UH medical students help treat homeless
Homeless people staying at the state-run Kakaako shelter received free health-care services last night as part of a student-run project from the nearby University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine.
Hawaii Homeless Outreach and Medical Education Project will host weekly clinics every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. About 20 people were treated for colds and long-term medical conditions on the inaugural night of the clinic yesterday.
Medical services, including blood pressure and blood sugar checks, treatment of minor injuries, immunizations, as well as ear and eye exams will be provided for more than 200 shelter residents. The clinic also helps with management of chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and asthma.
"We're not only helping those who are underrepresented in the community, but we are offering invaluable experiences to the students," said Dr. Jill Omori, project director.
First- and third-year students worked with attending physicians and medical residents.
"The shelter is in such an ideal place next to the School of Medicine," third-year medical student Jason Merchant said. "We can build a relationship with each client."
Merchant helped shelter resident Harry R.W. Soutter, who wanted treatment for a skin infection on both of his legs.
"My legs have only been getting worse," Soutter said. "I'm glad they were here to help me, especially since I don't have a doctor."
The project is funded by a three-year grant for $390,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In a few months, Omori said, she plans to start a mobile clinic for homeless in the Windward and Waianae areas.