Cedars-Sinai Donates Mobile Medical Unit to Venice Family Clinic
Mobile Clinic Staff Provides Healthcare Services to People Experiencing Homelessness
In a major push to help bring medical care to people experiencing homelessness, Cedars-Sinai has donated a mobile medical unit to Venice Family Clinic.
Cedars-Sinai also is giving $1 million to the nonprofit community health center to help fund the mobile healthcare program. Healthcare professionals staffing the mobile unit focus on providing care in the area surrounding Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital in addition to neighborhoods in South and West Los Angeles.
"This is one of the ways we at Cedars-Sinai are helping address the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles," said Jonathan Schreiber, Cedars-Sinai’s vice president of Community Engagement. “Everyone deserves quality healthcare. That's one of the reasons why we work with partners like Venice Family Clinic in the community. They are able to uniquely serve people experiencing homelessness. It means that we're able to help connect people, not only to permanent and primary healthcare, not only to behavioral healthcare and to dental care, but also to the coordinated entry system, which is the on-ramp to homeless services here in Los Angeles.”
“Cedar-Sinai’s generous support for Venice Family Clinic’s Street Medicine program will expand our ability to provide high-quality healthcare to people experiencing homelessness,” said Mitesh Popat, MD, Venice Family Clinic CEO. “Venice Family Clinic was the first community health center in L.A. County to send healthcare providers into the streets to provide care to our unsheltered neighbors, and it continues to lead the pack by training medical residents, students and other healthcare providers through our Street Medicine curriculum and providing hands-on experience in the field, for which this new mobile unit provides additional opportunities.”
Venice Family Clinic Physician Assistant Carrie Kowalski knows how to help people who find themselves without housing.
“It’s gaining their trust and getting them to really know that you’re on their side that’s crucial,” said Kowalski. “The patients need to know you believe in them as a human and that you believe in their health and their wellness. That’s the key to getting them to accept care and come back.”
At the mobile clinic, Kowalski and other healthcare workers treat patients for a wide range of problems—everything from foot infections and flu shots to high blood pressure and mental health issues.
With the new mobile unit from Cedars-Sinai, Venice Family Clinic now has three mobile units, enabling clinic staff to care for more patients around Los Angeles. While Venice Family Clinic has as many as nine “street medicine” teams who work with people experiencing homelessness, the mobile units enable healthcare professionals to treat patients–especially those in need of in-depth care–in a private, safe setting.
“When I see the newly wrapped van with both Venice Family Clinic’s logo and Cedars-Sinai’s together, it epitomizes the partnership that we have in supporting the community,” said Erin Jackson-Ward, director of Community Giving at Cedars-Sinai. “Improving access to care for the most disadvantaged is a cornerstone of Cedars-Sinai’s community benefit effort and it’s what Venice Family Clinic lives and breathes every day.”
Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: Supporting Homeless Patients in the Emergency Room