CSUSB Palm Desert Campus Nursing Street Medicine program receives generous donation from Kaiser Permanente

PALM DESERT – Cal State San Bernardino, Palm Desert Campus has received a $25,000 donation from Kaiser Permanente to support its Nursing Street Medicine program.

The program provides free healthcare services to homeless, unsheltered and vulnerable people in the Coachella Valley, as well as engages CSUSB Palm Desert Campus nursing students at all degree levels in clinical healthcare activities.

“Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Program recognizes the need to improve healthcare access for all, including those experiencing homelessness,” said Sammy Totah, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente Riverside County. “It is an honor to contribute to this important work, which also provides valuable clinical experience for future nurses in the community.”

Healthcare treatments include physical and behavioral health assessments, wound care, foot soaks, triage, checking vital signs and blood glucose levels, and medications management, among others.

The program recently began incorporating foot soaks into its nurse clinic activities to provide soothing soaks while having a conversation about the unhoused person’s life. The conversations during foot soaks are free of medical advice and focused on students’ active listening and empathetic responses. Clients are seated comfortably during the soaks, positioned higher than students to promote empowerment. And the clients are given choices of the products used during the treatment. Students are encouraged to call the participants by their name throughout the conversation and make eye contact – interactions that are often rare for this population.

“The generous support from Kaiser Permanente not only fuels our commitment to providing compassionate healthcare to those in need, but also signifies a shared vision for a healthier, more inclusive community,” said Vines. “Together, we will continue to make a lasting impact on the lives of individuals in the Coachella Valley through the healing touch of nursing street medicine.”

Nurse clinics are held at shelters, free food program locations, homeless encampments and at cooling/warming centers.

The Nursing Street Medicine program is facilitated by Diane Vines, a faculty member in the CSUSB Department of Nursing, College of Natural Sciences, and includes collaborative partnerships with healthcare and human services organizations.

Visit the CSUSB Nursing Street Medicine webpage for more information about the program.




Image Sources

  • Street Meeicine Program: CSUSB Palm Desert