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Project HOPE, Homelessness in Osteopathic Pre-doctoral Education, is an innovative medical education model addressing the current lack of training of health care providers in the care of the homeless, a neglected, underserved population. Those experiencing homelessness are at higher risk for a variety of complex health issues such as diabetes, substance abuse, mental illness, sexually transmitted infections, and environmental exposure. These are related to a broad range of social and personal factors including trust and social reciprocity, personal behaviors and choices, and economic and emotional distress to name a few.
The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Nova Southeastern University, College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-COM) with a five-year Pre-Doctoral Primary Care Training grant in 2010 to develop, implement and evaluate a didactic and practicum-based curriculum providing primary care to the homeless.
While the funding period for the project ended in June, 2015, NSU-COM continues to incorporate homeless-specific curriculum, including core lectures, service-learning opportunities, practice-based modules, and clinical field rotations into the current medical education program. This innovative model focuses on promoting the delivery of safe, comprehensive, culturally competent primary and preventive health care to the homeless.
This goal of Project HOPE transcends beyond the medical school "classroom," to establish a cohort of collaborative, culturally empathic, and respectful health care professionals who provide comprehensive, compassionate, and quality health care to the homeless. A culmination of this work is available in the form of a “how-to” manual that will allow health profession programs to replicate components of the curriculum within their respective schools, in addition to providing a comprehensive training resource for organizations that provide care to those experiencing homelessness.
This goal of Project HOPE is the adoption of an innovative curriculum specific to the unique needs of the homeless that transcends beyond the medical school "classroom," establishing a cohort of collaborative, culturally empathic, and respectful health care professionals who provide comprehensive, quality health care to the homeless. Please click on the link above to view or download a copy of the program materials.
For more information about Project HOPE, please contact Elliot Sklar, Ph.D., Project Director, by phone at 954-262-1837 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following news clip about Project HOPE aired on June 4th, 2014 on ABC Channel 10 news in South Florida, highlighting Project HOPE's efforts to educate future physicians on the provision of primary care to those experiencing homelessness: