Document Type

Handbook, Guide or Manual

Publication Date

March 2007


Patient Advocacy began as a freestanding group, formed by medical students who wanted to help homeless men and women with their psychosocial needs, such as finding a job, obtaining health insurance, and joining a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Later, we merged with Jeff HOPE to form an organization that can address all of the needs of our patients. This combination of energies and talents has proven quite beneficial, especially because our patients often need services that are beyond the scope of what the Jeff HOPE medical clinic can provide. Thus, one of our most important responsibilities is to link patients from Jeff HOPE to the conventional medical system and other health care providers.

But more than just a source of referrals, Jeff HOPE Patient Advocacy exists to serve patients who face daily challenges and struggles that extend above and beyond their medical needs. We work to develop long-lasting, supportive relationships with our clients, which allow them to share their joys, frustrations, and hopes for the future. We hope to ease some of the burdens of homelessness.

The Patient Advocacy Resource Manual was designed to provide Patient Advocates, Jeff HOPE medical clinic staff, and other volunteers with the tools necessary to provide high-quality, comprehensive care for our patients. While the manual is by no means all-inclusive, we hope that it will set you off in the right direction. You should verify that phone numbers and addresses have not changed before you give them out to patients. If you find an error in the manual, please notify one of the Advocacy Steering Committee Members so that they can update the manual.

Advocacy is an art that takes time and practice to develop. This manual should be used as a starting point, but it is always important to learn from your experiences, colleagues, and patients. If you are willing to listen and help, you will make more of a difference than you ever thought possible.