Providing Health care to the Homeless
LECOM Students & Staff Oversee Clinic

Bringing primary health care to underserved populations is a big part of osteopathic medicine that LECOM Bradenton medical students and staff have embraced by working with a local group serving the homeless.

LECOM Bradenton is collaborating with the Manatee County Community Coalition on Homelessness (CCH) to bring much needed medical care to the clinic’s patients. In November, the LECOM students, under the guidance of Anthony Ferretti, DO, Assistant Dean of Clinical Education, started providing health services to Bradenton’s homeless population at the Bill Galvano One-Stop Center as part of their clinical training to become osteopathic physicians.

Anthony Ferretti, DO, assistant dean of clinical education at LECOM Bradenton, speaks to Jarred Hagan (OMS-IV) at the Community Coalition on Homelessness' medical clinic.

Adell Erozer, CCH’s executive director, is excited to have LECOM students and clinical faculty working at the clinic. “We would not be able to provide this type of service without LECOM’s help,” she said.

Erozer says that this benefits the community when you have on-site health care available for this underserved population.

Opened in October, the One-Stop Center also offers dental care, provides meals, job placement assistance and military veteran services.

In October alone, there were 4,326 client visits to the center. A report from Project Heart - a program which assists Manatee County families and students who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless – states that more than 2,000 children under age 18 are homeless.

Start-up funds for the clinic came from a $100,000 grant from the Blue Foundation, the charitable arm of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida.

Dr. Ferretti said that all fourth-year medical students must complete a rotation in a medically underserved area and this clinic is an ideal location near the LECOM Bradenton Campus.

How You can Help

The Community Coalition on Homelessness medical clinic is in need of supplies, said clinic coordinator Rhonda Barbacane, RN.

Supplies needed include: Digital thermometers, eye charts, otoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, bandages, CPR shields and blood pressure machines.

If you would like to donate any medical equipment or supplies, please contact Adell Erozer, executive director at the Community Coalition on Homelessness at (941) 747-1509 or email aerozer@cchomeless.com.

The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and LECOM School of Pharmacy offer innovative and affordable education in osteopathic medicine and pharmacy. From campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, Greensburg, Pennsylvania and Bradenton, Florida, LECOM provides student-centered pathways to prepare the next generation of healthcare professionals. Prepare yourself for medicine as your life’s profession.

December 9, 2009
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