The Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust supported the efforts of a street medicine program under the initiative of Brett Feldman, P.A. of Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN). “DeSales University started a free clinic at the Allentown Rescue Mission for its Physician Assistant (P.A.) program to give the students hands-on experience,” explained Feldman. “While we saw many homeless men, we knew that there were that many more men, and also women and children, living at camps around the region who would not come to the free clinic. So, we decided to take the medical care to them one day a week.”
In 2012, Feldman, his wife Corinne, also a P.A., and other medical volunteers began taking free medications into public spaces including bus shelters and laundry mats. Commonly addressed issues included wound care, frostbite in winter months, COPD, diabetes, and hypertension. Through the next five years, the program became the primary source of care for the homeless population and served thousands of citizens.
As the program grew, The Pool Trust provided a grant directed to facilitate the efforts of more than 100 individuals involved in the program, promote awareness of and interest in street medicine, and explore and develop avenues to provide mental and behavioral health services through the program. Additional partnerships during the years of development include Hope for Veterans and the Allentown Rescue Mission. In 2017, LVHN hosted the 13th Annual International Street Medicine Symposium with participation of more than 550 professionals from around the world.