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Rain. Wind. Cold weather in the morning and freezing temperatures at night. These are the elements the homeless have to face every day. It is no easy feat to be out on the streets, but Elica strives to serve the underserved. On February 13th, Elica teamed up with the Sacramento Sheriff Department to have an outreach event for the homeless in South Sacramento, located on Stockton Boulevard, near Fruitridge Road.
Our Health on Wheels (HOW1) was parked near the campground, providing free flu shots and other medical services, giving the homeless a moment of warmth and care. The sheriffs handed out food for the homeless and SSHH (Sacramento Self-Help Housing) was there to assist those who are homeless to find and retain housing.
Mobile Medicine’s very own Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Terry Z., walked to the nearby Rite-Aid, bought cups, and handed out coffee to the sheriffs and patients waiting to be served. Ann, our UC Davis FNP student, was by Terry’s side, assisting with checking vitals of patients and learning from Terry about diagnosing conditions.
One of the patients was scared to get a flu shot due to her fear of needles, but with some assistance and a little advocating, she overcame her fears. Terry told her it would help her tremendously with not getting sick. Terry is an especially valuable team member at Elica not only because of his expertise, but because of his heart, humor, and ability to make patients feel comfortable.
Another patient had gotten her flu shot and spoke about how her dog, Shorty, keeps her going. When it comes to the homeless, their animals give them hope, a sense of responsibility and purpose when the days are tough. Did you know Elica provides free veterinary services for the homeless? Every Friday, we offer vaccinations and treat the animals of the homeless. One other patient mentioned that he had several puppies that need vaccines and our Medical Assistant, Melody, told him to bring them back when they are six weeks old so they could receive their vaccinations.
Thank you to our Mobile Medicine team for providing services and care regardless of the weather, rain or shine, Elica continues to serve with the guiding principle, “Healing with Heart.”
We strive to provide high quality, affordable health care for underserved populations, who are confronted with barriers to accessing care.