Profile of the Week: Neighborhood Health Initiative

Neighborhood Health Initiative

The Neighborhood Health Initiative (NHI) is a volunteer, medical student-run community clinic that focuses on point of care screening for Bozeman community members living at the Warming Center. Presently, The Warming Center is Bozeman’s only homeless shelter, entirely funded by the community and run by the HRDC, a non-profit organization. Medical students host a bi-weekly clinic providing free basic foot exams, vital checks, vaccinations, and education, thereby helping to “keep the community on its feet”. This year, students have taken the initiative to also offer glycated hemoglobin or A1C testing for Warming Center residents. Their goal is to bridge a welcoming gateway to healthcare for those who may be in need due to abnormal foot exams or A1C values in the pre-diabetic or diabetic range. They refer patients in-need to Community Health Partners or primary care clinics at Bozeman Health as applicable.

NHI is composed of 15 first year medical students from the University of Washington’s Montana WWAMI program. While the services they provide are an asset to the community, the NHI also allows students real-time, hands-on opportunities to connect with community members in a patient- centered way. Their goal is to become a weekly, comprehensive health clinic capable of managing acute and chronic conditions at no cost to patients.

NHI relies largely on community support through donations to continue to provide free care. One hundred percent of funding goes toward purchasing clinic supplies; including but not limited to new socks, nail and wound care products, antibiotic and fungal ointments, and medical equipment. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated and will help NHI continue to give high-quality care to medically underserved members of our community. For more information about their program or donations, please visit the following links:

Evidence Based Resources: 

Those in low socioeconomic demographics are more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Further, low socioeconomic status has been linked with poor diabetes management and an increased risk of diabetes-related complications. Early screening and intervention can improve health outcomes for these patients.