230925 Alternative and complementary health practices: A vital link in supportive housing

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Carla Wilson, MA, L Ac DAOM (candidate) , Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department, Quan Yin Healing Arts Center, San Francisco, CA
Background: Supportive housing is a new concept designed to both deliver and finance integrated support, health and employment services with affordable housing so that very poor individuals who also face health and mental health issues can live with dignity and stability in the community.

Designed as a pilot project, Quan Yin Healing Arts Center (QYHAC) partnered with one of the largest providers of supportive housing in San Francisco, CA. For a four month period in 2009, acupuncture, therapeutic massage services, and health education was delivered at five residential housing centers along side western medical and mental health services.

Methods: Data was gathered at each site during weekly clinic activities to enable both qualitative and quantitative assessment of the project. This process included weekly tracking of conditions treated, referrals made to western providers, mental health workers, substance counselors, and other life sustaining services. Health education was included at each site and woven into care precisely as "teachable moments" and noted.

Results: There was high utilization on the ACHP at a majority of the supportive housing sites. The interaction between the western providers, mental health professionals, and alternative health care providers indicates increased health outcomes for residents living in supportive housing environments.

Conclusion: The results of the pilot suggest: It is possible to provide ACHP in supportive housing setting and this setting provides unique opportunities to join in an integrated approach in meeting the multifaceted health care needs of this population.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain new ways to both deliver integrated support, health and employment services within affordable housing. 2.Identify the role that ACHP provides in supportive housing settings. 3.Describe the challenges of integrating ACHP into other supportive health services. 4. Apply lessons learned through this pilot project that will assist other social researchers and ACHP providers.

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was principle for the project and over saw the project and reporting mechanisms.
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.