The Floating Hospital’s “More than Healthcare” studies get their debut at a national conference
In May, The Floating Hospital was selected to present at the National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s (NHCHC) annual conference held in Baltimore. Answering to the themes of research in the homeless healthcare field that “move toward justice and leading with lived expertise,” two of our researcher/providers submitted abstracts describing our “more than healthcare” model in two areas: health education and life-skills building.
Director of health education Meghan Miller, Ed.D., and organizational development consultant Sarajane Brittis, Ph.D., presented at the conference, which drew more than 1,000 attendees from all 50 states, three territories, Australia and Canada. Drs. Miller and Brittis detailed their respective work with Camp Rise Up and TFH’s 2020-21 Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) survey, the latter of which led to the creation of life-skills programming for patients.
Backed by experience and research, Drs. Miller and Brittis presented on the design and creation of their respective patient-driven programs and measurement tools for assessing relevance, testing and outcomes on issues that are specific to the clinic’s patient population—from risky behavior and knowledge gaps in health education to the environmental, social and economic factors that contribute to homeless patients’ overall wellbeing and ability to thrive.
“What struck me was that the conference was very patient driven. Attendees were interested in the fact that TFH is working alongside patients to find solutions to long-term problems,” Dr. Brittis said. She added that many from the audience asked how they could design and implement similar curricula and how they could get the “buy in” from both patients and leadership to conduct the work. Dr. Miller said several program directors expressed interest in having her visit their programs for training and sharing of curricula and best practices.