The Columbia-Harlem Homeless Medical Partnership (CHHMP) is a student-run clinic providing free and quality health services to the homeless or uninsured community in West Harlem. This program was established in May 2007 by Columbia University medical students in partnership with the Center for Family and Community Medicine (CFCM).
Operating from the basement of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church at 126th Street and Old Broadway every Tuesday evening, the clinic provides the homeless, the uninsured and the local community with basic medical care, health education and referrals to a variety of social services.
Ten to twelve Columbia University medical students see patients under the supervision of Dr. Jim Spears and Dr. Urmi Desai, CFCM faculty physicians, with additional support from other Family Medicine physicians and residents. To ensure continuity for students and patients, the same group of medical students, residents and attending physicians commit to working at the clinic on a near weekly basis, with plenty of time for each patient encounter, and for students to take extensive social histories, which often lead to referrals for social services.
In the addition to the provision of quality and continuous care, CHHMP is also focused on deepening the education of student-clinicians in learning about the health and social needs of the community, the challenges of providing healthcare to underserved populations and advocacy for these populations.