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Physician Assistant Alums Talk Street Medicine During Virtual Scholar Series

by Janelle Hill Aug 30, 2021

Whatever it takes. 

That’s the motto of Nani Cuadrado M’02 and Seth Campbell ’14, M’15—alumni of the Physician Assistant (PA) program who now work with the Valley Health Partners (VHP) Street Medicine program to provide care to homeless populations. The two took part in the latest installment of DeSales’ Virtual Scholar Series to explain what street medicine is and why it’s important. 

“The bedrock of street medicine is street rounds,” Campbell said. “The true definition is providing care outside on the streets. Here in the valley, it’s more so under bridges, in semi-permanent structures, and in the woods.” 

In addition to street rounds, the program provides a range of services, including tele-psychiatry, mail service, and care coordination. It even connects patients with pets to pet services. 

“A lot of folks will ask why we work with homelessness,” Cuadrado said. “And really, there are a lot of reasons. The life expectancy is quite stark. The average life expectancy is about 47 years for someone who’s experiencing homelessness. But for you and I that are housed, it’s 78 years. So that’s one tidbit of why this work is so important.” 

For Campbell, focusing on vulnerable populations has given his life direction. As a high school student, he participated in the Emerging Health Professionals program and shadowed Cuadrado while she was working in the emergency department at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Years later, Cuadrado, a former assistant professor at DeSales, ended up teaching him as a student in the PA program. Today, the two work side by side as colleagues running the street medicine program.  

Dr. Wayne Stuart, director of the PA program, served as the event’s moderator. The Virtual Scholar Series (VSS) is a professional development educational program that highlights the research and work of faculty and staff, alumni and friends, and students.