April 8, 2014

For Public Health Management Corporation
Veronica Mikitka Reed: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 215-434-7194

PHMC and Depaul USA combine healthcare and transitional housing expertise to offer pilot program

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities, and Depaul House, a transitional housing program that assists men with re-entry into employment operated by Depaul USA, has launched a first-of -its-kind medical respite center pilot program for homeless individuals in Philadelphia.

The eight-bed medical respite center serves homeless men with acute medical conditions who are well enough for hospital discharge but in need of additional recuperation and care in a safe, stable environment. Located at Depaul House in Germantown, patients are referred by discharge staff at partnering hospitals, who pay a daily per diem rate per patient. Currently Mercy Health System and Hahnemann University Hospital are participating in the pilot program.

"For more than 30 years PHMC has provided quality medical care for homeless individuals in our region," said Melissa Fox, PHMC Managing Director of Health Services. "This respite center pilot program allows us to expand our services and increase the quality of care we provide to the homeless community, while also decreasing emergency room visits and hospital readmission costs."

PHMC Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses care for the patients throughout their eight to 10 day stay. Most of the patients have complicated issues including behavioral health or substance abuse disorders. To assist in their recovery, PHMC and Depaul case managers connect patients with service providers for continued medical, behavioral health and housing assistance upon discharge. Patients without a primary care provider will be connected to PHMC's health care network, including the Mary Howard Health Center, which exclusively serves homeless clients.

"With our expertise in housing and services for homeless individuals and PHMC's health care resources, we believe this partnership will improve the way we provide care for this population here in Philadelphia," said Sandra Guillory, program director for Depaul House. "We are hopeful the pilot will offer a new standard of care for homeless clients so we can thoughtfully plan for program development."

Across the United States more than 60 medical respite programs have proven to reduce the length of stay, repeat emergency department visits and readmissions. Homeless populations across the nation and in Philadelphia are hospitalized more frequently than those in the general population. They also require longer in-patient stays due to lack of a stable home environment, which diminishes the long-term effectiveness of their hospital care.

"In our emergency department we often see homeless patients, who if provided the proper rest, recuperation and care upon discharge, could have recovered without hospital readmission," said Susan Cusack, Executive Director at Mercy Philadelphia Hospital. "Referring patients to the medical respite program gives us the peace of mind that their health and wellness are being addressed, and it helps in decreasing unnecessary hospital costs."

The medical respite pilot program is funded through a collaborative effort from both the City of Philadelphia and the State. The City of Philadelphia's Office of Supportive Housing covered the cost to renovate part of Depaul's existing facility and purchase medical equipment. Staffing is due in-part to PHMC and Depaul USA's donation of case managers and administrative staff.

In addition to the Philadelphia based support, PHMC was one of 40 organizations across the state to receive a $156,578 grant from the State Department of Health's Community-Based Health Care Subsidy Program. This grant will help pay for clinical staff including a Registered Nurse and Licensed Practical Nurses.

About PHMC
Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is a nonprofit public health institute that creates and sustains healthier communities. PHMC uses best practices to improve community health through direct service, partnership, innovation, policy, research, technical assistance and a prepared workforce. PHMC has served the region since 1972. For more information on PHMC, visit

About Depaul USA
Depaul USA, an independent non-profit organization, offers homeless and disadvantaged people the opportunity to fulfill their potential and move towards an independent and positive future. Depaul USA embraces Vincentian values that include serving the poorest of the poor; being non-judgmental; being innovative; and taking risks. Depaul USA operates programs in four cities that serve over 2,000 individuals annually. Depaul's programs include resource centers; individualized case management; transitional housing; permanent supportive housing; and now, respite care. For more information, visit