We believe all humans have the right to health and wellbeing regardless of socioeconomic status. The roots of good health must begin long before the administration of a therapeutic drug. Several socioeconomic factors including nutrition, housing, and education often determine a family’s state of health. We plan to train a group of committed undergraduates to staff a “help desk” at Highland Hospital in Oakland. Emergency room and chronic disease clinic staff will refer appropriate patients and their families to the help desk, where the volunteers will walk these clients through the process of accessing a multitude of resources. We will provide support with finding housing, employment, food access, child-care, and medical-legal advocacy, among other necessities. We are collaborating with East Bay Community Law Center and students at the UC Berkeley Boalt Law School to provide legal services. The goal of this interdisciplinary approach is to improve the health of low-income patients, enhance the patient experience, reduce emergency room utilization by high frequency patients and ultimately lower healthcare costs in outpatient clinics and the emergency department.
Dost will give low-income moms a leg-up on their child’s primary school readiness and amplify the impact of existing early childhood education programs. Through short,