To impact the health and well-being of persons who are homeless and/or medically vulnerable by bridging the gap between their unmet healthcare needs and clinical services, and to foster an attitude of compassionate, patient-centered care in developing physicians.
Homelessness adversely impacts health and persons who are homeless are susceptible to a broad range of acute and chronic illnesses. Homelessness increases the risk of developing problems such as diseases of the extremities and skin disorders, as well as infections and traumatic injuries due to violence.
The Central Florida community more than 2,000 individuals living on the streets. Many of these individuals have no access to healthcare and live in unsanitary conditions like abandoned buildings, parks and street corners. Because of this, homeless people are easily susceptible to burns, fungal infections, psoriasis, and dermatitis that, left untreated, can cause serious health problems.
In January 2019, The UCF College of Medicine established the Chapman Compassionate Care for the Homeless program, which runs skin and wound clinics for downtown Orlando’s homeless population and connects them with local healthcare resources. The first clinic took place in January 2019 and to date the clinic has seen nearly 100 patients, administered approximately 50 Hepatitis A vaccines, provided over-the-counter medications, and distributed hygiene kits, socks and other essential supplies.
Currently, the program is funded in-part thanks to a gift from the Jules B. Chapman, M.D. and Annie Lou Chapman Private Foundation. With their kind donations we have been able to have successful monthly clinics in the Downtown Orlando area. Our clinic currently operates in the parking lot of St. George’s Orthodox Church in a portable tent with hopes of adding new locations in the near future.
- Deliver health care to homeless and/or medically vulnerable persons in Orlando, Florida, directly where they are located.
- Provide linkage to community services and resources.
- Reduce use of costly healthcare venues (e.g., ER use, hospitalizations, and readmissions)
- Promote an integrated approach by collaborating with local agencies, churches community health centers and hospitals.
- Enhance students’ knowledge regarding of social determinants of health and effective social justice and advocacy strategies.