Street Medicine News: Community Leadership Award and a New Elective!

The past couple of months have been very exciting for us here at Street Medicine Detroit. We have definitely been feeling support from the people of Detroit, and we’d like to thank all of you out there for your encouragement. It energizes our efforts to provide street medicine.

This past January we received the Dr. Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Award from Wayne State University’s Office of Government and Community Affairs. This community service award is given in remembrance of Dr. Arthur L. Johnson, a civil rights leader and Wayne State administrator. As part of the award, Wayne State sent out their film crew on one of our Street Runs to record a short video with SMD.  They presented the award and the video at the University’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute. We’ve added the video, featuring SMD Vice President Esther Chae, to our homepage. Take a look here!

We felt a great deal of support from those in attendance at the MLK Tribute, and we are grateful to be have been recognized by the University at this important event.  In a way, it’s also an endorsement by our community to continue to work to improve access to healthcare for those experiencing homelessness in Detroit. It also brings our patients’ stories and struggles to a wider audience. We’re hopeful that this increased community awareness will result in more funding and resources for our patients’ day-to-day needs.

SMD students with the  Dr. Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Award

SMD students with the Dr. Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Award

In other SMD news, we are excited to announce that the School of Medicine has just approved a Street Medicine elective for 3rd and 4th year medical students! This new elective will give students an opportunity to spend a month-long rotation learning how to manage the primary and preventive healthcare needs of those experiencing homelessness. Students will take on the roles of clinician, teacher, and project leader as they are immersed in an experience of outreach-based medicine. The new elective will challenge our 3rd and 4th year students to put their clinical knowledge and problem solving skills together in order to improve the quality of the healthcare available to those experiencing homelessness in Detroit. This is a unique opportunity to learn how to provide healthcare outside of the usual settings of the hospital and the clinic.

Besides providing our students with a solid training program for this often-neglected side of healthcare, the Street Medicine elective will help keep SMD sustainable. If fact with more students joining our ranks, we will potentially be able to expand our operations, seeing more patients and keeping the community safer with better preventative care. It’s an exciting time to be working with SMD. As the organization grows in both numbers and reach, we get closer to filling in the gaps and disparities that weaken our health system. There is definitely a lot of work ahead of us, but these recent developments keep us optimistic for the future of Street Medicine Detroit. 

Anthony McClafferty MSII, SMD Communications