DuPagePads Partners in Award-Winning Health Research
This year, DuPagePads, the DuPage County Health Department, Advocate Healthcare and Benedictine University partnered to research the health disparities of those experiencing homelessness. The research clarified the healthcare barriers and needs of those we serve while painting a path forward.
It was with great honor that our study, “Access to Health Care: Barriers of the Suburban Homeless” was presented and earned 1st Place at Benedictine University’s recent Public Health Symposium on the social determinants of health.
The results suggested low levels of integration into primary care settings and high levels of morbidity exist in the suburban homeless population we serve. Primary barriers to accessing healthcare were identified as lacking transportation, lacking medical coverage (includes losing or underutilizing coverage) and clients having competing priorities due the crisis of homelessness. The research makes the case for expansion of DuPagePads services to increase transportation assistance, provide assistance to manage and utilize benefits, and provide supportive interventions to improve healthcare engagement.
DuPagePads and our partners are at work developing this model that will lead to improved health outcomes for the families and individuals we serve who are homeless in DuPage County.
We are grateful to those who conducted the research and to DuPagePads clients that volunteered their time to complete surveys that informed the study. A total of 149 surveys were collected, 53% of those experiencing homelessness in DuPage County at the time.