The Street Medicine team provides care to homeless and underserved people in the Coachella Valley. (Photo: Courtesy CSUSB)
The Regional Access Project Foundation (RAP) has awarded the Cal State San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus a $5,000 grant to support the campus’s Street Medicine program.
The grant will be used to purchase much-needed supplies for the Street Medicine team to use in the field while providing health care services to the homeless and unsheltered populations in the Coachella Valley.
Street Medicine is a collaborative partnership between the CSUSB Department of Nursing at the Palm Desert Campus; the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine; Desert Regional Medical Center; Well in the Desert and the Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine.
Numerous reports indicate that the Coachella Valley needs enhanced health care services for the homeless population, including mental health services. Homeless individuals are known to utilize emergency rooms rather than traditional healthcare for a variety of reasons: there is limited access to primary and secondary care near homeless encampments, many homeless individuals distrust healthcare providers and seek help only when the need is serious and many have no health insurance.
Even if they qualify for insurance, homeless individuals may require help to sign-up and maintain the information. Also, many are undocumented and fear exposure to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if they seek services. Further, many healthcare providers will not accept publicly funded health insurance. For these reasons, the Street Medicine teams provide a valuable service at no cost to these drastically-underserved individuals and families.
“We are so grateful to the RAP Foundation for this funding which will help us continue our efforts helping those in need in the Coachella Valley,” said Diane Vines, Street Medicine grant coordinator and CSUSB nursing faculty member. “The Street Medicine program provides health care to people who might not otherwise receive treatment except at an emergency room and facilitates the opportunity for our nursing students to work with people from vulnerable populations with varying needs.”
For more information about Street Medicine, contact Vines at [email protected]. For more on the RAP Foundation, visit rapfoundation.org. For more on the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, visit csusb.edu/pdc.
Mike Singer is the public affairs/communication specialist at Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus, where he works on a broad range of projects involving the execution of public affairs, media relations, communications and marketing.
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