ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Lindsay Fox spends several mornings a week going from tent to tent in Albuquerque. She offers medical assistance to people at camps like the one set up at the corner of Zuni and Mesilla. Her services range from general checkups and wound care to pregnancy screenings and treatment for common infections.
“What I see on the street a lot are wounds from assaults, wounds from falls, sometimes self-inflicted wounds from injections,” Fox said.
She’s a physician assistant and one of several team members at the University of New Mexico’s Center for Inclusive Health. The center started up this year, taking healthcare to the streets for a population unlikely to seek care on their own.
“Going to an office visit for some people could be the difference between having everything stolen from them or getting health care,” Fox said.
Her day starts when the sun rises.
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Fox and the team work hand-in-hand with Albuquerque Community Safety (ACS), Heading Home, and others, all coming together to build trust and make sure homeless people have resources and health care.
“If there’s an encampment that ACS or the City has identified, and there are people there who may need medical attention, I try to get out there. Our team tries to get out there within 24 hours.”
Fox said it’s a win for everybody, adding that it’s already taken some of the burden off first responders.
“We see responders who have that compassion fatigue, and so being able to help people in that moment, with a doctor, is so important,” ACS Director Mariela Ruiz-Angel said.
The center is planning to expand its services after receiving a $250,000 grant from the state’s Department of Health.