The road to Ozanam: A place to teach, learn and heal

Casey Rebholz, Taimur H. Khan, Marcia H. Glass

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Homeless persons experience a greater burden of illness and barriers to accessing care. Furthermore, Hurricane Katrina had devastating and persisting effects on the healthcare system and health status of the New Orleans population. As a result, Ozanam Inn Weekend Clinic was founded in January 2010 by medical students to serve the homeless in post-Katrina New Orleans and has since expanded to involve public-health and social-work volunteers. The objective of this chapter is to describe the community-based approach of this student-run clinic in addressing the health needs of the homeless in New Orleans. We retrospectively reviewed medical records for all 241 patients seen between January 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011. Medical teams conducted physical examinations, measured vital signs, provided blood pressure and glucose checks, wrote prescriptions, tested for tuberculosis, administered vaccines, and counseled on health promotion and disease prevention. Social-work and public-health teams provided case-based and group-based assistance, including health education, psycho-social counseling and referrals to medical care, community programs, and case-management services. The most common reasons for seeking care were musculoskeletal pain, cold symptoms, blood pressure and glucose checks, skin and foot problems, medication refills, and oral-health issues. The most common referrals were for primary care, dental care, psychiatric treatment, substance-abuse treatment, and orthopedics. The synchronized medical, social work, and public-health resources and community-academic partnership demonstrated that this clinic model could be emulated by other organizations to meet the varied needs of underserved populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBuilding Community Capacity
Subtitle of host publicationCase Examples from Around the World
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781624171765
ISBN (Print)9781624171758
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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