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Salt Lake City's homeless have new option for medical care

By Sarah Dallof | Posted - Jul. 27, 2011 at 11:03 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — More than half of homeless Utahns are families with children, and they will soon have access to better health care through the Fourth Street Clinic.

No one likes feeling sick, but 3-year-old Kloey, whom KSL News met Wednesday, has it even worse. She's autistic and can't explain what hurts.

"We don't know if she understands what we're doing," her mother, Katrina Sturgeon, said.

Consistent care for Kloey will be important her entire life. But that's a challenge Katrina, who has two other children and is trying to find a job so she can get her CNA license in Utah.

The family currently lives at The Road Home homeless shelter in Salt Lake.

But the Fourth Street Clinic is making things easier by transitioning its pediatric department to a family care practice.

"We're really excited about this," Dr. Tanya Williams, a family practice physician at the clinic.

The change means Williams can see the entire family at once, including Katrina and her husband.

Wednesday, she examining two of the kids. It's one trip, complete, less stress, and more comprehensive and consistent care for everyone.

"We'll be able to establish a relationship," Katrina said. "That way if we go to a doctor and say she's sick, and they'll know what we mean."

Kids who used to have to transition to general practice doctors at 18 can now stay with Dr. Williams too. That's key for Kloey, because it's difficult for her to connect with new people.

The family care practice opens Aug. 8, but they're scheduling appointments now. Call 801-364-0058 or visit www.fourthstreetclinic.org to book your appointment.

Email: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof

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