Jessie Gaeta, MD

BHCHP Chief Medical Officer, Jessie Gaeta, MD, recently wrote a moving essay for the JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, "A Pitiful Sanctuary."  The piece talks about her experience reversing overdoses in BHCHP bathrooms and her sadness at not being able to do more to help these patients and relieve their psychic pain.

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WHDH Channel 7

Fans attending a Boston Red Sox game this weekend are encouraged to bring new, white athletic socks to Fenway as a donation to the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.

The 14th annual “Sox for Socks” drive will kick off Friday and will last through Sunday as the Red Sox play the Los Angeles Angels.

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Care Message

“Care Zone” Van Takes on Opioid Addiction

Massachusetts is seeing a new approach to combating the opioid crisis thanks to a project in partnership with Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. The Care Zone van, which provides medical evaluations and prescriptions for people dealing with drug addiction, houses a veteran outreach worker, a physician, and a case manager to make drug treatment just as available as the drugs. The van, donated by Ford Motors, costs $160,000 to outfit and organizers hope to expand the program later this year. 

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The Fix

The mobile outreach program provides Suboxone prescriptions, syringe exchange, health screenings, disease management and other free services for individuals who are homeless and struggling with addiction.

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Boston Business Journal

A good culture is about more than just free snacks, according to Definitive Health Care CEO Jason Krantz. Krantz added that an unrelenting focus on a high-quality, cohesive culture is key.

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Spare Change News

The need for housing was also mentioned by James O’Connell, founder and president of the Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program.

O’Connell credited the city for its treatment of homelessness as a public health crisis throughout the years but said weakness in all sectors need to be addressed as more people come into the shelter system and into the city.

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Wicked Local West Roxbury

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program honored Mayor Marty Walsh and entrepreneur-philanthropist Paul English at its Medicine that Matters gala on May 20 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.

“We are proud to be honoring two very good friends of BHCHP, who, in different, but equally critical ways, have been stalwart supporters of our patients and our work,” said BHCHP CEO Barry Bock, of Roslindale.

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Wicked Local Lexington

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program honored Mayor Martin J. Walsh and entrepreneur-philanthropist Paul English at its Medicine that Matters gala on May 20 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.

Walsh received the program’s esteemed Dr. Jim O’Connell Award for protecting and promoting the health and well-being of every Bostonian, especially those suffering from substance use disorder. English received the program’s highly regarded Tim Russert Award for his activism and philanthropy — particularly in the area of homelessness — that is rooted in his belief that compassion must be accompanied by action.

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Health City

Over the past 20 years the opioid epidemic has washed over the country in waves. First came the arrival of OxyContin and the rapid spread of prescribed opioids in the late 1990s. Then came the migration from prescription pills to injected heroin. And finally, about five years ago, came fentanyl and a staggering rise in overdose deaths.

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The Care Zone team pairs veteran outreach workers with a doctor and a case manager. Ribeiro and Mackin, veteran street workers, typically make the first contact with an occupied sleeping bag. Dr. Jessie Gaeta, chief medical officer with the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, approaches once it’s clear that a new face won’t send the person back into hiding. She knows many of these prospective patients feel shunned by mainstream medicine.

"We’re trying to let people know we’re not there to arrest them. We’re not there to clean up their encampment and kick them out," Gaeta says. "All we want to know is, do we have something you need and want, and if we do, great, here it is. And so we gradually build a relationship that way."

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