Get the latest news from the Respite Care Providers' Network!
Get the latest news from the Respite Care Providers' Network!

Respite News

A Quarterly Newsletter for Members of the Respite Care Providers' Network
June 14, 2022

NIMRC Resource Highlights

NIMRC has several exciting new resources to share: 

Medication Guide for Medical Respite Programs

Medication management is a complex skill, but an essential part  of health and recovery for those in medical respite care. Programs may offer a variety of supports for medication management. However, understanding regulations and safety for storing and supporting medication management can be complicated for programs. A new resource, Medication Support and Medical Respite Care: A Guide for Programs provides an overview of key terms around medication, types of support programs can provide, guidance on regulations and licensing, and how medication support is integrated throughout the medical respite care process. New and existing programs are encouraged to use this resource to guide program development and improvement. The guide is available on the NIMRC website under the Medical Respite Care Toolkit subheading “Resources for Medical Respite Care Providers,” or simply click here.
Medical Respite Online Course - Coming Soon!
Over the month of June, NIMRC will be launching its inaugural Medical Respite Online Course. This resource is available to medical respite programs, providers, and staff as a way to learn more about essential topics related to medical respite care. Each course is 60 minutes, and includes assessment of learning and a certificate of completion for finishing the course.

Course topics include:
  • Discharge Planning and Processes in Medical Respite Care
  • Demonstrating Quality in Medical Respite Care: The Importance of Data
  • Harm Reduction
  • Trauma Informed Care
  • The Role of Community Health Workers, Case Managers, and Peers
  • Addressing Behavior Health and the Role of the Behavioral Health Consultant
  • Relationships with Managed Care Organizations
  • Relationships with Hospitals
At the end of each course, the user will have an opportunity to share feedback that will be incorporated into additional resources and activities. We encourage all medical respite program staff to use the courses for learning and staff training.

The link to access the online courses will be available from the NIMRC website once they are launched.

Letter to Members

Hello, RCPN Members!
It was wonderful to see many of you at our 2022 National Health Care for the Homeless Conference & Policy Symposium which was held in person in Seattle, WA just a few weeks ago. After only seeing our community via Zoom for the better part of three years, it was joyful and energizing to share space with our colleagues from all over the country.
Our pre-conference institute, Medical Respite Care: A Bridge to Community and Belonging, was the largest medical respite event in the Council’s history. Well over 200 attendees came together for this all-day training. The focus of this year’s pre-conference institute was on the importance of community and community partnerships. Speakers and panelists shared their experience and expertise on partnerships with hospitals, continuums of care, managed care organizations, and hospice providers. In small groups, attendees had the opportunity to meet with other respite providers to discuss issues around outcomes and data collection, policies and procedures, integrating harm reduction practices, sustainable funding, and steps for creating a medical respite program. We ended the day by taking time to share stories of resilience and hope shown by clients and staff during this very difficult pandemic. 

In our time together, we were also reminded that there is still a lot of work to do. Programs are struggling to find appropriate resources for their clients who need higher levels of care than what medical respite offers. Communities are plagued with housing wait times up to 2 years long. Our field continues to face overwhelming staffing shortages and high turnover rates. We are committed to doing all we can to address these challenges through advocacy, research, training, resource development, and community partnership to ensure that the field is supported and guided by best and promising practices. 
Save the date for our 2023 National Health Care for the Homeless Conference & Policy Symposium which will be held in Baltimore, MD, May 15-18, 2023.

In partnership,

Medical Respite Team
Stephen Wilder, Caitlin Synovec, Julia Dobbins, Christa Signor

Activities & Opportunities

Save the Date

RCPN All Member Meeting
Tuesday, July 5th - 2:00 p.m. ET
Join us for our next quarterly RCPN All Member Meeting. All Member Meetings provide an opportunity to join together with other medical respite program providers and administrators to discuss key issues affecting medical respite care. We will provide updates on NIMRC, resource, and policy issues. This will be followed by a large group discussion on issues affecting the field, including medical respite models of care, a proposed certification process, and medical respite's role in providing care to individuals who need ADL support. Register here.

Trauma-Informed Environment in Medical Respite Webinar

Wednesday July 27th at 2:00 p.m. ET

Medical respite care provides a safe place for healing and recovery from acute health care events for people experiencing homelessness. Within these programs, providing trauma-informed care is essential. A critical element of trauma-informed care is providing a safe and healing environment, one that is accessible, comforting, and promotes recovery. This webinar will provide an overview of on creating a healing environment within your own medical respite program, applicable to all programs with a variety of resources and clients served. Additionally, there will be an open discussion to answer questions and share what strategies programs have already been implementing. Register for the webinar here.
Coming later this Summer (dates TBD):

Health Centers and Medical Respite Care Programs: Promoting Mission & Improving Care

Health centers are the backbone of the health care safety net and provide comprehensive, high-quality services to underserved populations, to include those experiencing homelessness. At the same time, medical respite care programs offer this population clinical and support services combined with a short-term residential component to improve health outcomes and reduce system costs. There are significant advantages to health centers that incorporate medical respite care into their operations. This webinar will feature administrative and clinical perspectives from three health centers that have a medical respite care program, and discuss why other health centers should adopt such programs moving forward.

Respite Kudos & Accomplishments

Congratulations to Dawn Petroskas, who is this year’s Willie J. Mackey National Medical Respite Award recipient.
Dawn is the Operations Manager for Hennepin County Public Health Clinical Services where she previously managed the HCH program from 2014-2021. She has been involved in the delivery of homeless health care for 18 years, starting as the first medical respite nurse at Hennepin County HCH.
Dawn helped start a transitional housing based medical respite program at Catholic Charities Exodus residence, which has grown into The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Recuperative Care Center, a new 30-bed respite program that will open in June 2022. Additionally, Dawn previously served on the RCPN Steering Committee and helped develop the standards for medical respite care. 

If you would like to highlight a medical respite program or provider in the next RCPN newsletter, please send your “kudos” to Caitlin at 

Respite in the News

The awareness of medical respite care and medical respite programs across communities has grown! Many of our respite programs have been featured in the news, in addition to articles that identify medical respite care as a key intervention for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Two Washington, D.C.-based medical respite programs and NIMRC Director Julia Dobbins were featured by NPR for the need for and growth of medical respite care
  • Bob Tavani House in Duluth, MN was featured for their work in providing the only medical respite care in their community, and also featured in the NPR Marketplace Morning Report along with a quote from NIMRC's Director, Julia Dobbins
  • Minnesota Public Radio also profiled the Bob Tavani House in Duluth MN, and included an interview with NHCHC Medical Respite Director Julia Dobbins
  • Perfect Duluth Day provided an overview of the services and live-in volunteers of the Bob Tavani House
  • Healing House, in Madison, WI was also featured by their local NPR station (WPR)
  • National Health Foundation opens new facility in Glendale, CA
  • New Horizon Family Services in Greenville, SC opened a new medical respite program for women
  • Medical respite program provides support for a transplant survivor in Oregon
  • Poverello Center in Missoula, MT received a technology donation to support access to telehealth visits
  • New-Style Homeless Sheltering Aims to Save Lives and Dollars (Detroit Free Press, February 21), featuring NHCHC Medical Respite Director Julia Dobbins (subscription required) 
  • Housing Forward reflects on their work over the past two years, including opening and operating the Sojourner House medical respite program
  • JWHC Institute and LA County opened a new 40 bed recuperative care program specifically for women
  • Center for Respite Care CEO, Laurel Nelson, contributed this statement on the work of their organization and medical respite during the pandemic
  • Oasis, a medical respite facility in Los Angeles, CA was featured for their work in the recuperative care specifically for women
If you have a news story recognizing a medical respite/recuperative care program, please share it with us by emailing Caitlin at

Respite Care Providers' Network Information

  • If you are not already a member, please join the Respite Care Providers Network (RCPN). The mission of RCPN is to improve the health status of individuals who are homeless by supporting programs that provide medical respite and related services. Follow this link for more information and to join the RCPN.
  • Is your medical respite program profile in the NIMRC directory up to date? Complete this program profile form to update your information and view the directory here.
  • Does your program need technical assistance? Please contact Julia, Caitlin, Stephen, or Christa to request a TA meeting to help address your program’s needs!
  • Additional resources for medical respite/recuperative care can be found at
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