January 18, 2021
VENICE FAMILY CLINIC LAUNCHES MOBILE CLINIC VAN TO HELP FAMILIES AT RISK OF BECOMING HOMELESS AND ENHANCE ITS STREET MEDICINE PROGRAM
New Vehicle is a Doctor’s Office on Wheels That Expands the Nonprofit Community Health Center’s Comprehensive Health Care for People in Need
LOS ANGELES – (January 18, 2021) – Venice Family Clinic, a nonprofit community health center that serves 27,000 patients in need, today announced the launch of an innovation in its pioneering street medicine program, a mobile clinic van that will transform the care it provides to families and individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of losing their homes.
Until now, Venice Family Clinic’s nine street medicine teams, which work in partnership with homeless service providers to get people housed, relied on backpacks filled with medical supplies and equipment to provide on-site care to people experiencing homelessness. With a generous donation from The Barry and Wendy Meyer Foundation, the street medicine teams will have a clinic on wheels that brings the privacy of a medical office to their patients.
In addition to enhancing health care for people living on the street, Venice Family Clinic will expand its services to families by partnering with local agencies that serve parents and their children who are unhoused or at risk of homelessness. The providers can also offer more extensive on-site health care services, including drawing blood and obtaining other samples for tests. In addition, they will be able to provide vaccines, rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing on-scene as well as medically assisted drug and alcohol treatments.
“With the mobile clinic van, we can bring our comprehensive model of care to more people in need at our partners’ shelters, transitional living programs and access centers,” said Coley M. King, DO, director of homeless services. “We will be able to treat a wider range of medical needs immediately and in the field, saving some patients a visit at the Clinic, and they will have the safety and dignity of meeting with us privately.”
The Barry and Wendy Meyer Foundation, which provided the funding for the mobile clinic van, has given generously to organizations helping families and children, and Barry Meyer and Wendy Smith Meyer, PhD, said the gift to Venice Family Clinic reflects the passion they have for families.
“We are concerned about the ongoing crisis of homelessness in our city, especially among families, and we want to help find new ways to tackle this complex and urgent challenge. This van is a shining example of how Venice Family Clinic pioneers innovations to help people in need—in this instance, helping to create a new way of delivering health care directly to people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness,” said Dr. Smith Meyer, a member of the Venice Family Clinic Foundation Board of Trustees.
Venice Family Clinic was the first clinic in Los Angeles in 1985 to send health care providers into the community to provide street medicine to people experiencing homelessness, and its health care providers have trained many of the street medicine teams working in Los Angeles.
About Venice Family Clinic
Venice Family Clinic is a leader in providing comprehensive, high-quality primary health care to people in need. Now celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the Clinic has grown from a small storefront operation into one of Los Angeles’ leading community health centers, providing care to 27,000 men, women and children annually through sites in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Inglewood and Culver City. The Clinic leads the way in providing comprehensive and integrated care by creating a one-stop health system that offers multiple services, often at the same locations and same time as primary care appointments. These services include dental care, substance use treatment, mental health services, vision services, child development services, health education, prescription medications, domestic violence counseling, HIV services, street medicine for people experiencing homelessness and health insurance enrollment. For more information, visit VeniceFamilyClinic.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.