UH medical school debuts new mobile health clinic for homeless

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Gregg Takayama, (808) 382-3212
John A. Burns School of Medicine
Posted: May 16, 2007

HONOLULU - The University of Hawaii‘s Medical School today dedicated a mobile clinic to provide free health care for homeless in Honolulu.

The clinic is an all-volunteer operation of students and staff at the John A. Burns School of Medicine as part of the Homeless Outreach and Medical Education (HOME) Project. It operates without government funding — money for supplies is raised through student-run bake sales, a snack vending machine at JABSOM, and donations; and the staff are volunteer students, medical residents, faculty physicians, and others from the community.

The new mobile clinic utilizes a used HandiVan that was donated to the HOME Project through the efforts of Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who participated in today‘s dedication ceremony outside of Honolulu Hale with medical students, staff and community volunteers. Robo-Art, Unlimited, donated the painting of the van, and the Ifuku Family Foundation donated $5,000 to the project.

The new mobile clinic will provide health care to the homeless every Thursday afternoon at the newly opened Waianae Transitional Shelter. It contains an examination table, equipment and medical supplies that enable volunteers to provide basic medical diagnosis and treatment.

The volunteers will also continue to operate a free clinic begun last year every Tuesday night at the Kaka‘ako Transitional Shelter, where there are more than 200 adults and 100 children.

"Our projects to help the homeless enable us to put our training to practice, and it‘s a way for us to thank the community for giving us the opportunity to attend medical school at the University of Hawaii," said Carrie Marshall, a second-year medical student and organizer of the HOME Project. "Every person deserves health services and is entitled to treatment that recognizes their dignity and worth as a human being," she said.