Doctor practicing 'Street Medicine' named Top Hero of 2015

Dr. Jim Withers is a doctor and resident in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Every two or three times a week, he leaves his home at night, disguises himself as a homeless man and he visits places that most people would avoid. There, Withers has been searching for the homeless to offer them free, quality medical care for those who need it.

He does that for 23 years now and he calls it "street medicine." "I was actually really shocked how ill people were on the street. It was like going to a third-world country," Withers said. "Young, old, people with mental illness, runaway kids, women (who) fled domestic violence, veterans. And they all have their own story."

Withers inspired a whole community and what he started by himself, it gradually evolved in something bigger, creating a citywide program called Operation Safety Net. The organization provides a mobile medical van, walk-in clinics, a computerized database of homeless patients, and the ability to track and assist patients with health care and recovery.

With an indomitable will to help more, Withers also initiated a non profit organization called the Street Medicine Institute, which supports communities in starting their own medical programs for the homeless. You can vote for Dr. Withers as your choice to be Hero of the Year at

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