The Best Medicine: Advocacy, Education & PresenceMay 12, 2021
“Housing is the answer but not the end of the work.” ~Amy Warner
“Nurse Amy” is part of our Roof Above team specializing in the Scattered Site model of permanent supportive housing (PSH) where formerly homeless individuals live in existing apartments in the Charlotte community. Supportive services for these tenants include case management, obtaining benefits, and help with medical needs. In addition to basic skills, our nursing staff provides invaluable services: advocacy, education, and presence, especially in the time of COVID.
Advocacy is vitally important. Navigating the complex environment that is healthcare today isn’t easy. It can be challenging to set up primary care and specialty care for the tenants that we serve. Before the pandemic, nurses accompanied tenants to doctor appointments and advocated for care. Currently, the tenant goes to the appointment, and the nurse calls in to listen and follows up with the tenant.
Teaching health management skills is a priority. Nurse Amy explains, “We work with recently housed people on medication maintenance and education for common conditions like hypertension and diabetes.” She and other nursing staff stay attuned to when prescriptions need renewal to avoid gaps in treatment.
Presence is key to well-being. Nurse Amy says, “Safe housing is the first step, and then so many of our souls need more. It’s important to help our housed folks not feel so isolated after living in a shelter or tent community.” Nurses and case managers bring connection, checking in to offer help, celebrate victories, or just to say hello.
During the pandemic, Nurse Amy and other Roof Above nurses doubled down on their mission to serve those who are medically vulnerable. They have been familiar faces on the front lines, involved in COVID-19 testing and administering vaccines.
We are grateful for Nurse Amy and staff who work with our most vulnerable neighbors who are now tenants in permanent supportive housing! Every day you live out Roof Above’s values of being solution-oriented and honoring the profound worth of each life.