Training the NEXT generation of healthcare professionals.
Faculty and students from various academic institutions are enabled to work in an interprofessional setting providing health solutions for individuals experiencing homelessness around Metro Phoenix.
Who We Are
Justin Zeien and Jeffery Hanna first met in 2012 through a program called Global Medical Brigades, a non-profit volunteer health organization that traveled to Posada Azul, Honduras to provide medical, dental, pharmacy and public health services to underserved communities. This experience led to Justin and Jeffery’s commitment to help underserved and vulnerable populations in their home of Phoenix, Arizona.
In May 2017, after graduating from the University of Arizona Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health with a Master’s in Public Health, both Justin and Jeffery wanted to improve the delivery and access to health care services for Phoenix’s homeless population. They co-founded an organization called Street Medicine Phoenix, which was developed to act as an outreach arm for Federally Qualified Health Centers and help link the homeless population to essential health care services and resources in their community. The concept of street medicine first began in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Dr. James Withers who identified a gap in health care within the homeless population. It was Dr. Withers’ model which inspired Justin and Jeffery to start Street Medicine Phoenix and involve students and faculty from other health professional disciplines such as nursing, physician assistant, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, public health, and social work. Interprofessional collaboration enables students to understand the roles of other health professionals and gain valuable experience working on a health care team.
About Street Medicine Phoenix
Street Medicine Phoenix is a student-driven interprofessional health care and social justice team consisting of students and faculty from the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University.
Utilizing a biopsychosocial model of care, we aim to improve the health and well-being of Phoenix’s homeless population by holistically addressing each individual’s goals and needs. The significance and impact this project will provide will enable students to practice goal-negotiated, personalized centered care. This project endeavors to help each homeless individual obtain the essentials needed to improve their overall quality of life.
The benefit to students is the interprofessional education opportunity to work across the health sciences in a collaborative fashion. This affords students the opportunity to learn about vulnerable and hard to reach communities, giving them hands on experience to practice what they learn within the classroom in real time and in collaboration with students from public health, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, veterinarian sciences, social workers, and physician assistants. Ultimately, developing competent and culturally sensitive healthcare professionals.
Living in Unsheltered Situations
6,298 people experienced homelessness, of which 2,618 lived on the streets
According to the Point-in-Time (PIT) Count report conducted by the Maricopa Association of Governments, on the night of January 22, 2018, there were 6,298 people experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County. Of these, 2,618 individuals were living in unsheltered situations (i.e., living on the streets).1These levels of homelessness are significant because homelessness has a negative effect on health-related quality of life.2
Our mission is to ensure access to quality healthcare for Pheonix’s homeless population living and sleeping on the streets.
Our vision is to walk side-by-side with every homeless individual in Phoenix as they strive to overcome personal obstacles and societal stigmas in their pursuit of happiness, well-being, and a home.
1.) Improve access to quality health care for Phoenix’s homeless population through street-based primary and preventive care services using a biopsychosocial and interprofessional model of care
2.) Utilize a person-centered and trauma-informed approach to meet the unmet needs of individuals experiencing homelessness in Phoenix
3.) Break down stigmas and foster an environment of respect between Phoenix’s homeless population and the health care community
4.) Collaborate with others who deliver care or services at any phase across the homelessness spectrum in order to provide coordinated care and eliminate homelessness in Phoenix
Our values underpin Street Medicine Phoenix culture. They describe the professional behaviors we expect from our student volunteers, faculty and collaborators. These values are an integral part of the framework we use to recruit leaders who will provide humanistic care to each individual experiencing homelessness we serve in our community.
How Street Medicine Phoenix Makes A Difference?
Our approach to assisting and linking individuals to essential services and resources, begins with obtaining pertinent information such as; current housing situation, family medical history, past medical history, etc. Profiles are developed to assist with understanding the individual needs and medical history to provide the proper services and referrals. All services and referrals provided are free.
- Blood Pressure Screening
- Blood Sugar Screening
- Visual Screening
- Health Education
- Prescription Assistance
- Occupational Therapy Services
- Mental Health Services
- Social Work Services
- Referrals (i.e., medical, shelter, food, clothing, transportation etc.)
At Street Medicine Phoenix we don’t reinvent the wheel, we focus on fostering a strong collaboration across various community organizations medical and/or non-medical for us to fulfill our mission, which is to meet the unmet needs of Phoenix’s homeless population living and sleeping on the streets.
- Aunt Bertha
- 2-1-1 Arizona
- Central Arizona Shelter Services
- Student Health Outreach for Wellness (S.H.O.W. Clinic)
- Phoenix Rescue Mission
- United Healthcare Community Plan
- Maricopa County Department of Public Health
- Native Health inHarmony
- Federally Qualified Health Centers (i.e., Wesley Community & Health Centers, etc.)
- And More…
Thank You To Our Financial Sponsors!
Make A Difference
Work in a team of interprofessional healthcare students and faculty, to confront chronic health disparities.
Learn more about Street Medicine Phoenix upcoming meetings, conferences, outreach events, etc.
Help support our mission to meet the unmet needs of individuals experiencing homelessness in Phoenix.
Sign up for important updates, upcoming outreach events and reminders from Street Medicine Phoenix.
Street Medicine Phoenix & Street Medicine Institute
What is the Street Medicine™ Institute?
The Street Medicine Institute (SMI) facilitates and enhances the direct provision of health care to the unsheltered homeless where they live. SMI does this by providing communities and clinicians with expert training, guidance, and support to develop and grow their own Street Medicine programs. SMI has become the global leader in developing the field and practice of Street Medicine and has helped cultivate or improve Street Medicine programs in over 85 cities located in 15 countries across 5 continents. SMI is also a membership community that enables professionals and other individuals interested in the Street Medicine movement to come together to provide peer support, share best practices, seek advice and learn about key concepts necessary for a successful Street Medicine program.
Street Medicine Phoenix Collaborating With Street Medicine Programs Across The United States
Street Medicine Phoenix is currently working with other street medicine initiatives across the United States, such as Street Medicine Detroit located at Wayne State University and Spartan Street Medicine located at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, along with the Street Medicine Institute to develop a curriculum. The goal is to implement this curriculum in graduate health professional programs to equip students from various professions with essential knowledge and training on how to care for vulnerable persons experiencing homelessness using a holistic, person-centered approach.