GMED Global Partners with Healthcare for the Homeless - Houston to Provide Rapid COVID Testing

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The partnership helps supports early intervention and helps contain the spread of the virus among a highly vulnerable population

Through our partnership with HHH, we can ensure that people living in Houston’s shelters can access world-class COVID-testing and help to limit the spread of this deadly virus.

With temperatures dropping to near-freezing and a long winter ahead, groups who work with people who are homeless face the particularly daunting task of providing aid during a deadly pandemic. To support early intervention and treatment among this highly vulnerable population, GMED Global, LLC, an international institution specializing in medical education and health care workforce development and solutions, today announced that it has partnered with Healthcare for the Homeless – Houston (HHH). Through its partnership with HHH, Houston’s only stand-alone, homeless-specific Federally Qualified Health Center, GMED’s Rapid COVID Clinics have already processed more than 300 rapid COVID tests in homeless shelters as part of a broader strategy to prevent outbreaks and contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“People living in congregate settings face a higher risk of infection, and men and women who are living in shelters and in encampments are in great need of access to COVID-19 testing,” said Ms. Frances Isbell, CEO of HHH. “We’ve been fortunate in Houston that we haven’t experienced any significant outbreaks on the streets or in encampments, and our testing program for the shelters has given us peace of mind that we are continuing to provide a safe, healthy environment.”

Since March, HHH has served as the City of Houston’s official COVID-19 testing site for those who are living unsheltered, in emergency shelters, or in bunkhouses. In addition to testing, HHH coordinates with the City to transition patients into quarantine/isolation in County and City-sponsored hotel rooms while awaiting results and/or recovering from COVID-19. By transitioning those who test positive and/or are symptomatic into hotel-based quarantine/isolation, individuals are able to recover more quickly and the likelihood of spreading the virus on the streets or within shelters is reduced. HHH is also conducting COVID-19 testing in two of their clinic sites.

“Every person deserves access to healthcare, and we’re proud to partner with HHH and advance their efforts to support a population that’s often marginalized,” said Dr. Ramin Ahmadi, Chief Medical Officer for GMED Global. “More than 70 percent of the people served by HHH have no form of health insurance coverage, despite disproportionately high rates of physical and mental health conditions that require access to care. Through our partnership with HHH, we can ensure that people living in Houston’s shelters can access world-class COVID-testing and help to limit the spread of this deadly virus.”

GMED utilizes the rapid COVID test manufactured by Quidel, one of the few rapid antigen tests in the country. This test has emergency use authorization from the FDA and has been deployed to allow point-of-care testing in nursing homes across the United States. The test includes a pain-free nasal swab that can be self-administered - minimizing the exposure between test takers and health care providers. This highly accurate test directly detects the presence of COVID-19 and test results are returned the same day.

For more information about GMED’s rapid COVID testing services, please visit https://rapidcovidclinic.com.

About Healthcare for the Homeless - Houston
Healthcare for the Homeless - Houston (HHH) was founded in 1999 and incorporated in 2000 to become Houston’s third Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in 2001. HHH remains the only stand-alone FQHC that exclusively provides homeless-specific care. To that end, their services are unduplicated and fill an essential gap in the community’s safety net system. Last year, they provided care for 8,101 men, women and children affected by homelessness via 32,548 patient visits across 11 service sites.

HHH works closely with various organizations also serving those who are homeless and with most of the local public health providers, including formal collaborations with the city and county health department, Harris Health System, and The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD. In addition to providing direct patient care, their underlying mission is to promote systemic changes that increase access to care for those who are vulnerable and marginalized. HHH is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

About GMED Global
GMED Global LLC is a healthcare network that works across the globe to support NGOs, hospitals, medical schools, and governments in establishing training and development programs in healthcare and medical education. Based in Houston, the GMED network has a global reach, with offices in Miami, New York, New Haven, Toronto, Monaco, and Riyadh. Through a unique partnership with the Royal College of Canada, GMED’s Kazan State Medical University offers a pathway for future doctors to practice medicine in North America. GMED’s subsidiary businesses span the scope of the healthcare industry, including mobile hospital development, healthcare logistics and supply chain staffing, contact tracing, and education and testing. For more information visit https://www.globalhealthresponse.com/.

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Megan Leer
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