Director of Clinical &Quality Improvement
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
Dr. Courtney Pladsen dreams of a world where healthcare and housing are human rights where people have the opportunity to en their healthiest selves. Achieving health and well-being is nearly impossible while sleeping on the street, yet nearly 500,000 people experience homelessness in any given night in the richest country in the world. Courtney leads efforts on the national level at the intersection of health and housing. She is a part of the movement to end homelessness while ensuring those who are currently unhoused have access to healthcare. Whether someone is sleeping in a shelter or on the street, they deserve access to high-quality care. Courtney leads US-wide efforts to develop a continuum of health care for people experiencing homelessness through the development and growth of medical respite, street medicine, medical outreach, health care for the homeless health centers, and strengthening partnerships between hospitals and health centers.
MORE ABOUT COURTNEY
Dr. Courtney Pladsen has worked in the healthcare safety net for over fifteen years in emergency departments and federally qualified health centers. Witnessing social barriers to care cause poor health outcomes fuels her fight to end homelessness. Homelessness is an intersectional issue. Survivors of domestic violence, people experiencing poverty, LGBTQ+ individuals, people of color, and people who use drugs all disproportionally experience homelessness. Having experienced poverty and homelessness in her childhood, this fight is also personal for Courtney.
Being a part of the Culture of Health movement is essential in creating intersectional movement building. Homelessness could end overnight with enough affordable housing, but that wouldn’t stop the pipeline of people entering homelessness. We need to focus on addressing systemic racism, gender-based violence, and the war on drugs to create a more just and equitable system that will not only end current homelessness but also prevent it in the future. This is what a Culture of Health would look like.
COURTNEY’S WORK AND VISION
- Nurses Leading with Care by Reaching Beyond their Walls
- National Institute for Medical Respite Care
- National Health Care for the Homeless Council
- South Portland council fills 2 school board vacancies (Portland Press Herald)
- Commentary: Grief for our unhoused neighbors will fuel my fight to end homelessness
- Mutuality in Patient-Doctor Relationships (safety BX Podcast)