The Mission of the Georgetown HOYA Clinic is to establish a partnership between Georgetown University, Georgetown University Hospital and the District of Columbia Community. In doing this, we seek to provide quality care to underserved families in the spirit of Social Justice and Cura Personalis.
We strive to create a respectful atmosphere in which providers and patients work together as partners to improve access to community-based care and to foster volunteerism. We aim to educate students about the socioeconomic inequalities that manifest themselves as health disparities. Ultimately, we hope to empower patients with the knowledge to improve their own health and enhance their well-being.
In the spring of 2006, the director of the D.C. Village Emergency Family Shelter approached Georgetown Hospital physician Dr. Matthew Levy about expanding healthcare service at the shelter. Dr. Levy found an overwhelming interest among Georgetown University medical students in starting what would become the first student-driven clinic in the District of Columbia.
Throughout the spring and summer of 2006, students researched existing student-driven clinics across the country. In the fall of 2006, around 70 students gathered to decide the clinic’s mission. The HOYA Clinic would serve the needs of underserved homeless families and address the educational objectives of Georgetown students. Ultimately, the group wanted to create a clinic that offered its patients the same level of care they would receive coming to Georgetown University Hospital.
The students began the work of creating a clinic by dividing into subcommittees including Operations, Budget, Fundraising, Education, Insurance/Referral, Laboratory/Pharmacy, Scheduling/Recruitment and Evaluation/Annual Report. These groups then decided the specifics of the clinic. The fundraising subcommittee raised $40,000 for the clinic through events and private donations, and Georgetown University School of Medicine’s Dean, Dr. Stephen Ray Mitchell, matched these funds in 2007. The District of Columbia government, through the Coalition for the Homeless, also provided substantial financial support and renovated several rooms within the DC Village shelter for the HOYA clinic. Additionally, students secured a four-year $30,000 Caring for Community Grant through the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The first six student “clinic coordinators” were chosen to help run the clinic from 2007-2008: Sean Levy, Katie McKenna, Pati Notario, Karla Polk, Pat Tierney and Zach Wallace. The clinic coordinators began their work by compiling contact information for referrals to other healthcare providers, purchasing supplies for the first few months of the clinic, delineating the volunteer training process, and preparing the new clinic site to see patients.
On September 18, 2007 the HOYA Clinic at D.C. Village opened its doors. The clinic offered pediatric services under the direction of Dr. Levy, and was fortunate to find a dedicated partner from Internal Medicine in Dr. Eileen Moore to oversee the care of adult patients. Over the course of the following 6 weeks, Drs. Levy and Moore drove students and a member of the Nurse Magnet Champion Program to DC Village where the clinic provided care for over 75 patients. These volunteers worked together to establish diagnoses and plans for their patients, successfully made referrals, confronted the difficulties their patients experienced in obtaining medications, and participated in high-risk cases like thyroid storm and a new diagnosis of HIV/AIDS.
Due to changes in D.C. government and the closure of D.C. Village, the HOYA Clinic was relocated to D.C. General Hospital, where a temporary family shelter was established. The new site opened December 18, 2007, initially operating on Tuesday nights, and eventually expanding to Wednesday nights as well. During our time at DC general, The HOYA Clinic provided thousands of patient visits. However, in 2016, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a plan to replace the D.C. General shelter with six smaller facilities located around the city. D.C. General was officially closed by Mayor Bowser on October 30, 2018.
On Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, The HOYA Clinic found a new home at The Triumph, a Community of Hope temporary housing facility in Congress Heights in Southeast Washington. At our triumph location, we currently offer basic medical services for shelter residents every Tuesday evenings from 5:30-7:30 pm. In 2021, the HOYA Clinic also began offering care at Catholic Charities Volunteer Medical Clinic on Monroe Street every other Monday from 4:00-7:30 pm. Since our time at DC General our team has also expanded, with Dr. Michelle Roett and Dr. Tobie-Lynn Smith joining Dr. Moore as medical directors and Dr. Adam Visconti joining HOYA Clinic as a volunteer physician at the Monroe Street clinic.
For our regular clinic nights, we are grateful to be partnered with Community of Hope and Catholic Charities DC. In addition, we have partnerships with several organizations that help us bring a variety of services to the community. These organizations include Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness, Families Forward, the Washington D.C. Department of Human Services, Playtime Project, DC Doors, The Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School, N Street Village, Father Mckenna Center.
We see an average of 3-12 adult and pediatric male and female patients per night. By age, twenty percent of our patients are children under the age of 18, sixty percent of our patients are adults ages 18 – 35, and twenty percent of our patients are adults 35 years and older. Of patients seen in 2015, 83% were residents of the District of Columbia. 43% of patients seen in 2015 were residents of DC General Family Shelter. Based on visit type, 42% were new patient visits, while 58% were continuity of care visits. 73% of patients seen in 2015 had health insurance coverage, increased from 49% in 2014. Of patients with healthcare insurance, 91% were covered by Medicaid or a Medicaid managed plan, and 9% were covered by a private plan.