The Rhode Island medical navigator partnership: Piloting a client-student navigator model with people experiencing homelessness

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Pavilion Ballroom (Hilton Portland)
Megan Smith, MSW candidate (Outreach Worker, PATH, House of Hope CDC, Rhode Island College, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University)
Meredith Adamo, MD candidate (MD candidate, 2018, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University)
Craig Kaufmann, MD (Psychiatrist, House of Hope CDC)
In the 2014-2015 academic year, first-year medical students from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University began accompanying a psychiatrist and outreach worker/intensive case manager (ICM) for street rounds. These weekly walks in the city of Providence consist of outreaching to and engaging with individuals who are homeless and, in many cases, unsheltered. From this experience, the students expressed the desire to engage with homeless individuals more longitudinally and, in collaboration with the psychiatrist and outreach worker/ICM, they developed a patient navigator model: the Rhode Island Medical Navigator Partnership. Through this program, students are paired with people experiencing homelessness and act both as their healthcare navigators and advocates. The program has preliminarily achieved its stated goals of benefitting the clients and students involved, as well as the case manager, anchoring doctor, and collaterals. The target audience for the presentation includes potential anchoring providers, outreach workers, students and consumers. It details the development of a unique program targeting people experiencing homelessness.