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Downtown Clinic Helps Homeless

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Family Health Center's Downtown Clinic

Once a month, a medical team, including doctors, nurses, a behavioral health specialist and even a financial health counselor, makes a house call for Concord’s homeless.

Concord Hospital Family Health Center’s Downtown Clinic helps the homeless, doctors-in-training and the community as a whole.

The Clinic, held at the Homeless Resource Center on North Main Street and St. Paul’s Church, began as a twice yearly community experience five years ago as part of the educational mission of NH Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency. Concord Hospital Family Health Center is the training site for medical residents from medical schools all over the world. They have helped the Clinic evolve into a valuable program that has opened a door to routine medical care for the homeless, who, because of a lack of access to the healthcare system, typically ignore ailments until they are so serious they must be treated in an emergency department. The Clinic does not only serve the homeless but also helps residents who are facing economic challenges.

"When you're sick the Hospital seems so far away. But having a clinic downtown and close, it's a blessing. I have to say, 'Wow, these people show up to take care of us. We appreciate it.'"

~ Alcides Natal, on Concord Hospital Family Health Center's Downtown Clinic

More than treating illnesses and providing preventive care and medication to help patients manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart failure and COPD, the Downtown Clinic also shows patients that medical providers from Concord Hospital care about their well-being – in their own surroundings. In addition to the physical distance from downtown to Family Health Center on the Hospital campus, the homeless who seek treatment at the Center often feel a psychological distance – that they don’t fit in. The Clinic works to alleviate that stigma by reaching out, downtown, where the patients are more comfortable.

The Clinic achieves several important goals including:

  • Establishing a trusting two-way relationship with patients who are homeless so they feel comfortable seeking routine preventive care at the Clinic and visiting the Family Health Center for other services;
  • Helping patients determine if they qualify for insurance, then helping navigate how to enroll or find other financial aid;
  • Training new doctors to provide the best care, one patient at a time and to appreciate how they can contribute to the health of the entire community;
  • Benefiting the community and using healthcare resources more appropriately by helping people stay healthy instead of merely treating them when they are seriously ill.

The Clinic is open to anyone, but its primary goal is to serve Concord’s homeless community.

Giving Tuesday Supports Downtown Clinic

#GivingTuesday Benefits Downtown Clinic

In just one day, community members raised over $17,000 for Concord Hospital Family Health Center's Downtown Clinic. Thanks to their generosity a matching gift threshold was also met, bringing the total funds raised to $32,000.

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