Who we are is ingrained in what we do.
Founded in 2016, the Mobile Clinic at USC works alongside the USC Keck School of Medicine and the John Wesley Community Health (JWCH) Institute to provide high quality primary care to residents at various “Pathways to Home” Homeless Shelters throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Each month, we host a free clinic led by Dr. Paul Gregerson, Chief Medical Officer of the JWCH Institute as well as Dr. Brian Webb, Dr. Elahe Nezami, and Dr. Laura Mosqueda of the USC Keck School of Medicine. The clinic is staffed by medical, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physician assistant, and undergraduate students. In addition to utilizing primary care services offered through monthly clinics, patients are referred to specialists should their conditions necessitate further medical attention.
The Mobile Clinic undergraduate team is responsible for ensuring that the patients feel comfortable and understand the process of the appointment as they navigate through and interact with various professionals at the clinic. This is essential in fostering a healthy physician/patient relationship, given that many of the residents do not have a primary care physician. We also help patients attend any additional follow up appointments, allowing for a consistent high standard of care. The Advocate Care program, pioneered by the undergraduate team in 2017, provides patients a means to access the JWCH clinic in downtown Los Angeles. Transportation and cost are two major factors that deter patients from receiving care, and by providing companionship and free transportation, we have been able to boost attendance at follow up appointments from about 15% to 95% since implementing the program.
We also host weekly shelter days/game nights at the homeless shelters in order to build camaraderie, foster trust with the residents who attend clinics, as well as remain in contact with those who have utilized the Advocate Care program to make sure that they have received and will continue to receive the care they need.
Aside from shelter days and clinic days, we host several fundraisers. The money raised is used to make hygiene kits to distribute to patients during shelter/clinic days and to provide transportation to follow-up appointments. Members also participate in several fellowship events throughout the semester to foster lasting friendships within the organization.
Though a majority of us are hoping to enter the field of medicine, a pre-medical emphasis is not required for membership. However, a defining characteristic of all Mobile Clinic members is a drive and passion for serving the underserved.