Street Medicine Oakland
Street Medicine Oakland is a collaboration between the Royal Oak Emergency Department and OUWB School of Medicine that aims to bring medical care to the underserved and homeless population in Oakland County. Since 2019, attending emergency physicians from both Royal Oak and Troy Beaumont have been volunteering and supervising medical students on a weekly basis both in the HOPE Shelter in Pontiac and directly on the streets of Pontiac and Royal Oak. By serving in this capacity, we have been able to bridge the healthcare gap and help under-resourced patients navigate the healthcare system and become connected with other community partners to continue care.
Beginning in January of 2021, in conjunction with our healthcare disparities longitudinal curriculum we began to include resident physician volunteers with the HOPE shelter outreach twice monthly. During this volunteer activity resident physicians supervise medical students and care for patients that are staying at the HOPE shelter in a clinic-based format. This gives our emergency medicine residents the opportunity to recognize the barriers of care that our patients face and provide free medical care outside the confines of the hospital.
In addition to caring for patients staying at the HOPE shelter, we also provide outreach directly to the homeless population living on the streets of Pontiac and Royal Oak twice monthly. By bringing food, toiletries, clothes, diagnostic tools, and medications directly to the streets where the homeless are living, we can remove several barriers to care for our most vulnerable population. Resident and attending physicians serve alongside medical students, counsel patients, and provide care that they would otherwise be unable to access easily.
For those residents that desire more in-depth exposure we have created a one-month elective that provides increased opportunities to serve with our community partners and with the homeless population of Oakland County. Residents have been able to develop additional resources for the patients in our emergency department as well as take part in scholarly activity projects related to healthcare disparities.