December 30, 2016

In an historic move, the University of Washington is hosting a homeless encampment on its Seattle campus, the first such public university to do so. At the same time, MEDEX Northwest is offering an interprofessional course, Homelessness in Seattle, to educate UW health science students on how to effectively engage the homeless around their health care needs. 

UW School of Social Work Teaching Associate Charlotte Sanders, (pictured, left) who co-chairs the UW course, adds a critical mental health perspective to the course content. "It’s important to help students see what trauma-informed care looks like and how, with a few simple changes, they can alter their approach to care and make a world of difference,” says Sanders.

Read The Seattle Times story on how UW students are offering care to the 60 people living in a tent city that recently opened in a UW parking lot.

The 10-week course, which begins Jan. 5, is open to all current UW students in the health sciences. The course came about as a result of the actions of the UW, which has welcomed Tent City 3, a group of approximately 50 homeless individuals, to take up residence on a lot located along south campus through March 2017. The course is the first of its kind in the nation organized under a university-sponsored physician-assistant training program called MEDEX Northwest, which is operated by the UW Medicine's Department of Family Medicine.