Lisa Stambolis, RN, CRNP, has been selected as one of the White House’s Champions of Change for her efforts in the fight against youth homelessness and will be honored at a Washington, D.C., ceremony on Thursday, July 12.
The director of pediatrics at the Baltimore Health Care for the Homeless (HCH), Stambolis oversees a staff dedicated to conducting outreach and providing primary care to children and youth living in shelters and on the street. She offers valuable guidance in accessing healthcare and support services to children, youth, and families in Baltimore, to improve their health status and ensure stable housing.
“Working with homeless youth, children and their families is both a privilege and responsibility,” Stambolis said. “The privilege is in serving, for which the rewards are endless, and the responsibility is advocating on their behalf. This year we were able to pass legislation so that all unaccompanied youth in the state of Maryland can consent to their own medical care. Now how cool is that?”
HCH Baltimore works with a vulnerable, high-needs population, and the partnerships it forges with community providers are especially important to its success. New mothers, young fathers, children with emotional disturbance, and fragile lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth all experience the shelter system and the broken health care system associated with it. Hopefully, the harsh experiences of the streets in Baltimore are lessened by encounters with Stambolis and her team.
“Lisa sees the effects of a broken system every day,” says Barbara DiPietro, Policy Director for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. “Beyond simply treating wounds and healing illnesses, she tries to see where organizational changes are needed to make health care more accessible and responsive to children, youth and families.”