Hello! I would like to thank you for the opportunity to apply for an Awesome Grant. I currently have a public health internship with the Hepatitis Education Project (HEP). HEP works with local communities that have been impacted by viral hepatitis and many of their clients are people who inject drugs and/or are experiencing homelessness. Every week, a few people who come in for services ask if someone can look at a wound they have. Many of these are related to injecting drugs, others are from exposure, and some are just small injuries that have festered from lack of cleanliness.
My awesome project is to develop and create small wound-care kits that could be distributed to clients who have wounds that need ongoing attention. It would be helpful and potentially lifesaving if clients could continue giving their injuries proper attention and clean conditions for healing. It is difficult for clients to return for daily wound-care and the clinic is only open three days a week. Proper care can mean the difference between healing or going to the Emergency Department with a local or systemic infection.
Last year, a student working on her Master of Public Health degree completed a needs assessment of clients served by HEP. Of the participants interviewed, 66% identified a need for wound-care, including medical equipment like antibiotic ointment, bandages, and gauze, and 74% of participants identified wound-care kits as something they would like to see distributed. Abscess type wounds from injection drug use are common and are one of the leading causes of hospitalization among people who inject drugs. Skin abscesses pose a significant risk when left untreated as they can result in sepsis.
Funded by Seattle, WA (March 2020)