Medical students helping the homeless in Phoenix


NAU is joining Arizona State University and the University of Arizona for a medical outreach effort serving the homeless in downtown Phoenix. Faculty and staff from numerous medical disciplines will offer free services as part of the Student Health Outreach Wellness project.

SHOW organizers plan to begin offering clinic hours in October, after an inaugural health and wellness fair Sept. 13. The fair and clinic will be housed at the Human Services Campus in Phoenix, where a variety of resources are available for homeless people.

Leslie Schulz, College of Health and Human Services executive dean, said the SHOW clinic’s offerings will provide needed services in addition to creating educational opportunities. “When health care professionals learn to work in a collaborative team environment their ability to tackle the challenges of our healthcare system is enhanced.” NAU’s participating programs include occupational and physical therapy, along with the physician assistant program. Faculty members volunteer time for the outreach efforts.

Michelle DiBaise, associate clinical professor of Physician Assistant Studies, said clinic hours will be offered on Saturdays, with the possibility of expanding services as additional resources become available. For more than one year, students have been preparing to open the SHOW clinic by working on a number of committees addressing issues from needs assessment, training and communications.

Several of NAU’s health professions degrees are housed in downtown Phoenix, where students are earning their degrees in a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Education facility shared with U of A medical programs. “Inter-professional and cross-university training for our students is a large part of our excitement about being part of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus,” said NAU Provost Laura Hueneke.