Miami Street Medicine and the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Department of Community Service (DOCS) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have been awarded $60,000 total in funding by the Strategy Office at UHealth – University of Miami Health System.
The Strategy Office’s Community Health Department formed the Community Support Program to provide the financial support that community-based organizations need to advance their mission. To merit the awards, both Miami Street Medicine and DOCS displayed a solid response to the community's needs, supported public health efforts and aligned with UHealth’s mission and philosophy.
“Miami Street Medicine and DOCS are two examples of the many ways UHealth and the Miller School of Medicine are giving back to their community through contributions and service,” said Jeffrey Aber, associate vice president for strategic planning. “It is a privilege to call them partners.”
Commitment to the Medically Underserved
Miami Street Medicine began as a student-led initiative to aid the medically underserved in Miami-Dade County’s unhoused population. The mobile clinic, now part of the Dade County Street Response, offers free care, counseling and longitudinal follow ups — reducing barriers and alleviating health care disparities in the community it serves.
With the $50,000 it was awarded, Miami Street Medicine will be able to expand its services across the county with professional hires and needed supplies. The collaboration with UHealth will allow for a return on investment by providing solutions for underserved populations that are traditionally ‘super utilizers’ of hospital resources. Additionally, Miami Street Medicine is an official training site for Miller School students and University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital resident physicians.
“This funding will enable Miami Street Medicine to broaden its reach and impact within Miami-Dade County, providing professional health care and social services directly to our most at-risk community,” said Daniel Bergholz, fourth-year medical student and founder of the organization. “We look forward to the continued collaboration with UHealth and enhancing our role as an educational platform for the next generation of health care professionals.”
Medical Students’ Service to Community
Founded in 2000, DOCS is a student-run nonprofit organization that provides services such as annual health fairs, disease and health panel screenings, along with at-risk care. The organization focuses on bringing health care to neighborhoods faced with structural barriers linked to the social determinants of health. DOCS is committed to understanding the needs of the communities served and working to address them.
Last year, DOCS provided care to more than 1,800 patients, with the help of more than 300 medical students and 50 physicians. To bolster its success, $10,000 in funding has been awarded to DOCS, allowing expansion of the program’s testing capabilities to include important screening tests such as Hepatitis B, Hemoglobin A1C and examination tables.
"We are immensely grateful and honored to have received funding to support our DOCS initiatives,” said Tori Gabor, fourth-year medical student and DOCS executive director. “This contribution will enable us to continue to further enhance the level of care we deliver to our patients. We strive to provide the highest standard of care, aligned with the latest guidelines, and that is now more achievable thanks to this funding."
“By supporting these programs, UHealth is mobilizing public health efforts aligned with its mission of promoting health to the community,” said Tamia Medina, M.P.H., Community Health program manager.