Inclusive Health Collaborative
- Improve access to routine care: Our goal is to provide routine access to subsidized veterinary and human healthcare in partnership with social service providers in our community. Through this program we can address current barriers to care in the homeless community and create opportunities for routine preventative care and referral services.
- Foster cross-profession collaboration and education: Veterinary, medical, public health, and social work students are working together to provide care and access to this underserved community. By providing services in a centralized location, students will be exposed to health concerns of humans and their animals and can develop an understanding of social issues and how each profession works with their clients. Training and mentorship from educators in all fields will enrich these experiential learning opportunities.
- Transportable model for replication: With qualitative and quantitative research throughout the program, an evidence-based model will be created that is transferable to communities beyond Northern Colorado.
The Inclusive Health Collaborative (IHC) was founded in 2017 as an organic outgrowth of the One Health Institute at Colorado State University, which brought together scholars interested in systems-oriented approaches to advancing human, animal and environmental health. The IHC is an interdisciplinary group of motivated veterinarians, social science and public health researchers, and community members working together to mitigate barriers in access to health and mental health care for individuals who are currently homeless and their animal companions.
In 2018 the IHC began a partnership with the Street Dog Coalition (SDC). The SDC was founded in 2015 by Dr. Jon Geller, to provide regular veterinary care access for some of our community’s most vulnerable via a weekly clinic in the Murphy Center/Homeward Alliance, which houses over 20 community service providers and provides core services to homeless community members.
Partnering with SDC and IHC, 4th year veterinary students and faculty from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science’s Community Practice rotation began coming to the Murphy Center/Homeward Alliance weekly clinic in May 2019. By increasing the number of trained veterinary professionals at the clinic, this collaboration has also increased the number of Murphy Center/Homeward Alliance clients being served in the weekly clinic.
IHC then created a collaboration with the CSU School of Social Work, to allow social work student involvement in assessing physical and mental health needs during the SDC Clinic at the Murphy Center/Homeward Alliance. While veterinary students gain experience providing care to human-animal dyads experiencing homelessness, the social workers navigate the guests to services available in the community. In May 2020, University of Colorado medical students began work with IHC to assist in developing onsite human health services and improved access to care for people experiencing homelessness. This collaboration provides both services to the clients of the clinic and engaged learning opportunities to CSU students.
We invite you to join in supporting Fred’s Fund for the Inclusive Health Collaborative in supporting homeless humans and their pets in Northern Colorado. Thank you for being a part of Fred’s legacy in action.