Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


Emerging challenges in homeless health care research and education


American Public Health Association 2015 Annual Meeting



Date of original Performance / Presentation



Project HOPE – Homelessness in Pre-doctoral Osteopathic Education - responds to a curricular deficit in the education of medical students toward the health care needs of the homeless. Statistics on homelessness are widely underreported; part of this educational effort is to expand acceptance of the federal definition of homelessness as ‘instability of housing.’ Accordingly, attitudes and perceptions of homelessness by medical professionals do not permit for breadth in identifying, tracking, and providing appropriate access and care. These circumstances challenge research with individuals experiencing homelessness and inform the future direction of programs that respond to emerging issues. New challenges and needs have been recognized by Project HOPE: 1) there are insufficient HCH sites with capacity to supervise medical students; 2) as instability in housing is increasingly common second to the high cost of housing, it is essential to assess the housing status of individuals across medical service points. The lack of information concerning housing status among patients is problematic as one's housing status is irrefutably linked to health status and can complicate a provider's ability to address core medical issues. Project HOPE has responded to these challenges by implementing a novel educational program spanning all years of medical school so that future medical professionals will be attuned to the important of housing and health in working with all patient populations. Now in its final year, the project is poised to provide data on student attitudes, techniques for assessing housing at intake, and a template curriculum that could be implemented within any health professions training program.


Medicine and Health Sciences