Health Care Outreach

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Daily Planet
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Our mission is to strengthen and enrich the lives of those who are homeless, potentially homeless, or lacking the health, social, emotional and financial resources to create stable lifestyles.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

About Us

The Daily Planet provides essential programs for homeless and underprivileged individuals in the Greater Richmond area. The issues facing the homeless and those underprivileged are varied and great. Daily Planet believes that a holistic approach is the best way to address the needs of those we serve. Started in 1969, the agency has continued to modify, change and update our programs to keep up with the demands of our most vulnerable populations.

The cornerstone of the agency is our Health Care for the Homeless Clinic which provides a continuum of health care services for those who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, including uninsured and underinsured. All services are provided regardless of a patient’s insurance status or ability to pay. In addition to primary health care needs, our clinic also provides Behavioral Health Services, Dental Care and Eye Care.

Our Behavioral Health Clinic provides mental health services including: mental health counseling (group, one-on-one and family), substance abuse counseling, medication assistance, evaluations and assessments and a nine-bed, 90-day, in-patient, drug treatment program.

Medical Respite is a 20-bed program designed to provide convalescent care upon hospital discharge for up to 30 days for adults who do not have appropriate living arrangements to support recuperation.

Project Strive provides job training that gives clients basic skills to obtain and maintain employment. The program offers job placement services for graduates of the program.

Case Management Services assists individuals with multiple, complex barriers to resolving homelessness utilizing a comprehensive and integrated approach to help individual’s access resources needed to create a stable lifestyle.

Concrete Services include basic services which include access to showers, laundry facility, banking services and mail services.

Safe Haven is a 21-bed facility that offers transitional housing and support services to individuals suffering from severe mental illness coupled with chronic homelessness. It provides 24-hour staff supervision and guidance with the ultimate goal of transitioning clients into permanent housing and independent living.

Continuing Efforts to Improve Services

The Daily Planet continues to take steps to improve our ability to provide medical services to our clients. To this end, the agency started two new initiatives. The first initiative was converting from paper medical records to electronic medical records. Those who are homeless or potentially homeless frequently suffer from chronic illnesses. These illnesses create volumes of medical records for our patients. When one is carrying all their possessions on their back, it is easy to understand why they are unable to keep their own medical records with them. In our continuing efforts to provide better service and meet the special needs of those we serve, the agency moved to an electronic medical record system (EMRS). This allows us to send patient’s information to other doctors, usually specialists. When we switched to the EMRS some minor upgrades were needed to the agency’s computer security system to comply with HIPPA regulations. It was the second initiative that created our need for additional security to comply with HIPPA regulations.

It can be difficult for those in need of our medical services to visit our health care clinic. The reasons range from lack of transportation to work schedule conflicts with the clinic’s operating hours. For this reason our second initiative was launched – Health Care Outreach. The Daily Planet partners with other nonprofits to provide medical services on site for those who are unable to visit our clinic during regular operating hours. Most of our outreach efforts focus on health screenings, such as blood pressure, blood glucose and height to weight ratios to check for obesity.

Road Block

Because we did not have a secure way to transmit patient’s information from the outreach site, we had to give patients small slips of paper with their results and follow up plans. As previously mentioned, it is hard for our patients to keep track of such records. We needed a secure way to send the information from offsite to our clinic and it had to comply with the stringent HIPPA regulations.


With the purchase of security software purchased through TechSoup we were able to secure our system and comply with HIPPA regulations. Now, our nurses take laptops to outreach clinics and are able to capture patient’s information electronically. Not only does this take the burden off the patient to keep track of his/her information, it streamlines our admission process because patient information is already in our system.


In the last 12 months, our outreach nurses have provided screenings to an additional 595 patients, many of whom would not have received such medical screenings. Of those seen through our health care outreach program, approximately 25% come to our clinic for follow up services.


Submission Category
Stable and Secure Technology