July 3, 2023

Warriors in the Community, episode 12: Street Medicine Detroit

WWJ Newsradio 950

Warriors in the Community is a radio segment that features short, insightful interviews with key figures from Wayne State University about the many ways in which the university and its programs make a positive impact on the metro area and on the lives of Detroiters.

Fourth-year medical student Nedda Elewa drops by for our 12th episode to talk about Street Medicine Detroit, a student-run organization that works to ensure access to quality medical care for Detroit’s unreached houseless population. Through direct and regular outreach, Street Medicine Detroit, of which Elewa is incoming president, bridges the gaps between the houseless and medical communities by building relationships and offering companionship and respect. In doing so, the group also hopes to also address the unique psychosocial and health care needs of its target population.


Intro: This is “Warriors in the Community” brought to you by Wayne State University, and now to learn about how Wayne State is positively impacting our community, here is Darrell Dawsey.

Darrell Dawsey: Today I'm with Nedda Elewa, a fourth year medical student at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the incoming president of Street Medicine Detroit.

Tell us a little bit about when and why Street Medicine was conceived and how many students are currently involved with the program.

Nedda Elewa: It started in 2012. At that time, then student now attending physician Dr. Johnny Wong recognized a need. He recognized that even the most well-intentioned organizations that were out there providing healthcare to the uninsured and the underinsured, they were still in many ways inaccessible to in individuals experiencing homelessness on the streets.

So it's actually grown over the years. We have a pretty, pretty large board. It's a board of about 26 members. 26 students, all students at the Wayne State University School of Medicine are welcome to get involved through volunteering. 

Darrell Dawsey: Give us an understanding of what kind of services the program provides.

Nedda Elewa.
Nedda Elewa is a fourth year medical student at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the incoming president of Street Medicine Detroit.

Nedda Elewa: There's a very broad range of services. In my head, I like to think about it as like the non-healthcare related needs and then the healthcare related needs. We go out about two to three times a week. Some are shelter runs and some are street runs. The shelter runs are when we go to a shelter and we kind of set up a clinic.

The street runs are when we actually go out into the city and we find people where they are and we offer the healthcare that we can. And of course, the only way that we can do this is if we have the supervision of an attending physician or a resident physician. So we always have them on our runs as well if we're doing medicine.

And that's kind of when we provide the primary or preventive care. And that's the objective. We do our best to also provide continuity of care because we know that the best healthcare outcomes come when you have an established relationship with your provider. Unfortunately, individuals living on the streets don't always have that. So we as a team, because we go out so frequently, we try to help provide that to our patients. 

Darrell Dawsey: Thank you so much for joining us.

Extro: This has been “Warriors in the Community.” For more Wayne State News, please visit us online at today.wayne.edu/wwj and join us here next Monday at the same time for more warriors in the community.

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