More than 70 students and faculty in Mercer’s College of Health Professions joined together recently to provide a variety of services and care to individuals experiencing homelessness in Atlanta.
Mercer’s physician assistant studies program has been involved in the event since 2015, but this was the first time it was an interprofessional experience with participants from multiple programs in the College of Health Professions, said Dr. Jill Mattingly, chair and clinical associate professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.
In total, more than 50 physician assistant students, seven public health students, six physical therapy students, two clinical psychology students and eight faculty members assisted with Health Day, said Erin Lepp, clinical associate professor, coordinator of physician assistant community engagement, and medical team lead for the event.
According to a 2020 report from Atlanta nonprofit Partners for Home, there are approximately 3,200 homeless people within Atlanta’s 130-square-mile area. More than 900 of those are unsheltered and sleeping on the street or in cars. Each year, Health Day aims to reach some of those individuals and provide much-needed medical services.