AC Care Connect Explores Expanded Street Medicine

Alameda County Convenes Stakeholders to Discuss Street Medicine Programs for the Homeless; AC Care Connect Explores Expanded Street Medicine


Service providers from throughout the region including program directors, physicians, psychiatrists, and nurse practitioners, attended the Alameda County Street Medicine Symposium on September 27th convened by Care Connect, Health Care for the Homeless, and Bright Research Group in Oakland. Kathleen Clanon, M.D., Medical Director of Alameda County Health Care Services Agency kicked off the symposium. She shared the County’s vision of building a strategic and coordinated network of street outreach/medicine teams that build trusting relationships and deliver services to people who are experiencing homelessness. Alameda County is developing a street medicine program that will significantly expand the deployment of mobile teams to deliver medical and psychiatric care and linkages to housing and other social services for people experiencing homelessness.

During the symposium, participants had the opportunity to hear about street medicine models and best practices by lead practitioners from Los Angeles, Santa Clara, and San Mateo Counties. Street medicine practitioners in Alameda County including Health Care for the Homeless, Roots Community Health Center, Abode Services, Tri-City Health Center, and West Oakland Health also presented their models and lessons learned from delivering street medicine in Alameda County.

Bright Research Group presented findings from their research on the evidence base for street medicine, and best practices for Alameda County to consider in designing its street medicine investment. Their presentation explained five key design challenges that Alameda County should consider in the design and delivery of their street medicine investment: 1) geographic distribution/coverage of street medicine teams, 2) staffing requirements for multi-disciplinary teams, 3) the suite of medical and psychiatric interventions that can be offered in encampments, and the timing/connection to a brick-and-mortar clinic, 4) engagement strategies that build trust with consumers, and 5) connection to housing and other social services.

Service providers at the symposium discussed and compared existing models and brainstormed and provided input for Alameda County to consider regarding design challenges. Participants shared their goals and anticipated outcomes for this type of investment in Alameda County. Participants also emphasized the importance of delivering care and services that aim to build trust and offer restorative experiences for people who are experiencing homelessness.

A summary of the findings from Bright Research Group’s research for AC Care Connect: Street Medicine Models in Other Counties.

Oct 2, 2018