Prestigious grant expands UCLA Homeless Healthcare Collaborative, broadening patient access

Rep. Ted Lieu presents $592,000 check to UCLA Health leadership.
Rep. Ted Lieu, second from left, meets on Tuesday, Jan. 17, with UCLA Health leaders, from left, Johnese Spisso, MPA, president, UCLA Health and CEO, UCLA Hospital System;  John Mazziotta, MD, PhD, CEO UCLA Health; and Steven Dubinett, MD, PHD, interim dean, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Photo by Nick Carranza
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The UCLA Homeless Healthcare Collaborative kicked off its second year, Tuesday, Jan. 17, with a 2022 Congressional Community Project Grant that will fund four new mobile health vans, bringing the number to six fully staffed medical units. The fleet provides equitable and high-quality medical and behavioral health care to those experiencing homelessness – veterans, families, people who are undocumented and others – in the Los Angeles area.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA, who sponsored the funding, presented the award of $592,000 to UCLA Health leadership.

About 85% of emergency room visits made by people experiencing homelessness are due to primary or urgent care conditions that could be prevented or treated in the community. The UCLA Health vans traveling to encampments, shelters and other locations provide free preventive and urgent medical care, medical screenings and referrals to social services: critical – and cost-effective – health care services people may not otherwise have access to.

In 2022, the Homeless Healthcare Collaborative performed 2,300+ medical evaluations, distributed 1,500+ medications and participated in 6,000+ total encounters. The program is now poised to make an exponentially bigger impact on the health of the Los Angeles community.

Rep. Ted Lieu, center, presents Congressional Community Project Grant funding to UCLA Health leaders to support the Homeless Healthcare Collaborative

“As we celebrate the UCLA Homeless Healthcare Collaborative’s one-year anniversary, the funding Rep. Lieu secured from the Congressional Community Project Funding program allows us to expand our work caring for people experiencing homelessness in more appropriate settings. The federal funding is one example of tremendous partnerships we have developed to bring care and services outside the walls of our clinics and hospitals. This has truly been a team effort at all levels of government, from federal support to coordination with local and county agencies. We are pleased with the impact we’ve made so far, and look forward to continuing this work in service of our mission,” said Johnese Spisso, president, UCLA Health and CEO, UCLA Hospital System.

Learn more about the UCLA Homeless Healthcare Collaborative in the Fall 2022 issue of U Magazine.