Street Medicine Program
Mercy Care's Street Medicine Program is at the heart of our mission - to meet the need where it lives. Through the program, a team of doctors, psychiatrists, registered nurses, peer specialists and student volunteers make rounds in a van to city corners to provide primary healthcare and behavioral care for individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Often, these resilient, hard-to-reach individuals are resistant to seek care. The Street Medicine team seeks to build trust and relationships to provide immediate care and eventually engage these patients in ongoing services and connect them to a permanent medical home.
Street Medicine works to provide stability of care, improve physical and behavioral conditions, connect patients to medical homes, educate patients on behaviors to reduce harmful habits, and pilot new technologies in telemedicine. Mercy Care is seeking funding to enable the team to serve patients more nights of the week and continue growing the program.
Cost for an extra night of Street Medicine for one year: $133,183
Mercy Care Downtown Clinic - Primary Care and Dental
Since 1985, Mercy Care has been serving Atlanta's homeless and uninsured through a network of clinics and outreach programs by providing excellent, comprehensive healthcare to the most vulnerable in the community, regardless of income or insurance status. As healthcare access and coverage inequities persist in Georgia, a growing number of individuals and families rely on Mercy Care to meet their healthcare needs.
According to a 2015 needs assessment, Mercy Care clients rank primary care as the top unmet need of Atlanta's homeless and uninsured. The oral health needs of the homeless are also significant, due to not having a regular place to brush their teeth or even being able to purchase and carry a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and other oral health supplies. With over 88% of patients uninsured, only 9% of Mercy Care's revenue comes from patients. The rest is made up through fundraising. Mercy Care seeks to cover this fundraising gap and continue growing its primary care and dental services to meet the ongoing demand.
Integrated Behavioral Health Program
Mercy Care’s Integrated Behavioral Health Care Program provides a much-needed link between accessible primary care and behavioral health services for the homeless and underserved. Mercy Care’s integrated model addresses each individual’s physical and behavioral health concerns simultaneously, while also giving them the tools and resources needed to develop stability and self-sufficiency.
Through the Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) Program, each primary care patient is quickly assessed for any behavioral health concerns by following the guidelines of an evidence-based practice known as the Impact model. The staff utilizes a behavioral health screening tool as part of a medical appointment with a Mercy Care Family Nurse Practitioner or Physician. Following the screening, a treatment plan is established that can include medication, individual counseling, group counseling, and/or referral for supportive services. A staff psychiatrist is available to assist with diagnosis, treatment plan development and psychopharmacology questions. Day groups are available to focus on skill building to assist individuals in reintegrating themselves into the community. Case managers are also available to address patients’ supportive needs such as housing, job referrals and benefits assistance.