201544 Overview of a Student-Run Homeless Clinic in Los Angeles

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Courtney Burks, MPH , School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Anna Paulsson , University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County has 75,000 homeless and transient individuals, which makes up the largest homeless population in the United States. Studies indicate that 28-53% of this population is at an extremely high risk of not having a regular health care provider, which is significantly greater than the percentage of the US population living below the poverty line. The UCLA Mobile Clinic Project (MCP) began as a student-run project with the aim of re-integrating these individuals back into a formal health care system. Undergraduate and medical students work together to obtain a complete social and medical history of our clients, a law student team addresses the legal needs of our clients and the public health students coordinate other various projects (such as health education). Over the past nine years, we have adopted an acute care system―and more recently, a chronic care system. It is necessary to implement this model because many of our returning clients (who, on average, visit the clinic 4.7 times per year) rely solely on MCP for care. Each week, about 25 volunteers from undergraduate and graduate schools attend to 25-30 clients, totaling roughly 800 clients per year. Our mission is to provide not only provide medical care for our clients that will improve their quality life, but also to learn how we can become better advocates for their social well-being.

Learning Objectives:
To provide primary health care, as well as social and legal services to homeless and transiently housed individuals in Los Angeles County.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Public Health Student Coordinator
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.