Treating the Homeless at the Miami Rescue Mission and Participating in Medical Missions Internationally

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 8:30 AM

Annette Gibson, DNP, RN, CNE
School of Nursing, Miami Dade College School of Nursing, Miami, FL
Marie O. Etienne, DNP, ARNP, PLNC
School of Nursing, Miami-Dade College, Miami, FL

Nursing faculty and students volunteered in the nursing program at Leogane, Haiti, especially post-earthquake (Messmer, Etienne et al, 2011)  and medical missions to Dominican Republic in the Batey (sugar cane plantations of migrant workers), caring for ill patients, ranging from simple to complex including triaging and transporting victims to clinics. South Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured and underinsured in the US. Nursing faculty began volunteering at the Miami Rescue Mission (MRM) and  Broward Outreach clinic in 1999, part of  Miami-Dade County Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program in an effort to provide health screening and education to the homeless. Faculty received a mini-grant from the New England Center for Higher Education to establish a student-run health education and screening Program for the homeless, and at the same time, promote innovative teaching and learning through community outreach and civic engagement, “The Mission Project”. The Mission Project directly impacts a critical need: Assistance to the homeless, uninsured and underinsured. This initiative also enhances MRM staff’s ability to improve health services to their clients. With only a few thousand dollars for project implementation, the Mission Project was funded to sustain the original project and remodel an existing building for the onsite health clinic with funding from the Boston Scientific Foundation and Michael Capponi Group, opening May, 2009 with hundreds of patients being. A 2nd MRM clinic was opened in Pompano January, 2011 to care for chronically homeless and widespread numbers of the newly homeless, many women and children. Two other health clinics opened; Hollywood and MDC Medical Center Campus. Compassionate care, diagnosis/treatment is provided to youth, elderly, migrant workers, homeless, uninsured and underinsured with acute and chronic illnesses are. For most, the care provided may be the only health care treatment they receive; thus, enhancing nursing student's cultural competence