Once a month, students from the School of Health Professions Department of Physical Therapy (PT) offer a bit of hope to the homeless of San Antonio.
The students run a free clinic for the 1,600 people receiving services at Haven for Hope, located near downtown.
Haven for Hope is a nationally recognized transformational center providing safe sleeping quarters and a variety of services to men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in Bexar County.
“These individuals do not have the means to go to a clinic, so for us to provide these services for them is not only a great way for us [students] to learn, but also help those most in need,” said Adrian Frausto, a second-year doctor of physical therapy student and Student Clinic Coordinator.
An estimated 600-800 of the adults at Haven for Hope will sleep outdoors on a mat. The population is composed of the chronic homeless with minimal health care. Many suffer from mental disorders and/or addictions in addition to the discomfort and pain caused by inadequate living conditions.
The clinic becomes a place for the future health care providers to not only have hands-on learning experience, but to practice connecting and building trust with their patients.
“They are good to me,” said a Haven for Hope member after visiting with the students. “I hope to make it back next month.”
Services are provided at no cost to Haven for Hope with medical supplies delivered by the physical therapy department. The clinic is largely made possible by PT alumni and faculty, like Michael A. Geelhoed, D.P.T., associate professor and director of Clinical Education, who volunteer so students have this distinctive opportunity to learn and become involved in community service.
For more information on the student-run clinic contact Dr. Geelhoed at email@example.com.