Pharmacy Practice Faculty Presentations

STEPS Towards Better Health Care Delivery: A Student-Led Multidisciplinary Approach

Document Type

Poster Session

Event Date



University of Dayton & Miami Valley Hospital Annual Healthcare Symposium


Dayton, OH


STEPS is a collaborative health initiative led by an interdisciplinary team of medical, pharmacy, psychology, and nursing students. STEPS provides preventive health counseling to residents at three Dayton area homeless shelters who often struggle with chronic disease, mental health issues, food and shelter insecurity, and adequate support systems. These factors negatively impact their health and well-being. Thus, STEPS seeks to address these problems by providing interprofessional, preventive health services and connecting participants with resources to further advance their health goals. STEPS offers a unique answer to the question of healthcare access for the underserved—first by bringing together students from multiple professions to collaborate and meet the needs of the Dayton area homeless population. In order to best serve patients, healthcare professionals must collaborate, and this allows early interaction among different professions. Secondly, STEPS focuses on preventive healthcare for vulnerable populations. The residents at homeless facilities often are reactionary to their health, given lack of access to care and other more pressing needs, such as shelter, food, and clothing. All students and faculty who work with STEPS have been trained in motivational interviewing and use these skills as a team to actively listen to needs, desires and fears and enable participants to feel that they have control over their health. STEPS began with 7 students serving one shelter in 2012 and today has over 178 volunteers. Our experience applies to those interested in building successful interdisciplinary teams and learning about the health needs of the local homeless population.


STEPS, health care delivery, students, multidisciplinary