Homeless in the ED: Partnerships to Improve Care for People without Homes in Emergency Departments

Wednesdays, March 16, 23, and 30 – 2022

People experiencing homelessness are often managing significant complex health issues but are unable to access needed primary care or must prioritize immediate survival over health management. The result is that health conditions are often untreated until it’s an emergency. Emergency Departments (EDs), then, are well accustomed to serving people experiencing homelessness. But with competing priorities and a dearth of education on homelessness and harm reduction, ED providers can overlook opportunities to coordinate services for people without homes. This lack of coordination often results in the same individuals continuing to access health care through the ED, resulting in frustration for providers and the person seeking health care. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Join us the last three Wednesdays in March to explore promising strategies to improve partnerships between hospital emergency departments, health centers, and community providers toward a common vision of treating people without homes with dignity.

Session 1 will provide an overview of what Emergency Department staff need to know about the context and stigmatization of homelessness, the role of trauma in serving this population, and the services health centers offer in support of EDs. Session 2 will focus on substance use and harm reduction in the ED setting. Session 3, finally, will discuss the discharge process and incorporate the role of medical respite care in providing safe and appropriate discharge from the Emergency Department.


March 16: Homelessness and Emergency Department Care


  • Enrique Enguidanos, MD, FACEP, MBA | CEO, Community Based Coordination Solutions | Seattle, WA
  • David Munson, MD | Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program | Boston, MA


  • Courtney Pladsen, PhD, FNP | Director of Clinical and Quality Improvement | National Health Care for the Homeless Council | Portland, ME


March 23: Harm Reduction in the Emergency Department


  • Brian Work, MD, MPH | Internal Medicine Hospitalist, Addiction Medicine Specialist, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine | Temple University Hospital | Philadelphia, PA
  • Lydia Williams, CRNP, CWOCN, FNP-BC | Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and Wound Ostomy Continence Specialist | Project HOME Health Services| Philadelphia, PA


  • Kate Gleason-Bachman, RN, BSN, MPH | Clinical and QI Nurse Manager | National Health Care for the Homeless Council | Philadelphia, PA



March 30: Discharge Planning and Medical Respite Care

Panel Discussion


  • Caitlin Synovec, OTD | Program Manager | National Health Care for the Homeless Council, National Institute for Medical Respite Care | St Petersburg, FL
Categories: Clinical Practice, Healthcare and Homelessness Partnerships, Medical Respite, Medical Respite Care Research, Policy and Advocacy, Research and Data
Tags: Webinar
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