Thomas Jefferson UniversitySidney Kimmel Medical College

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JeffHOPE Advocacy

Advocacy in action

The JeffHOPE Advocacy Program is comprised of a small group of students who weekly serve as patient advocates at the Jefferson Medical College medical clinics for homeless and underserved individuals of Philadelphia. We work in tandem with the medical, physical therapy, and occupational therapy clinics in an attempt to address broader issues that may be affecting the lives of our patients and their access to health care. The advocate takes a detailed social, psychological and family history, focusing on the individual clients' needs. When a patient’s needs extend beyond the services we have to offer, we work to link our patients with community resources and programs.

We help patients with:

  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Referrals to area specialists
  • Health Insurance including Medical Assistance
  • Legal issues
  • Daily supplies: shower sandals, toiletries, socks, lotions, condoms, reading glasses, etc.
  • Moral support (a shoulder to lean on!)

In 2006, the Patient Advocacy Resource Manual was designed to provide Patient Advocates, JeffHOPE medical clinic staff, and other volunteers with the tools necessary to provide high-quality, comprehensive care for our patients. This guide assists student clinicians when patients need services beyond the scope of what the JeffHOPE medical clinic can provide. The resources it describes help link patients from JeffHOPE to the conventional medical system and other health care providers. Additionally, we work to educate the student clinicians about the patients they will be serving and how to best meet their patients’ needs.

Jefferson Advocacy Manual

In an effort to educate ourselves and the Jefferson community, JeffHOPE Advocacy Program runs a speaker series in an attempt to educate ourselves and other members of the Jefferson community about the public health centers in Philadelphia and the afflictions that the impoverished face. We have included topics on enrolling patients on insurance and disability, harm reduction, public health centers, and many others.