On April 10, 2019 at the Capitol Rotunda in Lansing, Michigan, Lori Bennett, Corner Health Center’s Family Nurse Practitioner, was awarded the 2019 Hometown Health Hero Award by the Michigan Public Health Week Partnership.
Bennett was recognized for creating the Family Shelter Health Assessment and Referral Program (“F-Sharp”) for the Corner Health Center. The goal of F-Sharp to help youth experiencing homelessness become enrolled with a medical provider so they are able to manage their own health care no matter where they are living at the moment.
Bennett created and runs this program at multiple shelters in Washtenaw County to provide health assessments for teens and young adults who are experiencing homelessness, and refers them for ongoing medical health and mental health services. If they are between the ages of 12 and 25, she refers them to the Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti, which offers primary medical care and mental health services specifically for this age group.
The success of this program is due to Bennett’s presence at the shelter agencies, where individuals often go first to get assistance. By establishing on-site assessment and referrals, Bennett is able to create a relationship with these youth to personally connect them to the Corner, and follow through with them once they become enrolled in our services. This in turn reduces reliance on urgent care and emergency departments in the area.
Youth who enroll at the Corner receive medical care, mental health services, and additional access to basic needs, including emergency food. In our most recent fiscal year, over 200 youth were seen through F-Sharp, with 65% of those referred to the Corner showing up for their appointments.
Lori plays a crucial role in Washtenaw County, ensuring youth without a permanent address receive the health care they need.