Four-Person Medical Team Treats L.A.'s Homeless on the Streets

Local News
Homeless patient Dianna Hill, 61, celebrates after Dr. Michael Stefanowicz, left, and nurse Gabrielle Johnson finished monitoring her blood pressure.(Credit: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

Homeless patient Dianna Hill, 61, celebrates after Dr. Michael Stefanowicz, left, and nurse Gabrielle Johnson finished monitoring her blood pressure.(Credit: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

The white van navigated streets lined by tents in downtown Los Angeles. From the back seat, Brett Feldman peered at the encampment’s residents scattered along the sidewalk.

Feldman is a physician’s assistant here to treat someone who is sick. But before he can administer tests or medicines, he must perform a far more unusual task among medical providers: finding the patient.

The four-person medical team Feldman leads offers care to some of the sickest people in L.A. by meeting them where they live, on the street. The patients don’t have to schedule appointments, find transportation to the clinic, pick up prescriptions or pay for their treatment — barriers that make homeless people much sicker and more likely to die young than others.

Feldman spotted his patient, Tracy, curled up in a wheelchair on the sidewalk. The team emerged from the van wearing backpacks bulging with medicines and ointments.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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