Week 1- Reading and Foundations for the Clinic

Feb 17, 2019


I don’t think anyone really knows what my project even is yet, so I’m going to tell y’all about it. My project entails looking at different sources to gather data on how homeless, low-income families, and migrant workers get (or, unfortunately, do not get) access to healthcare. My end goal is to have written a paper that highlights the reasons for the growing healthcare gap by presenting the most prominent issues. In addition, I wanted to do something in my project that wouldn’t be just a summary, so in addition to putting my research towards a paper, I will work towards starting a mobile health clinic targeting Alameda County and Pescadero (areas picked because of the presence of all three above populations). Soon, I’m going to have doctors, volunteers, drivers, and other staff so my project will be official!

I spent the last half of this week out of town so most of the work I did on my project was remote. While I was just there and reading, I talked to people who seemed more curious than I was to know what I was doing, so I told them. So if anything came out of this first week, it is that the idea for this project went nationwide! But, that’s not important. Here’s some of what I read about.

KTVU on San Jose’s Homeless Population– Andrea Urton of HomeFirst Services in Santa Clara County attributes the death of large numbers of homeless populations to substance abuse, particularly alcoholism. She makes it clear that money isn’t enough – there are many barriers to getting homeless people off the streets, and we also need to find solvency to the habits they’ve developed. I know that for the clinic to be fully operational and start bringing in some seriously good results, it’ll take a lot of time, but I hope that this idea would be a first step in the right direction.

Becker’s Hospital Review on Prioritizing Healthcare Affordability – I can’t say I know too much about politics or even if this issue is the result of a political divide, but people from all backgrounds say that making healthcare affordable should be a top priority for the President and for Congress. But, it is a political issue that no effective change is happening. People believe that there needs to be more oversight when it comes to healthcare prices because prices are going up but paychecks are staying the same, making healthcare less affordable. 

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on Patient Safety in Primary Care – I think that the title speaks for itself. Patients who are actively involved in their treatment show measurable improvements in their recovery. But here’s the problem with that when I try to apply that to my own clinic. People from the three groups I am trying to target aren’t really fans of people with authority. So, having a doctor chase them around with a needle isn’t going to be the nicest thing. Reestablishing a broken trust is what this is about; so, this may be a setback for what I have in mind, but we’ll see what happens.

There were a few other things that I read that focused on healthcare affordability to low-income families in particular, one of the other groups in my target population. These focused on transparency in care and predicting what the future of healthcare would hold.

That was so many words. I hope y’all keep reading. Bye!

4 Replies to “Week 1- Reading and Foundations for the Clinic”

  1. Shikha H. says:

    Hey Sowmya!

    I think that it is great that you are tackling an issue like homelessness and essentially fighting for universal health care! Not everyone has access to healthcare, especially low-income families, migrant workers, and the homeless. So, it’s great that you are fighting for an issue that is so prominent in our area! It’s amazing that you are reading about homelessness, healthcare affordability, and more! Keep doing that! Can’t wait to keep reading!!!!!!

  2. Athena L. says:

    Hi Sowmya!

    I think that trying to get healthcare to the most needy is extremely important, and is an admirable goal to continue striving towards. It sounds like you’re already on a really great track, with your project possibly going nationwide! I personally believe that healthcare is one of the basic necessities, and it’s great that you’re trying to make that happen! Good luck, and I can’t wait to see where this goes.

  3. Helena Vervoort says:

    Hello Sowmya,

    Nice sources to start the first week with! These are not small issues you are trying to tackle. Keep reading and presenting you findings. Can’t wait to see what next week will bring.

    Dr. Vervoort

  4. Ivana B says:

    This is an amazing project. Please keep us updated on your progress on setting up the mobile clinic, and feel free to ask for help from BISV community – someone must know people or places that you can turn to in order to achieve this goal.

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