USF PROVIDING HEALTHCARE SERVICES FOR FORT WAYNE HOMELESS

The University of Saint Francis will partner with Fort Wayne Rescue Mission Ministries (FWRMM) to provide nursing services for residents of Charis House, a FWRMM housing facility for the city’s homeless women and children.

The new program will focus on basic nursing services, providing in-house medical services to residents, while diagnosing and referring acute medical problems to other medical service providers.

The service evolved after Charis House opened last year, when a group of volunteers led by Dr. James Arata began to explore ways in which the primary health care of residents could be improved. A volunteer team, including University of Saint Francis School of Health Sciences faculty, was assembled to identify needs that could be filled in cooperation with the health care community.
“We didn’t want to duplicate services but rather establish a volunteer/mission based approach to health care that would create real meaning for each of our participants,” explained Dr. Arata.

The medical service has enrolled six volunteer physicians and 11 nurse practitioners. Hours of operation will be Mondays from 1-4 p.m., Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m. and Fridays by appointment.
FWRMM conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Charis House on August 1 at 4 p.m. to celebrate and officially open the new ministry. Charis House is located at 301 W. Superior St.

“We are always open to fulfilling our mission by building a community of volunteers, donors and staff. In a very real way, this medical service is a dimension of the Good Samaritan taking place right here in Fort Wayne,” said FWRMM CEO Donovan Coley.

“This endeavor aligns well with our mission as a community of learning, leadership and service,” said Cheryl Erickson, associate professor in the USF Department of Nursing. “It will provide nursing faculty a place to practice, as well as provide service to the community. Students will participate at this clinical site as part of their community experience, and future clinical and service experiences will be initiated as the need arises.”

“This collaboration is an awesome opportunity to serve the residents of Charis House,” said Kim Penland, RN, Ph.D., assistant professor in the USF Department of Nursing. “This clinic will address the unmet health needs of the residents while providing education and health promotion.”
To become involved in this new ministry, contact Lynne Isenbarger at 260-426-7357, ext. 18.

The University of Saint Francis, founded in 1890 as a comprehensive university in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, offers more than 60 undergraduate and 13 graduate programs in five schools: The School of Health Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences, Keith Busse School of Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership, School of Professional Studies and School of Creative Arts. More than 2,300 students from a broad geographic region attend USF for its academic excellence. The university has a regional campus in Crown Point, Indiana.

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