Federally qualified health centers across the state provide low or no cost health services to Utahns experiencing homelessness. 13 of these clinics combined received nearly $1 million in grants this week. The money was awarded for the quality of service the centers offer.
Fourth Street Clinic in Salt Lake City is ranked in the top 30 percent of health centers nationwide for achieving best overall clinical performance. Enterprise Valley Medical Center and Family Healthcare in St. George received this designation as well.
Michele Goldberg is the medical director at Fourth Street. One of the things her clinic will use their grant money for is a program to help their patients better manage diabetes.
“It’s very hard for individuals with diabetes who are homeless to keep their blood sugars under control,” Goldberg said.
Elements of the program include working with patients on insulin management and improving their diets.
“A lot of these individuals have such limited access to food,” Goldberg said. “They’re either eating at meals that are prepared for them, maybe they go to food banks, or they’re eating at Maverick and McDonald’s. And giving them education on how best they can choose things that potentially will be beneficial for blood sugar control.”
This program is an example of what clinics like Fourth Street do when they see health issues in the community that need to be addressed, such as the opioid epidemic.
“It’s going to take a lot more resources in the community,” Goldberg said. “So inpatient management, outpatient. Lots of levels of care. And then what you prescribe and how you monitor those and how you create workflows within the clinic to appropriately support those types of programs.”