HOSMP Spotlight – Frederick Ashby

“If you’re passionate, persevering and optimistic enough about something, support systems will follow.”

Frederick Ashby
Frederick Ashby
– Frederick A.

My name is Frederick Ashby. I am co-founder and student leader with the Homeless Outreach and Street Medicine Program. Also, I am an MD-PhD Candidate with UF COM.

Street med has taught me the importance of voluntary work in changing systems and culture. Support systems will follow if you’re passionate, persevering, and optimistic enough about something.

Collaborating with colleagues and mentors to grow a clinic from the ground up is a unique opportunity to be a part of as a student. It has provided me with invaluable experience working with vulnerable populations and stakeholders alike. I hope to use my experience in a leadership role here to innovate and improve healthcare access where possible in my future practice.

Most of the patients we work with are full of gratitude and appreciation despite the unique obstacles, traumas, and stigmatization they face. Our student volunteers are also motivated and compassionate, and I’m hopeful for the future expansion of our program.

When we first started in 2020, this had never been tried before in Gainesville to my knowledge. It was humbling to see all the support afforded by our community to sustain and expand our program to what it is today. We’ve been involved in patients getting permanent housing, provided vaccines to unreached patients at the height of the pandemic, connected many to local primary care resources, and even successfully cured HCV cases, just as a few examples. We would not have been able to accomplish any of this if not for the support of our faculty sponsors, community contacts, and generous donors.