Street Medicine Programs Keep Homeless Populations from Having to Visit Emergency Rooms.

Position:News & Numbers - Brief article

Street medicine" has been on the rise since a few resolute practitioners started in the mid-1980s. In the United States, street medicine programs operate in more than 20 states and at least 45 cities, the result of organized efforts by street medicine supporters to expand awareness and create new programs, according to Pew. The programs serve homeless people, particularly the approximately 200,000 homeless people who aren't in emergency shelters or transitional housing (according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), making them most vulnerable to threatening diseases and physical abuse.

The Fort Worth-based street medicine program sponsored by the JPS Health Network, which is Tarrant County's safety-net public health provider, "is one of the few in the country to be operated by a tax-funded health system instead of a nonprofit," Pew reports. Its primary goal is to cut down on emergency room visits by the homeless. Some patients treated by the...

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