Keynote | Go To The People

Thursday, Sept 22
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM


In this keynote address, Jim will recount the origins and rationale of his work with the street dwelling homeless in Pittsburgh that led to the creation of Operation Safety Net.  He will describe the advantages of this “street medicine” model as it relates to the moral, financial and effectiveness of care.  The relevance to medical education as an innovative learning environment will be elaborated on as well as the emergence of street medicine as a global movement.


Dr. Jim Withers

In 1992, Dr. Jim Withers dressed as a homeless person and joined a formerly homeless man to visit the street dwellers of Pittsburgh making "house calls" at night.  His program, Operation Safety Net, brings medical care directly to the unsheltered homeless.  In 2005, Dr. Withers established the annual International Street Medicine Symposium (with current partners in North America, South and Central America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia) to foster collaboration in the care of those sleeping on the streets. In 2009, Jim created the Street Medicine Institute to promote the field of street medicine.