Meeting People Where They Are

Meeting People Where They Are

The team at Family First Health (FFH) often says they “meet people where they are” on their healthcare journey. The organization took this literally when implementing a partnership with Lifepath Christian Ministries. Through a grant from the Memorial Health Fund, FFH’s Community Medical Team started providing weekly onsite services at Lifepath’s shelters.

“We started by conducting listening sessions with the staff at Lifepath and their guests,” said Erin Schmidt, Program Manager for FFH. “We wanted to hear their experiences and what they needed most from our partnership.” From September 2022 through November 2023, FFH provided 162 Lifepath guests with health-related on-site services through a qualified registered nurse, medical assistant, and a bilingual community health worker.

The FFH team also provided vaccines; rapid HIV testing; health screenings; referrals to FFH medical, dental, and optometry services; and more. Another service offered was medication reviews with guests. FFH’s registered nurse helped organize medications, disposing of expired prescriptions, educating guests on their medications and providing pillboxes to keep them organized.

They found this to be a vital service for people who often do not understand their medications or take them as they are prescribed. FFH was also able to help Lifepath caseworkers with health-related tasks like enrolling guests for SNAP benefits and health insurance.

This allowed the Lifepath staff to focus on helping guests become self-sufficient. “Showing up to the shelters consistently spoke volumes to the guests,” shared Erin. “It helped us build relationships built on trust and showed that we cared about them as individuals.” These services increased the number of Lifepath guests who attended medical appointments at the FFH office, ensuring they received the care they needed.

Because of the program’s success, the FFH and Lifepath partnership has continued and will be replicated at the new Bell Socialization Services family shelter – continuing to meet people where they are to ensure they can experience better health outcomes.

To read all the stories in our 2023 Annual Report, click here.