Lutheran Social Services and OhioHealth Partner Together on New Medical Respite Center
Lutheran Social Services (LSS) and OhioHealth are partnering together to bring transitional, medical respite care to homeless patients in central Ohio at LSS Faith Mission.
The Medical Respite at Faith Mission, Supported by OhioHealth, opened on Monday, November 9 at 245 N Grant Ave. in Columbus, OH.
“At OhioHealth, we provide care and shelter for individuals who are homeless when they become our patients,” said Jacqui Bastian, OhioHealth director of care management for the south central hub. “But we believe we can do more for these patients once they leave our care. The medical respite is a great solution for these patients, who technically would not need to be in the hospital any longer. Patients facing homelessness have more than housing and food insecurity. They have no safe, permanent place to heal, and are often forced to recover in unsanitary conditions. Limited access to reliable transportation hinders their ability to attend follow-up appointments, often resulting in poor health outcomes. The medical respite will be a helpful solution for them in their recovery.”
The medical respite is 3,000 square feet of space and includes 16 beds in eight rooms, where patients can continue recovery for 30-45 days. It was built in an area that previously contained eight offices. It will be used by patients who would be typically discharged home from the hospital, but don’t have a home to go to. Instead, these patients will be discharged by OhioHealth hospitals to the medical respite.
It will be staffed by a nurse manager and a medical assistant (both employed by Faith Mission) and the physicians and clinical staff who work in the attached Health Center at Faith Mission. If the patients already have a primary care physician, their care will be coordinated. And, if patients need medication via infusion, they will have access to OhioHealth at Home to assist with this care. The Health Center at Faith Mission is a full-service clinic and a federally qualified health center with medical, vision, dental and behavioral health services already on-site that the medical respite patients will have access to.
“There is a real need in our community for a medical respite for people experiencing homeless,” said Sue Villilo, LSS assistant vice president of community-based services, “Not only is it a more cost-effective solution, but it’s a more appropriate and comfortable environment for people recovering from illness or surgery who are also facing the additional crisis of being homeless.”
The medical respite will be open 24/7 and is focused on treating patients with dignity and respect and also helping them break the cycle of homelessness. While staying in the medical respite, Faith Mission staff will work with patients on finding housing, employment, connections to community resources, and if needed, help with substance use disorder.
To use the medical respite, patients must be discharged from an OhioHealth hospital. They’ll then be considered a client of Faith Mission
The OhioHealth Foundation has donated $350,000 to Faith Mission for startup costs. About 60% of these patients have insurance – usually Medicaid – but OhioHealth will pay for up to 14 days of medication, if needed.
“This is a true community effort that lives OhioHealth’s mission to improve the health of those we serve,” said Bastian. “We really want to help give this vulnerable population a chance to succeed. The rate of homelessness in Franklin County increased 6.4 percent from 2017 to 2018. With the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, that number will likely continue to rise. Many individuals and families are just one unexpected expense away from losing dependable housing. We are thrilled to be partnering with Lutheran Social Services to help provide this important service to those who need it, especially during these times.”
“We at LSS are so thankful OhioHealth responded to this community need by supporting this program,” said Villilo. “Our care model is a best practice, and we are confident it will help homeless individuals recover their health and also overcome the barriers they face in finding permanent housing, which is a success for them and the community as a whole.”
About Lutheran Social Services
Lutheran Social Services (LSS) serves thousands of people each day in 27 Ohio counties by providing the basic human needs of food, shelter, safety and healing. LSS offers food through the LSS Food Pantries, housing and supportive services through LSS Faith Mission and LSS Faith Mission of Fairfield County homeless shelters, domestic violence services through LSS CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence, senior living and health care facilities, affordable housing communities and other programs and services that uplift families and strengthen communities. For more information, visit www.lssnetworkofhope.org.
OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare outreach of the United Methodist Church.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, OhioHealth has been recognized as one of the top five large health systems in America by Truven Health Analytics, an honor it has received six times. It is also recognized by FORTUNE as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” and has been for 13 years in a row, 2007-2019.
Serving its communities since 1891, it is a family of 35,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, and a network of 12 hospitals, 200+ ambulatory sites, hospice, home-health, medical equipment and other health services spanning a 47-county area.
OhioHealth hospitals include OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Grant Medical Center, OhioHealth Doctors Hospital, OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Dublin Methodist Hospital, OhioHealth Hardin Memorial Hospital, OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital, OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital, OhioHealth Shelby Hospital, OhioHealth Grove City Methodist Hospital and OhioHealth Berger Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at www.ohiohealth.com.