Street nurses like Amanda Buccina visit the homeless under overpasses and in tent encampments in Sacramento. Photo Credit: Nik Childers
WellSpace Health provides quality services direct to patients through outpatient care and more
November 2018 - WellSpace Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with 15 full time Community Health Centers located throughout the Sacramento region up to and including Placer and Amador Counties. The organization prides itself on its integrated model of care which is comprised of: primary care for all ages, dental care for children and adolescents, housing, and behavioral health that includes in addition to counseling and therapy services, numerous drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and a residential treatment facility to provide whole person care. WellSpace Health has many things to be proud of, Joint Commission Accreditation for Primary Care and Behavioral Health as well as being the only FQHC in California with Behavioral Health Home certification are certainly among the top.
An example of whole person care is exemplified through the WellSpace Health Street Nurse Program which is a collaboration with Sutter Health, has had a major impact on the people they have been able to reach. Here is one example of the amazing work they have done:
A WellSpace street nurse engaged with a middle aged man who had been chronically homeless for more than ten years and had lower leg ulcers that were blistering and needed care. The street nurse accompanied the client to the emergency room where he was admitted. Upon his discharge, the hospital case manager contacted the street nurse and referred the client for continued dressing changes. The street nurse performed daily dressing changes in the alley where the client was living. She transported the client to the Department of Human Assistance and Social Security where he obtained a social security card, proof of income and referral to Sacramento Steps Forward for housing. After following the client for several months his leg ulcers healed and he was connected to the WellSpace Health T3 program where he is currently housed receiving wrap around case management services and consistently receives medical care and support.
The WellSpace Health Street Nurse Program has been vital in assisting men and women experiencing homelessness in the Sacramento area with direct nursing care and intensive case management services. Nurses assist clients in navigating complicated and often daunting healthcare systems. They provide advocacy and give voice to clients who often find it difficult to get what they need from a fifteen minute appointment with their primary care provider, or who find it too challenging or over stimulating to sit in a crowded waiting room. The street nurses help clients traverse through challenges that would otherwise prevent them from getting the care they need. They have spent countless hours caring for wounds, helping clients manage diabetes, COPD and congestive heart failure, picking up medications, getting to medical appointments, securing required identification so they can receive services and so much more. By helping this population receive the care they need the street nurses provide a seed of hope that can grow into the next steps of housing, work and participation in the greater community.
Street nurses average 300 client contacts each quarter for wound care, dressing changes, medication education, disease management and triage. They work with hospitals, law enforcement and other agencies to help the most vulnerable and hard to reach individuals living on the street. The street nurses were the recipients of the prestigious Women’s Empowerment Award in May 2018. This award is given to those in the community to recognize the outstanding achievements and inspiration they provide to empower women and men overcome physical and emotional challenges while experiencing homelessness. WellSpace Health street nurses were honored to receive such recognition.
Last week the WellSpace Health Street Nurse Program in collaboration with Sutter Health, was honored to receive a Sacramento Regional Innovation Award from the Sacramento Business. It's our privilege to serve people in need, where they are. To learn more about WellSpace Health visit: https://www.wellspacehealth.org/