HCH2019: Spotlight on Learning Labs

Make the most of your 2019 National HCH Conference & Policy Symposium experience and stay for one of four half-day Learning Labs on Saturday, May 25. These comprehensive sessions will take a deep dive into diabetes management, racism and homelessness, consumer engagement, and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Learn more about each Learning Lab below, and register for HCH2019!


Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Homeless Services: A Journey in Anti-Racism

Racism is a principal driver of homelessness in the United States, and in fact, organizations who serve people without homes can be complicit in perpetuating it. Moreover, it is vital that we embrace the racial diversification of the workplace and overcome the challenges of adopting anti-racist policies within our own institutions. In this context, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council initiated a learning collaborative of HCH community health centers and other agencies to address the intersection of racism and homelessness. This project is still ongoing, but by the time of the National Conference in May, the Collaborative will have addressed topics such as: an overview of the intersection of racism and homelessness; HR and hiring practices; data analysis on racial equity; programming to target clients of underrepresented races; and training staff in anti-racist values.

This Learning Lab will report on the Learning Collaborative’s progress to-date and will equip attendees with tools to advance the dialogue within their own organizations and elicit meaningful change.


Focus on the 2019 Diabetes Adapted Clinical Guidelines

The three goals of the Health Center Program Diabetes Quality Improvement Initiative are:

  • Improve diabetes treatment and management;
  • Increase diabetes prevention efforts; and
  • Reduce health disparities.

This Learning Lab will be an interactive, skill-building session focused on how clinicians can implement the Council‘s newly released Adapting Your Practice: Treatment And Recommendations For Patients Who Are Homeless With Diabetes Mellitus to meet the three goals specified by the Health Center Program Diabetes QI Initiative. Please note: pre-work for this Learning Lab will be required.


Screening for and Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

Childhood trauma compromises neurological development and increases risks for immediate and long-term adverse health outcomes, including clinical depression, substance use disorders, suicidality, and numerous chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases, compared to people with no ACEs. Children living in poverty, including those experiencing homelessness, are more likely to carry high ACE scores, increasing their risk of developmental challenges and poor health and functioning. Organizations and clinicians serving people without homes have a unique opportunity to screen for and address ACEs by providing interventions that mitigate the potential negative impact of trauma. Through interventions like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, parenting classes, resilience education, and the identification of soft-cognitive disabilities, they can work to reduce the likelihood of obesity, depression, and other ACE-related health issues.

This Learning Lab session will explore the correlation between poverty, homelessness, ACEs, and health outcomes, and discuss evidence-based prevention and treatment interventions for childhood trauma.


Trauma-Informed Storytelling: Perspectives from Consumer Leaders

Everyone has a story. Sharing those stories has the power to build empathy, connect people, and change perspectives. Storytelling allows us to share our personal experiences to move discussions of homelessness and health care from a focus on individual failures towards discussions aimed at solutions to the larger root causes of poverty and illness. However, storytelling often involves processing and sharing trauma, which has the potential to re-traumatize the audience or the storyteller.

This consumer-led workshop will explain the basics of trauma and storytelling, share lessons of how to practice trauma-informed storytelling, and give attendees the chance to develop and practice telling their stories.