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The Impossibility of Managing a Chronic Disease While Homeless

The Impossibility of Managing a Chronic Disease While Homeless

 
 

The Impossibility of Managing a Chronic Disease While Homeless

By Maralyssa Bann, 3/29/16

On my commute into work one night this past January, I could tell that something unusual was happening: Several police cars with full lights and sirens raced past me, as did a pair of ambulances. I followed their wails through downtown Seattle to King County’s public hospital, where I work the night shift as the physician responsible for treating patients with general medical issues. The hospital serves many members of Seattle’s homeless population; on any given night, at least half of my patients stay in migrating “tent cities,” crisis shelters, empty vehicles, abandoned buildings, or directly on the streets. 

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