Mission Statement for CMSRU Street Medicine

Mission Statement for CMSRU Street Medicine
The mission statement for CMSRU Street Medicine is multifaceted, designed to meet specific needs of
both CMSRU students and the community we serve - the homeless population of Camden. Street
Medicine is, primarily, a credit earning service learning opportunity open to all medical students at
CMSRU who complete intensive training in street medicine safety, harm reduction and communication
Outreach to Homeless Communities in Camden, NJ: Almost all of the people CMSRU Street
Medicine serves in Camden are without brick and mortar shelter in all seasons of the year. The primary
services that we provide to this population include:
● Referrals for medical, psychiatric, dental and social services;
● Basic medical assistance, including wound and blood pressure checks;
dispensation of antibiotic ointment, alcohol swabs and other sanitary products;
dispensation of over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, other
analgesics, anti-fungal medications and Benadryl with appropriate advice on how to take
and store said medications; at least one foot washing and wound treatment clinic per
● Other critical items that reliably enhance the health and wellbeing of this
population, including blankets and sleeping bags, donated clothing, gloves, hats, water
and snacks, and dispensation of information designed to reduce the harm of
homelessness, drug and alcohol use and abuse and sex work;
● Applications and funding for those clients that we work with on a regular basis
for the purpose of obtaining social security cards, birth certificates and state
identification, which are crucial determinants of health;
● Respect, inclusion and consistency to a population that often feels forgotten by the
wider community.
Student Reflection and Enhancement of Doctor/Patient/Team Communication Skills: All students
are required to attend a comprehensive training. Training competencies include harm-reduction policies
and education, in-depth exploration of the concepts of humility and respect, in-depth education on drug
and alcohol use and addiction, assisting clients in stating and meeting their goals, managing emotions
that can harm relationships with clients, and the importance of reliability and professionalism both with
clients and each other. These competencies are monitored closely during outreach by experienced team
leaders, and reinforced with mandatory debriefing sessions after every outreach. Debriefing is a
particularly important aspect of this service learning opportunity, as it gives students the ability to
verbalize what they’re learning from clients and learn from each other in a safe and guided atmosphere.
When clinicians go on outreach with students, this also provides an opportunity for medical education
that is individualized and pertinent to the community that we serve.
Opportunities for Student Engagement With and Response To Community Stakeholders: All
students are taught to ask each client what they need, and to evaluate and potentially respond to that
need to the extent that the guidelines and resources of CMSRU Street Medicine allow. Additionally,
leadership is required and other Street Medicine students are encouraged to attend and participate in
community meetings and with other organizations that address homelessness in Camden County. This
gives students a broader understanding of the impact of homelessness in the greater community, as well
as insight into resources that can be utilized not only by CMSRU Street Medicine on outreach, but the
CMSRU community as a whole.
Student Doctor Leadership Opportunities: Under the guidance of the course director, Susan Lui, this
is a student led initiative, and the students involved in Street Medicine are primarily responsible for
how this service learning opportunity operates and develops. While six to eight students - three to four
from the first year class, and three to four from the second year class - share leadership responsibility,
all students who participate in Street Medicine have the opportunity to develop initiatives and programs
that enhance and reinforce the primary efforts of Street Medicine. While we welcome physicians,
nurses and other allied health professionals to join us after training has been completed, CMSRU Street
Medicine leadership, under the guidance of Susan Lui, retains the right to make all final decisions
related to safety, protocols, culture, services provided, and personnel.
Ultimately, our goals align with the Social Mission of CMSRU as a whole.
“Cooper Medical School of Rowan University is committed to providing humanistic education in the
art and science of medicine within a scientific and scholarly community in which inclusivity,
excellence in patient care, innovative teaching, research, and service to our community are valued.
Our core values include a commitment to: diversity, personal mentorship, professionalism,
collaboration and mutual respect, civic responsibility, patient advocacy, and life-long learning.”