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In this issue: NHCHC strategic planning news, new publications, and more.
In this issue: NHCHC strategic planning news, new publications, and more.
Council News
May 2018
#HCH2018 Is Nearly Here!
Enhance Your Conference Experience with Our App, Special Events, & More
In just five days, we’ll convene in Minneapolis from May 15-18 to explore what it means to be “Working Together for Community” at our 2018 National Health Care for the Homeless Conference & Policy Symposium. We encourage you to make the most of your #HCH2018 experience by downloading our free app to create your own Conference agenda, interact with other attendees, and see real-time updates. You can also go beyond sessions to engage in opportunities to network, learn, and advocate such as our Welcome Reception, site visits, privately-funded Rally for Health, Housing, & Humanity, and more. If you haven’t yet signed up, there’s still a few days left to register to experience #HCH2018! Registration will also be available onsite. We’ll see you in Minneapolis!
Letter from Our CEO Bobby Watts: Strategic Planning, the Council, and You
I’m extremely pleased to let you know that the National HCH Council has launched its strategic planning efforts to help guide our efforts over the next few years. We have established a Strategic Planning Committee that purposely unites people of various disciplines and diverse levels of experience with the Council. What every member has in common is that they are a strategic thinker and have a deep knowledge of the health services and needs of people experiencing homelessness. The first task of the committee was to engage a consultant to help guide our strategic planning process. Read the full letter.
Fact Sheet Examines Health Insurance Coverage Patterns at HCH Programs
Health insurance coverage is critical to accessing affordable, comprehensive care, but the Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) community sees a broad range of coverage differences across states. Developed with private funds, our new fact sheet outlines state-by-state health insurance coverage at HCH programs and outlines relevant advocacy actions to expand coverage and reduce barriers to care. One major takeaway: in 2016, HCH programs in the 19 states that had not expanded Medicaid had an uninsured rate nearly three times higher than in states that did expand Medicaid. We continue to advocate for expansions to health coverage! Read the publication.
Healing Hands Spotlights Housing Solutions for People Experiencing Homelessness
Housing is health care, and access to housing plays a critical role in improving health outcomes and quality of life for people without homes. Key approaches and models that can be utilized in housing programs to address this need are the focus of the National HCH Council’s latest Healing Hands. The new issue examines challenges involved in housing families and problems that newly housed individuals may face, as well as lessons learned from care providers about how to create supportive structures and communities for people transitioning into housing. Designed by and for homeless health care professionals, Healing Hands helps learners understand and apply practical information from the field. CME credits are available for reading the issue and successfully completing the post-test.
New Fact Sheet Explores Suicide and Homelessness
The Council’s latest publication examines data on suicide and mental health in homeless populations. Given the conditions that we know increase the likelihood of suicide in the general population, compounding factors faced when experiencing homelessness place those without homes at much higher risk. As part of a series related to emerging issues in the HCH field, the HCH Clinicians’ Network identified and prioritized the need for a renewed framework and public awareness of suicidality and disparities among homeless populations. This fact sheet details common risk factors for suicidal behaviors, mental health and clinical utilization trends of HCH grantees reported in the 2016 Uniform Data System dataset, and circumstantial data reported in the National Violent Death Reporting System.
Upcoming Webinar: A Trauma-Informed Learning Collaborative: Moving from Theory to Practice
Learn about the National HCH Council’s three-year Learning Collaborative to assist programs in adopting a trauma-informed approach in a free webinar at 1-2 p.m. CT on June 13. This webinar will share updates on the first year of the collaborative, which engaged ten organizations serving people experiencing homelessness to develop an assessment tool to evaluate trauma-informed policies, practices, and procedures. Presenters will describe the Learning Collaborative’s structure, processes, and outcomes, and two members of the collaborative will share their insights about elements of a trauma-informed organization and important areas to assess. Register now.
Learn About Street Medicine, Benchmarking in HCH, and Minority Stress in Archived Webinars
Archived videos and materials are now available for recent Council webinars addressing crucial topics in Health Care for the Homeless. "Administrative Concerns in Street Medicine: Assuring Quality without Sacrificing Mission" details how to develop a street medicine quality assurance program. “HCH Benchmarking: 2016 Uniform Data System Summary and UDS Mapper Review” provides an analysis of UDS data that can be used for clinical performance and baseline measures to improve programs and set reasonable expectations for the HCH community. Finally, “Minority Stress and Trauma-Informed Approaches” offers an introduction to its titular concepts and ways to avoid the re-creation of harmful structures that exacerbate traumatic stress for marginalized groups.
New Mobilizer and Council Resources Bring Homeless Encampments in Focus
Our latest Mobilizer action alert features a look at homeless encampments, including an interview with and perspective from advocate and consumer leader Art Rios, Sr. Read our alert and deepen your understanding of this growing issue with our new statement, Homeless Encampments: Roles for the HCH Community, and visit our Homeless Encampment resources for more information. Do you know of any local statements or guidelines that we should feature in our resources? If so, please contact National Health Policy Organizer Regina Reed.
Respite in the News: HuffPost Highlights Medical Respite Care
Finding safe places to discharge people experiencing homelessness after a hospital stay is a challenge for communities across the country, and Los Angeles County has the highest number of unsheltered people without homes in the U.S. A HuffPost article on local medical respite programs recently highlighted the undeniable benefits of medical respite/recuperative care for patient recovery and health system savings. The piece details how shelters and streets are unsuited to medical recovery, as well as how the hospital-to street-pipeline perpetuates homelessness. While more data and sustainable funding are needed, it is clear that medical respite programs deliver powerful results. Read the article and view other recent coverage of medical respite care at KIMAtv and the California Health Report.
Council Recognizes National Trauma Awareness Month
This May, join the Council in recognizing National Trauma Awareness Month. Trauma is both a cause and consequence of homelessness. People without homes are more likely to suffer from trauma due to susceptibility to violence, chronic illness, and unsafe living conditions. Find out how you can promote awareness and prevention at the American Trauma Society and learn more about how trauma affects people experiencing homelessness with our resources.
Organizational Member Spotlight: Colorado Coalition for the Homeless in Denver, CO
The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) has served Denver for over 30 years and is the main provider of health care, housing, and support services to Coloradans experiencing homelessness. CCH operates a variety of supportive affordable housing developments, including the new Renaissance Downtown Denver Loft set to open this summer. Nearly 13,500 of the city’s most vulnerable citizens received integrated primary and behavioral health care services from CCH last year via street outreach or in-clinic care. The Council congratulates CCH on three decades of service to Denver’s homeless population and looks forward to honoring John Parvensky, CCH President and CEO, with the 2018 Philip W. Brickner National Leadership Award at #HCH2018. Read more about CCH in May’s Organizational Member Spotlight.
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