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Anonymous $50,000 Gift Places Nurse Practitioner at Shelter

An anonymous donor gifted $50,000 to the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky, half of which is designated to provide on-site medical care to the homeless population that the Covington shelter serves.

It will mark the first time that the Emergency Shelter has an on-site nurse practitioner.

St. Elizabeth Business Health is a strategic partner in placing the nurse on site, a news release said.

“St. Elizabeth Healthcare is proud to work with the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky to offer an onsite nurse practitioner who will be able to serve the immediate needs of homeless guests while at the shelter. In addition, by having a nurse practitioner on staff we’ll be able to perform certain screenings and immunizations, while also providing early intervention and treatment options for specific health concerns,” said Chris Carle, president and CEO of the St. Elizabeth Provider Network/Business Health Services.

The shelter has also been given a supply of over-the-counter medicines and the nurse practitioner can prescribe much needed basic medicine. 

“The over-the-counter medications can offer symptoms relief for common ailments such as cold or flu and generalized aches and pains. Screenings such as blood pressure and blood sugar can identify individuals that need referrals into primary care for further evaluation and treatment.” said Brian Lawson, nurse practitioner.

In an announcement, the shelter said that a nurse practitioner on site will enable screenings for guests who may need immediate medical attention that may not require a visit to the doctor's office.

The shelter expects the addition of the nurse to reduce costs associated with such treatment.

“Although the circumstances surrounding this group of individuals are different from patients in other practice settings, the guests are human beings and deserve a basic level of health care as any other individual.” Lawson said.  

“Many of our guests are eligible for basic health care coverage but do not have the skills to apply for the coverage or access to the forms or computers to apply,” said Emergency Shelter executive director Kim Webb. 

The shelter is also partnering with HealthPoint to bring knowledgeable professionals to help individuals who do not have a primary care physician or health insurance.

“We know transportation to access resources in our area is an issue so we need to bring the resources to our guests rather than expecting them to figure out how to get to the resources. Guests often give up because they can’t get to or don’t have the basic skills to navigate the systems available,” Webb said.

“Providing immediate medical care to our winter shelter guests furthers our mission to be a ‘Life Saving, Life Changing’ shelter. It improves the health of our guests, our staff and community."

-Staff report

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