International Street Medicine Symposium XVII

October 21-23, 2021           A Virtual Event



ISMS 17 Call for Presenters EXTENDED UNTIL APRIL 25, 2021

The organizing committee of the 17thannual International Street Medicine Symposium (ISMS) is pleased to extend an open invitation for presentation proposal submissions. All submissions should be completed via this website: The deadline for submissions is Sunday, April 25, 2021 by midnight Eastern Daylight Time.

ISMS remains the world’s premier educational event dedicated to the health care of rough-sleeper (unsheltered) homeless populations. The organizing committee seeks proposals from presenters around the world on clinical topics, innovations, research outcomes, best practices relevant to street medicine, and diverse street medicine sub-populations. 

We value the expertise of our street medicine colleagues from every corner of the globe. We encourage proposals from under-represented geographic locations, including the Global South. 

Clinicians and non-clinicians are invited to submit proposals; we celebrate the diversity of professional roles and disciplines represented among participants. Preference will be given for presentations that are led by or include people with lived experience of rough sleeping.

This year, we continue to offer session formats designed to specifically encourage interaction and discussion among participants, through small-group oral presentations, expert panels, problem-solving sessions, and skill-building workshops. 

Session Format

Street Medicine providers and related organizations are encouraged to submit proposals for one of the following five presentation format categories. Please do not submit the same presentation in multiple session formats. If the symposium committee believes your presentation is better suited for a different format, the committee will request a change in format in order to accept your proposal.

A.  Large-group plenary lectures (30-minute oral presentation)

This format is well-suited for the dissemination of new/updated information relating to the field of street medicine, review of clinically-pertinent innovations and best practices, and reporting and interpretation of outcomes data from field research or interventions. Topics must be relevant to a large international audience interested in street medicine. Research-oriented submissions may be works-in-progress, though data analysis must be completed prior to the symposium.

B. Small-group oral presentation (30-minute presentation, 30-minute discussion)

This format well-suited for the dissemination of new/updated information relating to the field of street medicine, review of clinically-pertinent innovations and best practices, and reporting of outcomes data from field research or interventions. This format may be similar to the large group lectures, but with dedicated time for questions, discussion, and interaction with a smaller audience. The information presented in this format is not required to be applicable to the entire international audience. Research-oriented submissions may be works-in-progress, though data analysis must be completed prior to the symposium.

C. Small-group problem-solving session (60 minutes)

This format is well-suited for highly interactive discussions aimed at engaging participants to discuss and offer solutions for each other’s challenges related to a specific street medicine topic. Proposals may include scenarios that will be presented to the group for discussion and/or elicit challenges from participants related to the topic. The primary presenter should take the role of facilitating conversations. The use of PowerPoint is heavily discouraged in this activity.

D. Workshops (60-minute interactive small-group activity)

This format is well-suited for highly interactive sharing of practical knowledge, skills, and personal/professional/organizational enrichment strategies by presenters. Methods for creating an interactive learning environment must be addressed in the proposal. The use of PowerPoint is discouraged in this activity.

E. Expert panels (60 minutes)

This format is well-suited for panels of street medicine practitioners to discuss topics related to street medicine and the health care of rough sleepers. Expert panels may include audience participation or questions and should promote lively debate amongst the panelists. The use of PowerPoint is heavily discouraged in this activity.

F. Poster (scientific poster format with dedicated viewing time)

This format is well-suited to clinical vignettes, highlighting program development/updates, description of service models, research on street medicine or unsheltered/rough-sleeping people, or presentation of medical education approaches to service learning and outreach. Research-oriented submissions may be work-in-progress, though data analysis must be completed prior to the symposium. Trainees and student organizations are particularly encouraged to submit in this format category, though non-students are also welcome to submit poster presentation proposals. (Trainees are not limited to this format category and may submit in a different category if more appropriate.  “Trainees/students” includes undergraduate students, graduate/professional students, post-doctoral candidates, and medical residents in training).

Session Topics

Submissions in any topic area related to street medicine or the health care of UNSHELTERED OR ROUGH-SLEEPER homeless populations are welcome! Please include a description of how your presentation will differentiate between people experiencing unsheltered homelessness and sheltered homelessness, as this symposium is intended to provide education about the unique circumstances facing rough sleepers and the street medicine teams serving them. 

We are particularly interested in presentations related to the following topics and will give special preference for proposals that address these issues:

  • Student track topics

  • Integrated management of common complicating co-morbidities (mental illness, substance use disorders, developmental/cognitive disabilities, and traumatic brain injury) among rough sleepers

  • Street nursing and social work as a part of street medicine, including nursing-specific skills for the street, street medicine teams led by nurses and social workers, and data on quality of care and connection to resources for rough sleepers when nurses and social workers are included on street medicine teams

  • Practical clinical topics in street medicine, including hands-on and/or interactive practice-based learning

  • Creative approaches to sharing the experiences of street medicine teams and the unsheltered people with whom they work

  • Street-based addiction treatment models

  •  Models for successful social and health restoration in transitioning rough sleepers off the streets

We are also interested in proposals related to the topics below:

  • Street-based mental health interventions

  • Building resilience within street medicine teams and patients

  • Comprehensive primary care and outreach models that foster continuity and coordination of care across the spectrum of homelessness (streets, shelter, hospital, respite, housing)

  • Socio-environmental determinants of health (environmental threats, health care access, housing access, community building)

  • Self-care and sustainability in street medicine

  • Street medicine-specific data collection and research 

  • Street medicine quality improvement approaches

  • Sub-populations in street medicine including women, ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ+ individuals

  • Advocacy and policy work aimed to improve the lives of rough sleepers

  • Medical education and training approaches related to unsheltered homelessness, including curriculum development and implementation, educational resource networking, and faculty mentoring of student-led organizations

  • Fundraising approaches and resources relevant to street medicine practices

  •  Street-based harm reduction

  • The ethos of street medicine work

Approval Process

All proposals submitted will be reviewed and judged by a panel that includes members of the ISMS organizing committee and other invited experts. Strict adherence to the criteria below is required in order for the organizing committee to review your proposal. 

  1. Submissions will be accepted only if submitted through this link: or attachments sent via email will not be reviewed. 

  2. Proposals must include an abstract describing the information to be presented and can use up to 3000 characters (including spaces) for the abstract itself. 

  3. Proposals should additionally include up to 400 characters (including spaces) to respond to the goals listed below. Proposals will be judged relative to achievement of these goals:

  1. Focus on Unsheltered/Rough-sleeping People – To what extent will your presentation focus on the unsheltered or rough-sleeping homeless population or highlight comparisons between rough-sleepers and other populations? Proposals that discuss topics related to people experiencing homelessness without differentiating outcomes/programs for rough sleepers or that focus on shelter/hostel- or clinic-based care, will be given lower scores.

  2. Target Audience– How appropriate is the topic for an international audience of clinicians, outreach workers, service agency representatives, and community stakeholders dedicated to improving the health and well-being of unsheltered or rough-sleeper homeless populations?

  3. Innovation– How novel is the information or approach in addressing a problem related to the health care of rough-sleeper populations?            

  4. Impact– How potentially beneficial are the findings, interventions, or programs to the care of patients/clients, development of services, training of providers, or sustainability of programs?

  5. Applicability– How accessible and generalizable are the findings, interventions, or programs to other street medicine practice sites around the world?

  6. Knowledge Advancement– How valuable is the information or approach to the growing body of Street Medicine knowledge and clinical expertise? Have data/findings been collected, analyzed, and presented in a rigorous and scholarly way?

  7. Mission Advancement– How substantially does the information or approach promote/advance the values and mission of the Street Medicine Institute and International Street Medicine Symposium?

Presenter Registration 

All presenters are required to register for the symposium no later than August 15, 2021 in order to be listed in the online program on the Street Medicine Institute website.

Submission Details 

Please click HERE to view screenshots of the questions you will be asked in the process of submitting your proposal on Survey Monkey.


Questions about the ISMS or presentation proposal submission process can be addressed to the organizing committee at [email protected]

Submissions must be received by midnight Eastern Time on Sunday, April 25, 2021.