also "refers appropriate patients to Glide's other services, such as the HIV testing, anger management, domestic violence or addiction recovery programs" (Olden, Dec. issue).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.