Health and Housing Equity Connection
Gilvar Consulting Services Newsletter
This month’s topic: Critical Role in COVID-19 Response Helps Make the Case for Medical Respite Care’s Expansion
This month I’m sharing my recent blogpost on medical respite care (aka recuperative care). The post was inspired by a panel discussion that I recently moderated at the Washington Conference on Ending Homelessness. What moved me, specifically, was Dr. Leslie Enzian’s story about the patient for whom the Seattle medical respite program is named, Edward Thomas. Listening to Dr. Enzian talk about Mr. Thomas’ experience and relate it to her current role as Medical Director for Edward Thomas House reminded me of how critical the medical respite care model has been to the pandemic responses of communities across the country. These communities can now more fully appreciate the power of medical respite to help people with acute and chronic medical and behavioral health conditions achieve the stability and safety they need–not only to recuperate and stabilize medically, but to engage with staff who can help them successfully navigate their way to permanent housing.
I share the story of Edward Thomas’ success and reflect on the golden opportunity created by medical respite care’s current elevated profile. Now is the time for communities to double down on the respite care model by expanding existing respite programs and making the respite-like services put in place at COVID-driven alternate care sites a permanent part of the homeless continuum of care.