University of South Florida

USF Health Tampa Bay Street Medicine continues to provide care to the homeless and unsheltered.

The Tampa Bay Street Medicine Project (TBSM) is a USF Health Morsani College of Medicine (MCOM) student-run service organization that was formed in 2014. In response to the growth of the organization, the TBSM Continuity Clinic at Tampa Hope in Ybor has been opened to provide medical care, education, and connections to community members who are homeless, unsheltered, or living below the poverty line.

USF Health medical students, volunteer providers, and other health care professionals operate the clinic, which acts as a transition for patients who do not have constant access to health care. Students provide hygiene kits, over-the-counter medications, and take vital signs. Meanwhile, volunteer faculty physicians and other health professionals help patients with more serious medical conditions.

Third-year medical student Dalan Smallwood at the Tampa Continuity Clinic as part of the TBSM effort.

“In places of most vulnerability, we want to be there to provide service for them and to make sure their health is being taken care of while they’re transitioning through different parts of their lives,” said Natasha Ram, third-year medical student at Morsani College of Medicine and the Tampa Continuity Clinic co-director.

Emily Small, a second-year student in the Physician Assistant program, checks the blood pressure of a patient on a recent street run for the TBSM program.

In addition, the organization continues to serve patients who reside on the streets. The students meet up in Downtown Tampa to take vitals, provide hygiene kits, socks, over-the-counter medications, and prescription medications to the underserved. Volunteer faculty physicians and other health professionals supervise the group when more serious problems arise.

“The goal of Tampa Bay Street Medicine,” said Richa Bisht, fourth-year medical student at Morsani College of Medicine and the Tampa Bay Street Medicine vice president, “is to take care of the homeless here as best we can, offer them as many resources as we can, and give our students the opportunity to work with this group because it’s an important community to take care of.”

To serve more of the underserved population the TBSM community continues to seek the help of more students and volunteers. By bringing together the university and the community, more resources can be made available to those in need. Here is where you can donate to help maintain and grow the mission of the student organization.

“Really the number one thing that we would really need is just having people come volunteer, come help us out, see our patients, and help them feel better,” said Ram.


Story, photos, and video by Ryan Rossy, USF Health Communications and Marketing

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