Skip to main content
Meeting Them Where They Are

Miami Street Medicine volunteers provide free health care services to Miami-Dade’s homeless populations
Jonette Keri, M.D., Ph.D.

Jonette Keri, M.D., Ph.D.


n Saturday mornings, a team of about a half dozen Miller School students and physicians takes to the streets of Miami — or, more to the point, to the unsheltered people who live on the streets. They’re among the more than 30 volunteers who comprise the aptly named Miami Street Medicine, a nonprofit organization founded in 2018 by then third-year Miller School student Dan Bergholz, M.D. ’23, to provide free health care services to the homeless population of Miami-Dade County. This organization falls under the umbrella of Dade County Street Response, started by UM faculty member Armen Henderson, M.D., M.B.A., assistant professor of medicine.

During their weekly street rounds, the MSM teams encounter individuals with any number of medical issues, including various skin conditions, said Jonette Keri, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of clinical dermatology and cutaneous surgery, as well as a regular MSM volunteer and member of its advisory board. “At least half of the people we see have something on their skin. I see a lot of ringworm, bug bites and dermatitis, which are often very treatable right there,” she said. “We also care for chronic wounds and other cutaneous infections, as well as coordinating skin cancer removal for patients.”

Dr. Keri came to Miami in 2000 for her dermatology residency at UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital, joined the Miller School faculty full time in 2004 and began serving as the chief of dermatology services at Miami VA Medical Center that same year. “I got involved with Miami Street Medicine in 2022 through a fellow dermatologist and faculty member, Dr. Brian Morrison,” she said. Drs. Keri and Morrison are part of what MSM refers to as its Street Dermatology branch, which also has included Taha Rasul, M.D. ’23, Megan Mathew, M.D., M.P.H. ’23, and Emily Eachus, M.D. Class of ’25.

“Our department has a strong history of community service,” Dr. Keri said, adding that the medical students on the MSM teams “are the best part of this. The residents on the streets know them and trust them. I’m just a cog in the wheel who goes along with them, and I’m thankful for that. It’s one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things I’ve done in my career.”