Online Program

Emerging challenges in homeless health care research and education

Monday, November 2, 2015

Elliot Montgomery Sklar, PhD, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Kristi Messer, MPH, MSW, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Devra Cohen, M.P.H., College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Anna Johnson, MPH, College of Osteopathic Medicine-Master of Public Health Program, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Angela Garcia, PharmD, MPH, CPh, Master of Public Health Program, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Project HOPE – Homelessness in Pre-doctoral Osteopathic Education - responds to a curricular deficit in the education of medical students toward the health care needs of the homeless. Statistics on homelessness are widely underreported; part of this educational effort is to expand acceptance of the federal definition of homelessness as ‘instability of housing.’ Accordingly, attitudes and perceptions of homelessness by medical professionals do not permit for breadth in identifying, tracking, and providing appropriate access and care. These circumstances challenge research with individuals experiencing homelessness and inform the future direction of programs that respond to emerging issues. New challenges and needs have been recognized by Project HOPE: 1) there are insufficient HCH sites with capacity to supervise medical students; 2) as instability in housing is increasingly common second to the high cost of housing, it is essential to assess the housing status of individuals across medical service points. The lack of information concerning housing status among patients is problematic as one's housing status is irrefutably linked to health status and can complicate a provider's ability to address core medical issues. Project HOPE has responded to these challenges by implementing a novel educational program spanning all years of medical school so that future medical professionals will be attuned to the important of housing and health in working with all patient populations. Now in its final year, the project is poised to provide data on student attitudes, techniques for assessing housing at intake, and a template curriculum that could be implemented within any health professions training program.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate techniques toward improving health care research and service delivery to those experiencing homelessness. Discuss the benefits of an interprofessional research and curricular model in medical training as it relates to those experiencing homelessness. Demonstrate how this educational model can be adapted for any vulnerable population group to best address their health needs.

Keyword(s): Homelessness, Medical Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a record of presentations and publications on the topic of homelessness and vulnerable populations related to education, research and practice. I have implemented curricula and programming relevant to this and other areas of public health disparities through the lifespan. I am an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at Nova Southeastern University and hold South Florida’s first awarded PhD in Public Health in 2008 from Florida International University.
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.