HealthCare Hero Joel Hunt

January 12th, 2017

Nominated as a pioneer in street medicine, Joel Hunt, director of Care Connections program at JPS, has been named a 2017 HealthCare Hero by Fort Worth Business Press.

Joel HuntThe annual award recognizes excellence among area healthcare professionals, administrators and volunteers, who will be celebrated at a February 15 event at the Fort Worth Club.

A physician assistant, Hunt leads a team dedicated to improving the lives of those who live unsheltered, connecting them to care at JPS and reducing reliance on emergency services. Among his patients are those who visit the Emergency Department more than 50 times a year.

He is a pioneer in the field of street medicine, providing care in homeless camps, under bridges and in homeless shelters —  meeting people, as he says, “in their own reality,” providing hands-on care and coordinating with community partner organizations to provide services from substance abuse treatment and mental health therapy to permanent assisted housing.

A former surgical tech and combat medic in the Army, Hunt started practicing medicine on the streets after earning his master’s in physician assistant studies from the University of Utah. Originally intent on caring for underserved populations overseas, he started working with homeless patients and realized, “The same desperate need I was looking to meet in other countries was right in front of my face, in my own city.”

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