183159 Strategic Issues in Expanding Access to Healthcare for Homeless Children in Alameda County “S/A”

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 9:10 AM

Joseph Dominic Crottogini, BA , Center for the Vulnerable Child, Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland, Oakland, CA
Numerous studies of homeless childrens` health status indicate that homeless youth have higher rates of acute and chronic health problems compared to low-income housed children. In Alameda County, over 1,755 children met the community's definition of homelessness, with 43% of this population comprising of families with children.

Despite the desperate need of health care for homeless youth, insufficient resources exist for effective, integrated, comprehensive services for homeless families with children. Furthermore, shelter and food become priorities in the hierarchy of needs for the homeless, who may not even fathom access to health care before obtaining food, clothing, and shelter. About 6 percent (33,922) of Alameda County's 523,208 households remain at severe risk of homelessness, and many families continuously cycle in and out of homelessness.

The Encore Medical Clinic at Children's Hospital and Research Center in Oakland was designed to reduce the barriers homeless family's experience when accessing health care for their children. Combining medical case management with outreach and community collaborations, this program's innovative approach offers a medical home from a pediatric tertiary center while utilizing primary and secondary prevention strategies throughout Alameda County to expand its medical capacity.

Introducing community based outreach from a pediatric tertiary center, this project addresses issues related to the design, implementation, and effectiveness of increasing access to health care for homeless children in Alameda County. Assessing the needs of homeless families across an ecological framework, this program provides insight to not only increase health care access, but also to end the cycle of homelessness.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss and analyze barriers to pediatric health care for children of homeless families. 2. List the needs of homeless families in Alameda County. 3. Evaluate effectiveness in design and implementation of Children’s Hospital and Research Center at Oakland's program for expanding pediatric care to homeless children. 4. Develop strategies to increase access to healthcare by homeless families. 5. Describe application of learning objectives to the streets and communities of those participating.

Keywords: Barriers to Care, Homeless Health Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I provide medical case management and outreach services for the program that is the topic of my presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.