Somewhere to Turn
No bed. No bathroom. No address. For those who are homeless, the ability to address basic needs is a massive daily challenge. But thanks to a program launched by Adventist Health and Rideout, medical care is now accessible to many homeless in Marysville, Sutter and Yuba counties.
Cindy Cooper, RN, and Community Well-Being Director Ashten Phillips are part of the Rideout Street Nurse Team, and since January 2019 they have been serving the homeless community across the region. Together, they provide medical screenings and case management services two days a week.
Using a telehealth platform, ER physicians are able to videoconference with each patient at their visit to determine the best course of treatment for them. The Rideout Street Nursing Team also assists its patients with shelter and other services in collaboration with community partners.
“I take their blood pressure, their pulse, their oxygen, and then talk about what medications they're on or what they need to be on,” Cindy Cooper, RN, explains. “They don't want to go to a doctor, but they trust me. Sometimes, I make doctor's appointments for people right [there] in the park.”
Since 2019, the Rideout Street Nurse program has reached over 750 individuals, providing medical care, hygiene supplies, dietary supplements and connection to community services.
“The Street Nurse Program – Cindy and Ashten – they literally saved my life,” says one patient. “They've followed my care, and they continue to help me. I want off the streets. I want to go back to work. I just want to be able to function. I can turn to them and ask for help.”