October 27, 2009
Atlanta, GA- Operation Safety Net ®, a legacy program of the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, along with Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services, a program of Saint Joseph’s Health System in Atlanta, and the Mary Hall Freedom House are together hosting the 2009 International Street Medicine Symposium, from November 3 to 6, 2009, at the Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta.
The International Street Medicine Symposium debuted in Pittsburgh five years ago. The annual educational event was established by Dr. Jim Withers, founder and medical director and Linda Sheets, program director of Operation Safety Net®, a medical outreach program for the unsheltered homeless, as a means for physicians, administrative leaders, and others who care for those living on the streets throughout the world, to share best practices in the emerging field of street medicine.
More than 125 individuals with an interest in street medicine and providing health care services for the homeless, including physicians and other health care professionals, community leaders and students are expected to attend.
Dr. H. Westley Clark, Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will provide the opening remarks on Thursday, November 5. Dr. Clark leads the agency’s efforts to provide effective and accessible treatment to all Americans with addictive disorders.
Other featured presentations will include reducing the cost of homelessness, fostering culturally sensitive health care, establishing human rights for basic needs, and street medicine programs and practices in other United States cities, such as Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, and Nashville; and other cities around the world, including Calcutta, India; Copenhagen, Denmark; Lima and Mala, Peru; London, England; and Santiago, Chile.
The symposium is sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline, Saint Joseph’s Mercy Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Atlanta-based Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services and the Mary Hall Freedom House will provide sites for participants to learn firsthand how health and support services are delivered in a non-traditional environment.
Continuing education credits will be provided to physicians, nurses and social workers who attend. Thanks to the generous support of the symposium’s sponsors, there is no charge for participants to attend the symposium. The hotel will provide registered participants with a discounted room rate.