Doctors, nurses with Neighborhood Health help homeless population through street medicine program

street medicine neighborhood health
Posted at 7:26 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 20:26:44-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Health care can be hard to come by if you don't have a permanent address. However, Neighborhood Health in Nashville has extended its reach to the streets.

When the pandemic hit, Neighborhood Health saw patient numbers drop off. Since July 2020, nurses and at least one doctor have sought out people experiencing homelessness to make sure their medical, dental and mental needs are met.

"We can take your blood pressure. We can get labs," said Dr. Peter Cathcart. "We can dispense medications, much the same way you would from a normal doctor's office. We even, thanks to NextGen Mobile, have the ability to look at your chart in real-time on my cell phone... much like I would in clinic with my computer."

Every Wednesday, Dr. Cathcart and a small medical team visits Catholic Charities on Main Street in East Nashville. People line up to have their wounds cleaned and chronic injuries checked, for example.

"I can think of a number of people who have made huge strides with their diabetes or huge strides with hypertension just because they had a chance encounter with us on the street," said Dr. Cathcart.

The street medicine program is an expensive endeavor. You can donate to the organization to help fund everything from the field staff's salaries to the supplies. Click here to help fully fund the program for 2022.