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International Street Medicine Symposium XVII

Thursday – Saturday, October 21 - 23, 2021

A Virtual Event

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Great News!

The Street Medicine Institute is excited to announce that registration is open for the 17th annual International Street Medicine Symposium (ISMS XVII) to be held October 21 - 23, 2021.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are again offering this symposium in a virtual format free for members who have joined or renewed SMI membership since January 1, 2021!  Members seeking CME credits for symposium attendance will be charged a fee of $249. 

Learning Activities

The International Street Medicine Symposium (ISMS) is the world’s premier educational event dedicated to the health care of rough-sleeper (unsheltered) homeless populations.  As always, the ISMS will offer an impressive slate of homeless health care experts from around the globe presenting clinical topics, innovations, research outcomes, and best practices relevant to street medicine through the popular format mix of large-group lectures, interactive small-group oral presentations and workshops, and poster presentations.  Clinicians and non-clinicians are invited to participate; we encourage and celebrate the diversity of professional roles and disciplines represented among participants.  We intend to offer continuing medical education (CME) credits for eligible clinicians.

Our Virtual Platform

The Street Medicine Institute has selected Whova again as the virtual platform for ISMS XVII to be used in combination with Zoom for face-to-face interaction. In addition to streaming lecture, workshop, and poster presentations, Whova offers capacity for members to connect through online chat and message boards, a mobile app, and the ability to watch or re-watch recorded sessions for up to one year.  The organizing committee of ISMS XVII hopes this platform will allow you to have the ability to meaningfully connect with each other, despite our physical distance again this year. 

Using Whova requires an internet connection, but no download of the platform is necessary to view and participate in educational sessions.  The Whova mobile app does require a download and internet connection.  To join some of the interactive sessions, participants will also need to download Zoom prior to the symposium.   Web links to Zoom meeting rooms via our Whova platform will allow automatic connection between the two platforms to enter some of the presentations and workshops.  All downloads are free, but may incur mobile data charges if Wifi is not available.  The symposium organizers will send additional information, including instructions on use, about Zoom and the Whova platform and app several weeks prior to ISMS XVII.

Reconnect and Re-energize

As consistently reported by past participants, one of the most valuable experiences of the ISMS is the opportunity to interact with street medicine colleagues from around the world.  This year, as a part of our virtual package, program activities will incorporate time to reconnect with old friends, make new contacts, and share stories of the triumphs and challenges of this important work.  Specifically, the mobile app permits up to 30 people to connect via video chat in one room.  Participants will be inspired and re-energized as they renew a common commitment to improving the lives of their brothers and sisters living on the streets.

Program Schedule

As consistently has been the case in the past, we received an impressive array of speaker proposals  and extend our thanks to all who participated in the 2021 Call for Presenters.  

Knowing there are unique challenges in gathering participants throughout the world for a virtual symposium, the organizing committee selected a schedule intended to serve as many time zones as possible.  Because we are unable to accommodate every time zone, recorded sessions will be available with your registration.  The schedule is still being finalized and will be made available in the coming weeks; we expect the program to be an enriching, educational experience for all who attend.  The Street Medicine Institute reserves the right to make last minute programming and schedule adjustments due to unforeseen circumstances.  

Street Medicine 101 Workshop 

We are pleased to again offer this special pre-symposium workshop, updated this year to address common challenges among new and developing Street Medicine programs through our virtual platform.  This high-yield introductory session is targeted to those individuals and organizations that may be new to Street Medicine or in need of expert guidance to launch or enhance their Street Medicine activities.  This workshop will provide an instructive overview of the history, principles, and practice of Street Medicine, as well as interaction with experts in the field for guidance and problem solving. 


Registration is now open and is free and exclusive to our members who joined or renewed this year!  If you are already a member, please click HERE to register.  If you are not a member and would like to attend the symposium, click HERE to become a member.  If you have any difficulty with the registration process, please contact Chris Rafalski at [email protected]

Program Member Registration: If you are registering a group of people from your program, please ensure they have first all been included in your Program Membership account.  You may continue to add individuals to your Program account and register them for the symposium at any time up until the event.  If you have any trouble with the registration process, please contact Chris Rafalski at [email protected]

Message from the Chair

I have heard from so many of you about how much you miss convening in person.  The ISMS organizing committee shares this longing, but has concluded that it is the most inclusive and safe option for our international community to meet virtually again.  Though we remain unable to see each other face-to-face, I hope you will feel connected and uplifted through this virtual community event.. 

With your participation and expertise, we anticipate another outstanding International Street Medicine Symposium!  I hope to see you virtually in October as we continue to learn from one another and renew our collective commitment to improving the lives of our brothers and sisters living and sleeping on the streets throughout the world.

In service and solidarity,


Liz Frye, MD, MPH

Chair, 17th annual International Street Medicine Symposium

Click Here to Register