Massachusetts Medical Society

“We got to go into BHCHP and interview patients. We would talk with them for 40 minutes, sometimes even an hour, and they would open up to us about their lives. A large proportion of those patients were dealing with OUD. Through that experience, I got a more personal look at people affected by opioids; it put a face on the problem.”

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The Boston Herald

A commission formed to develop ways to reduce the harm caused by substance use disorder has filed its final report, ending its seven-month study by recommending that Massachusetts pursue a pilot drug consumption site program to help prevent deaths from opioid overdoses.

The commission was chaired by state Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and its members included Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, state Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, and Jessie Gaeta, chief medical officer at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, among others.

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Mass Live

A state commission charged with reviewing "harm reduction" initiatives used elsewhere with drug users is recommending a "pilot program of one or more supervised consumption sites" as part of state efforts "to combat the opioid crisis."

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Harvard Political Review

As of January 16, 2019, Edwin Chindongo is three years sober. If asked a few years earlier whether he would be able to follow a path to recovery, Chindongo might have said no. “I thought if I die, I die,” Chindongo told the HPR. That was before Chindongo met Dr. Avik Chatterjee, a physician at Boston Health Care for the Homeless, a shelter-based program at the heart of Boston’s opioid epidemic. Chatterjee helped Chindongo recover from the opioid substance use disorder he had developed following his use of prescription Percocet. Chindongo now finds himself working in the very same shelter where he once lived, helping those who see themselves as incapable or undeserving of receiving help.

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LA Times

“The idea that people froze to death is really horrible; it is a shared societal tragedy,” said Jim O’Connell, founding director of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, who researches hypothermia among homeless people.

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Beacon Hill Times

Many thanks to all our Beacon Hill neighbors who gave so generously to the recent BHCA clothing drive to benefit the work of Dr. Jim O’Connell and his patients at BHCHP. The clothes were delivered by BHCA volunteers to their Albany Street location last week, where they will be put to good use keeping our homeless population warm in these winter months. In addition, Rachel Thurlow, BHCA Director and Chair of the Cambridge Street Committee, gathered over 30 friends recently to assemble 50 winter kits filled with socks, hats, gloves and toiletries for Dr. Jim’s patients as well. Thanks to all!

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The Boston Globe

More than 1,000 people registered to walk in the third annual Winter Walk, according to organizers. The crowd gathered in Copley Plaza early Sunday morning in an effort to raise money and awareness for people experiencing homelessness.

Ari Barbanell, the event’s executive director, said the walk takes place in February to demonstrate the hardships that homeless individuals face during the winter.

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Business Wire

The Recuperative Care Pilot Program was based on the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program started in 1985. This program experienced 50% lower odds of early re-admission or death, 1 less inpatient day, and $1,740 less inpatient charges at 90 days. A similar program in Orange County, CA experienced an annual cost savings of $7 Million and an 84% reduction in Emergency Department visits.

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Wicked Local Belmont

Dr. David Alper is accepting sock donations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays at his office, 1 Oak Ave., Belmont.

Alper will donate all sock donations to Boston Healthcare for the Homeless, an agency that cares for homeless individuals. For every two pairs of socks donated, Alper will add an additional pair. Boston Healthcare for the Homeless will be contacted as donations come in and the donations will then be distributed to the people they serve.

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We are all acutely aware of the effects of this cold time of year – and the homeless amongst us even more so. Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program is an amazing agency, caring for those less fortunate in so many ways. Now, they have teamed up with the BOSTON RED SOX to address one of those needs: clean, warm socks. The lack of the ability to keep feet warm and protected leads to many cases of frostbite and amputation  – sad realities that are so easily preventable through distributing clean socks to those in need.

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