HCH2019 Pre-Conference Institutes

Four full-day Pre-Conference Institutes (PCIs) are available on Wednesday, May 22, at the 2019 National HCH Conference. These in-depth sessions will explore how clinicians, consumers, administrators, and advocates “Working Together for Justice” can create greater equity in housing and health care for vulnerable populations, tackle challenges in street outreach, approach medical respite from all perspectives, and more.

Learn more about each PCI below, and register for HCH2019!

Achieving Equity & Justice in Health Care & Housing: Realizing a National Agenda at the Local Level

In recent years, there has been tremendous progress made in recognizing the connection between housing and health. Unfortunately, widespread barriers still exist that prevent access to these critical services. These barriers reflect systemic injustices, not individual failures, and point to a need to create true systems of care that meet basic human needs for vulnerable people in our communities. This day-long symposium will feature a series of conversations with national leaders on the following issues that are priorities at the federal, state and local level:

  • Equity and Justice in housing: Recognizing that housing is a solution to homelessness, increase housing opportunities by addressing state and local policy barriers and leveraging a variety of potential partners.
  • Equity and Justice in health care: Achieve better health outcomes through criminal justice reform, increased capacity for integrated mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and access to Medicaid and other health coverage.
  • Equity and Justice in public policy: Understanding that poverty and homelessness stem from structural inequity across a broad range of issues, connect the most significant national and local policy issues impacting the HCH community to the role of local service providers.

While each community has unique circumstances, this event will ensure an open discussion focused on achieving equity for underserved populations, replicating best practices at home, and pursuing Justice through better health care and housing.

Behavioral Health Integration

Integrated behavioral health services—a hallmark of the Health Care for the Homeless model—can facilitate better and more accessible care for clients. In providing integrated care, organizations serving people without homes may grapple with limited resources, workforce shortages, and the differing emphases and perspectives of behavioral health and medical providers. This pre-conference institute will address these challenges by building medical providers’ skills at providing behavioral health care, as well as exploring organizational best practices for integrated care.

Overcoming Challenges in Street Medicine: Advanced Topics in Medical Outreach

As homelessness has increased across the United States in the last two years, unsheltered homelessness has spiked disproportionately. Housing unaffordability, in particular, leaves many to seek safety in encampments, under bridges, in their cars, and in other unsheltered locations. And no community in the US has sufficient shelter beds for all their neighbors without homes. Consequently, the health of these individuals suffers. Enter street medicine: a distinct discipline that suspends the provider-patient power dynamic and meets clients in their own reality, on their own terms. Street medicine targets people who cannot or will not engage in traditional care to ensure no one is left behind.

This full-day session will provide an intermediate-to-advanced dive into common obstacles to street medicine programming, whether you belong to a health center or another agency. Speakers from the HCH community and the Street Medicine Institute will provide attendees with the insight and resources you need to tackle the challenges of growing and strengthening your street medicine program.

The Right to Recover: Medical Respite Care from the Perspective of Consumers, Providers, and Funders

Medical respite care fills a gap in the continuum of health care for people experiencing homelessness who need a safe environment to recuperate from illness or injury. The Respite Care Providers’ Network (RCPN) has organized a full-day training that will be of interest to administrators, clinicians, consumers, and advocates at every learning level. Through panel presentations and interactive discussions, national experts will share information on consumer engagement, integration of psychology milieu therapy, and payer’s perspectives on the benefits of investing in medical respite. Additionally, information will be provided on identifying outcome measures, policy implications for medical respite, and new resources available for communities as they build their medical respite programs.

Participants will also have the opportunity to engage in information sharing and networking with providers from across the country.