Street Medicine Program
Street Medicine is designed to deliver primary and urgent care to homeless people in the Lehigh Valley wherever they are – in shelters, soup kitchens, under bridges or in the woods. Internal research shows that 5 percent of patients at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Cedar Crest, 6 percent of patients at LVH–Muhlenberg and 16 percent of patients at LVH–17th Street are homeless. All care provided by the Street Medicine program, including medications, laboratory tests and diagnostic studies, is free.
The Street Medicine team works on the belief that everybody matters. This belief leads to a care model focused on delivering care wherever homeless people feel comfortable. On a scheduled rotation, care is provided at seven designated soup kitchen locations and homeless shelters. The clinical team also treats those who remain unsheltered, including those who encamp under bridges and in the woods. Additionally, Street Medicine receives inpatient consults at all LVH locations, on the units and in emergency rooms. Inpatient consults serve to create a relationship between the patient and Street Medicine, and facilitate a follow up and/or clinic visit as needed.
What is the goal?
To provide basic primary care to people experiencing homelessness, wherever they are. Their success depends on delivering this care in a compassionate manner, where the patients feel cared for. Ultimately, this relationship helps patients’ conditions improve – mentally and physically.
Who is eligible for Street Medicine services?
Anyone in the Lehigh Valley experiencing homelessness.
Who can join Street Medicine?
Any medical resident, LVHN colleague, clinical practice or community organization.
Learn about other initiatives and collaborations in the Department of Community Health.