Health Care for New York City’s
John Conry, Pharm.D.,
Associate Clinical Professor, Clinical
Imagine being homeless and suffering from HIV infection,
diabetes, or tuberculosis. How can you manage your medication
regimen if you don’t know when you’ll eat next or where you’ll
sleep tonight? Further still, how do you get your medications or
see a doctor? Chances are you won’t be able to.
Thanks to the non-profit organization Project Renewal and a team
of health care professionals like John Conry, New York City’s
homeless have a fighting chance to stay healthy. “I’ve always been
interested in helping people who are marginalized, who are
forgotten by health care,” the St. John’s alumnus says.
Three times a week, Professor Conry and his students join a
medical and outreach team aboard the Project Renewal MedVan, a
37-foot recreational vehicle turned mobile clinic. Stopping at
shelters, soup kitchens, churches and other locations where the
homeless are known to congregate, Professor Conry and his team work
with the medical staff to optimize each patient's drug therapy
and counsel/educate patients about their medications. One day
per week, he and his students do the same at one of Project
Renewal’s four homeless shelter-based clinics.
Professor Conry believes this clinical training program offers
learning on many levels. “Many students have never spoken to a
homeless person,” he says. “They often tell me that they learn as
much about life as about pharmacy, and that’s incredibly valuable.
It is true academic service learning.”