The Suitcase Clinic
The Healthcare for the Homeless, Suitcase Clinic is a way for local volunteers to address health care concerns of the homeless population in the Harrisonburg community. Rather than a permanent clinic setting, the Suitcase Clinic functions by maintaining medical supplies in large suitcases on wheels that personnel travel with to various homeless shelters in the community. It is an interprofessional endeavor where JMU students from the community nursing, dietetics, graduate psychology, nurse practitioner, and physician assistant programs all work collaboratively with faculty supervisors.
Between the Fall of 2018 and Spring 2019, at least 65 PA students have volunteered their time with the Suitcase Clinic at various locations like the Salvation Army and Open Doors Shelter. In these settings, they have attended close to 90 clinic sessions, and participated in approximately 500 patient visits. In addition, the Physician Assistant Student Society has raised money for the Suitcase Clinic, collected first-aid and medical supplies, purchased art materials, and donated backpacks.