Preble Street Learning Collaborative (PSLC)
Addressing the Needs and Care of People Experiencing Homelessness through Education and Outreach
What is the PSLC?
The Maine Medical Center (MMC) – Preble Street Learning Collaborative (PSLC) was established to help people in Portland who are experiencing homelessness. Our mission is to:
- Learn about the health needs of people who are experiencing homelessness
- Improve their access to care
- Educate future health care providers about the needs of people who are experiencing homelessness
What services do you offer?
- Walk-in medical services, urgent care, follow-up care, and wound care
- Case management and coordination with area health care organizations for additional primary and specialty care
- Mental health outreach, dental care, and prescription medication education
- Help with community resources and referrals
Who are your service providers?
- Homeless HealthPartners (HHP)
- Maine Medical Center social workers, nurse practitioners, doctors, and physician assistants
- Maine Medical Center residents
- Students learning to be nurses, dentists, pharmacists, and social workers
Do I need to make an appointment?
Walk-in services are available Monday through Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Referrals are not required. Hours of operation may vary due to COVID-19.
Adult Nurse Practitioner
Debra Rothenberg, MD, PhD
MMC Family Medicine
MMC-PSLC Academic Director
Emily Zarookian, MD
MMP Hospital Medicine
MMC-PSLC Clinical Director
Adam Normandin, MD
MMC Family Medicine
MMC-PSLC Outreach Director
The PSLC is designed to increase access to safe, patient-centered, care — the right care at the right time and in the most culturally-appropriate manner. Our aim is to engage people experiencing homelessness and connect them with established, patient-centered, medical homes in the community. Improving communication and care-coordination between community agencies, social service providers and health care providers helps us achieve that goal.
Medical residents from MMC as well as aspiring behavioral health, dental, pharmacy, and nursing professionals are regularly on site at the PSLC for learning activities. This program helps educate the next generation of health care workers by introducing and integrating population health and health disparities into health profession curriculum.
- A social work student might meet with a client at the soup kitchen and then accompany them to the PSLC to meet with a nurse practitioner.
- A pharmacy resident might help a patient understand the way their different medications interact
- A nursing student might lead a support group session where patients discuss the stressors of living on the street or in a shelter
- A medical resident might follow the case management team on their daily rounds to Housing First residential sites.
Through the PSLC, we are building a network of organizations and clinicians who are sensitive to the needs of vulnerable populations and who have an awareness of the impact of health disparities.