May 2, 2019
An interdisciplinary team of students, including Natalie Browne, a Master of Public Health student at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, earned second place at the CLARION National Case Competition in Minneapolis.
The competition was held April 13 at the University of Minnesota. It was organized by CLARION, a University of Minnesota student organization dedicated to improving health care through interprofessional collaboration.
Since 2005, the competition has challenged teams, consisting of four students studying at least two disciplines, to improve an existing health care system by applying a holistic perspective to patient safety and health care improvements.
Students are presented with a case that requires teams to perform a root cause analysis and develop an intervention that specifically addresses a certain problem. This year, teams were tasked with addressing the rise of homelessness in Hennepin County, Minn., and resulting poor health outcomes.
The UNC team reviewed county-level data and case studies of individuals experiencing homelessness. They concluded that unmet health issues coupled with a bottlenecked system for accessing resources exacerbate many preventable and treatable conditions.
“We found that there was no coordination in connecting individuals experiencing homelessness with resources to meet their specific needs,” said Browne.
To address the need, the team created an innovative and feasible solution called “The Labre Project.”
“The Labre Project would meet individuals where they are by streamlining resources with two types of telemedicine kiosks throughout the city of Minneapolis,” Browne explained.
The kiosks, placed in areas with high concentrations of homelessness, would meet two major needs: connecting clients to nearby resources that best fit their needs and reducing the bottleneck of health care services such as chronic care management, oral health screenings and mental health services.
Browne’s CLARION teammates were Uzma Khan of the Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling program at the UNC School of Medicine, Monica Kim of the Adams School of Dentistry and Christine Ko of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
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