Wellness Outside Walls

There is a strong tradition at Elica Health Centers of delivering care outside its clinic walls to those individuals who face some of the greatest barriers to accessing health care, including poverty, homelessness, mental health conditions, physical disabilities, language comprehension and cultural differences.

In an effort to address some of these barriers to access, Elica established the Wellness Outside Walls (WOW) initiative, a collection of activities that includes its Street Medicine and Health on Wheels (HOW) programs. With specially trained clinical staff and resources, such as a state-of-the-art mobile health clinic, these programs bring services to some of the region’s hardest to reach populations.

The goal is to engage with individuals who are unable to receive health services through traditional means, treating their immediate medical and mental health care needs. When possible, Elica also assists clients with connecting to social services. By building trust and rapport, our caregivers make every effort to put clients on a healthier path, encouraging them to continue seeking care at one of Elica’s area clinics. These actions save and restore people’s lives as well as help reduce the stress on local hospital emergency rooms and public safety services, including police and fire.

The following videos and posts provide information about the programs that are part of Elica’s Wellness Outside Walls initiative and offer some insight into those being served and the dedicated health care professionals who staff them.



Eight to 10 nights each month, Pilgrimage Sacramento facilitates an overnighter for the homeless at a rotating series of local churches. Early in 2015, Pilgrimage began inviting Elica to bring its Health on Wheels mobile unit to some of these overnighters. To the hundreds who participate in Pilgrimage events each month, Elica is a now a standard part of the services landscape – as Pilgrimage director Dave Coburn explains.

A Sacramento native, Dr. Matthew Gibson joined with CEO Elizabeth Cassin to create Elica’s unique Street Medicine program in 2014. Now, after more than two years of hiking into homeless camps, approaching addicts under freeways, and rendezvousing with groups living off the grid all around the city, he’s more convinced than ever that this is where he wants to be.


Four afternoons a week, the Health on Wheels mobile unit brings Elica staff and resources to the parking lots of schools in the San Juan Unified School District. Often that puts Elica person​nel in a unique position to address key demographic trends, such as the newly-arrived Afghan immigrants.


The impact of Elica’s partnership with Pilgrimage Sacramento has been immediate and exponential. Because many of the same homeless persons frequent the rotating Pilgrimage events during any given month, Elica can expect to see many of them over and over – and that facilitates a long-term healthcare strategy that is otherwise difficult to achieve with this population.

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