PADS Clinic Opens
New Tuesday clinic fills cracks in health care for people experiencing homelessness.
Family Health Partnership Clinic (FHPC) has partnered with McHenry County PADS – a program of Pioneer Center for Human Services – to bring basic health care services direct to individuals experiencing homelessness.
Every Tuesday from 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m., a remote clinic opens its doors at the McHenry County PADS Day Center in Woodstock. Open to any client of PADS, the clinic is designed to provide routine screenings, offer vaccinations and treat minor illnesses. The clinic is staffed by Linnea Axman, DNP; Julie Szum, RN; and Julie Franz, clinical assistant, allowing it to dispense and prescribe medications as needed and provide referrals for follow-up care or treatment.
“We are so happy with our partnership to bring health care to those who need it,” said Suzanne Hoban, executive director of FHPC. “Many people in our community continue to fall through the health care cracks, and we are committed to filling those cracks.”
The concept of the remote clinic site was the vision of Pat Montemurro, clinical manager at FHPC, who saw it as a way to bring health care to people where they were. Working with Franz, who had volunteered for many years at an emergency church site shelter, they were able to prioritize needs and begin the steps to building relationships with the clients.
“I am very passionate about serving people who have become homeless and providing resources for them,” Franz said. “Oftentimes there are just too many barriers to health care so us bringing the services directly to them is just one small way we can truly help.”
Leading up the clinical portion of the team is Axman, a nurse practitioner and professor at the University of California-San Diego, who brought with her many years of experience in designing and implementing homeless programs both in the United States and internationally.
“This partnership is very valuable as many of our clients struggle to connect to health providers and get consistent care,” said explained Erin Brumfield Grima, Pioneer Center’s director of PADS/Prevention Services. “People experiencing homelessness have many competing needs and frequently put their health at the bottom of the list.”
In its first week the clinic saw eight clients, administering flu vaccines, treating an upper respiratory infection and monitoring blood sugars.
“I think it is really good to keep an eye on your health,” said Stacy, a current PADS client. “This service is good because you can get your test results week-to-week to check on any health concerns.”