Health Foundation grant enables Camillus Health Concern to help homeless with severe mental disabilities

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 3:00 pm

Camillus Health Concern (CHC) received a $161,438.00 grant from Health Foundation of South Florida (HFSF) to create a comprehensive case management program serving uninsured homeless people with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI). The two-year grant positively impacts the health of some of the Miami-Dade County’s most vulnerable residents since SPMI is the most serious and debilitating form of mental illness.   

“We greatly appreciate Health Foundation of South Florida’s generous support of our new targeted case management program,” said Francis Afram-Gyening, CEO of Camillus Health Concern. He added, “This grant represents a significant investment in our community since it enables us to hire a specially trained targeted case manager who will link people who are homeless, uninsured and suffering with SPMI to primary care and behavioral health services.”

The case manager will also file disability applications on the individual’s their behalf, enabling them to get health insurance and housing.   The grant will also go toward a contract with Legal Services of Greater Miami to provide technical assistance on disability applications and represent individuals diagnosed with SPMI in various civil legal matters.

Severe mental disorders prevent people from carrying out essential aspects of daily life, such as self-care, household management and interpersonal relationships. Individuals with SPMI have high rates of co-occurring medical conditions including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other cardiorespiratory illnesses.  As a result, persons struggling with SPMI tend to have significantly shorter lifespans than those without this disability.

In addition, people with SPMI remain homeless for longer periods of time and have less contact with family and friends. They encounter more barriers to employment, tend to be in poorer physical health, and have more contact with the legal system than homeless persons who do not suffer from a mental disorder.

For more information about the program, please contact Francis Afram-Gyening @ 305.533.0189 or visit their website, CamillusHealth.org

About Camillus Health Concern: Camillus Health Concern is an established leader in providing primary health care, mental health, and social services to the poor and homeless populations of Miami-Dade County since 1984.  As a ministry of the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God, the organization has been a Health Care for the Homeless grantee through the Bureau of Primary Health Care since 1987 and was designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center in 1996. Camillus Health Concern’s providers are trained to provide for the special needs of underserved populations, making them particularly sensitive to the unique health care problems of the poor and homeless. 

About Health Foundation of South Florida: Health Foundation of South Florida, a nonprofit organization, improves health through community investments for health promotion and preventive services. With leadership and effective partnerships on a national, state and local level, the Foundation advances the ability of residents in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties to lead healthier lives. Since its founding in 1993, the Foundation has worked with more than 400 organizations and awarded over $120 million. For more information, please call 305.374.7200 or visit www.hfsf.org

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