When people have social and economic barriers to basic resources, including homelessness, their physical and mental health can become significantly compromised. When physical and mental health decline it becomes harder to improve upon or maintain a safe, stable lifestyle. Many are unaware of the resources available to them through the community. Our staff is committed to improving access, education and communication between those who are less served in the community and our many community-based agencies/ organizations, and UPMC connections.
Our team has developed a presence in the community and links people to the healthcare system, including primary care, dental, vision, and behavioral health. To many living on the street or those who have income deficits, healthcare can seem out of reach. Our staff utilizes the Contact to Care system to assist uninsured, underinsured, and those looking to change primary care providers, get into contact with departments who can help. We have connections with enrollment specialists who are experts in setting people up for success with insurance. Connections are made to primary care offices, based on the patient’s geographical location and office preference, so they can gain control of their health.
Our team knows the needs of the community because we are in the community; speaking to the patients, assessing vitals, and directing people in real time to the resources available to them. Our Community Outreach Assistant provides extensive education to those who are interested in taking charge of their health, on proper use of the emergency department, how to navigate the protocols of healthcare, including scheduling, billing, and transportation needs. We have a presence in the CACH Program, local homeless shelters, have connections with the Salvation Army, local churches, and the HELP Center.
Our team believes in helping people be their healthiest self, despite social and economic barriers. We believe the best way to know what a community needs is to ask the people who are in the community. When we are able to connect with people in real time, we can effectively bridge the gap between their basic needs and healthcare concerns and our multitude of resources.