Best Practices in Primary Care for Families Experiencing Homelessness

Name of Award

GHR Innovative Scholarship Grants

Date Awarded

Spring 6-5-2018


Public Health

Project Description

Dr. Meghan Mason, Assistant Professor of Public Health, is awarded $13,000 to explore the models of primary care currently in use for families experiencing homelessness across the United States in order to establish the best practices for serving the whole family unit. Healthcare for the Homeless (HCH) has provided primary care for individuals experiencing homelessness across the U.S., but many individuals receive their care at non-HCH sites. Several of these sites do not have a high pediatric caseload, the number of cases handled in a particular period, raising the concern that families are not receiving care as a cohesive unit. For families, the health effects of homelessness are most pronounced among mothers and young children. Currently there are no recommended screening protocols for patient housing status. Additionally, the healthcare models used to provide services to individuals experiencing homelessness are not always well-suited to meet the needs of families experiencing house insecurity. This qualitative study will involve in-depth interviews with clinicians serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness with additional qualitative data on caseloads, screening statistics, and personnel or fiscal resources to calculate descriptive statistics. This project will support the work plan of the National Network to End Family Homelessness Health Committee, develop partnerships with other institutions across the country for continued research at the intersection of healthcare and homelessness, and provide clinicians tools and resources to address social determinants of health in a primary care setting.

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