More than 170 people in the Southeast district of Washington, D.C., received free medical and dental care, health screenings, foot washing, spiritual care, and other services at an Ascension "Medical Mission at Home" on June 6. Providence Health System hosted the event and offered services to the community to benefit one of the poorest neighborhoods in the District of Columbia.
More than 250 people volunteered onsite, including more than 30 Providence physicians and residents; more than 25 nurses and nurse practitioners; four pharmacists; plus dentists and dental students, other caregivers, patient navigators, foot washers, parking attendants and security officers.
Building on the overwhelming impact of the Medical Mission at Home program that launched at Saint Thomas Health in Nashville, Tennessee, Ascension has made a commitment to expand the program nationally to other Ministry Markets. The Providence event was a pilot location that will help kick off the Ascension effort to expand the program nationwide.
Recognizing the importance of meeting unmet needs of individual communities, Ascension will roll out these programs across its national health system after conducting local community health needs assessments. For the D.C. event, this foundational assessment identified dental care as a primary need, and the Medical Mission provided dental care to more than 100 people —utilizing the full capabilities of the onsite volunteer dental team.
"Providence was pleased to host our first Medical Mission at Home and to provide a variety of health and food services for those in our community. We remain grateful to the many volunteers and community partners who exemplified our core value of 'service' by giving so graciously of their time and talents to provide care to those in need," said Amy E. Freeman, President and CEO of Providence.
The event exemplified the spirit of Ascension, with many volunteers coming together from across the national health ministry. In addition to Providence, volunteers came from nearly every Ministry Market as well as from the Ascension System Office in St. Louis.
Among them were 50 attorneys from the Ascension Legal Community. Ascension attorneys served in patient navigation, registration, crowd control, security and foot washing. The experience was enriching for the team, and they committed to participate in a similar service event at least once each year.
In addition, many volunteers came from across Washington, D.C., including numerous community and business partners. "Providence and Ascension are enormously grateful to the many people who made the Medical Mission at Home in the District of Columbia possible," Freeman said.
Watch this video to see the Medical Mission in action.