Boston Healthcare for the Homeless

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) at MGH

BHCHP at Massachusetts General Hospital assures access to the highest quality of care for homeless men, women, and children in metropolitan Boston. Multidisciplinary teams at BHCHP deliver direct care services in more than 78 sites, including a site located within MGH.

Call us for more information: 617-726-2707

Overview

A trusting relationship between patient and doctor/clinician is the cornerstone of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program’s (BHCHP) model of care. BHCHP provides direct care that is fully integrated within Boston’s mainstream health care system, and addresses the unique health-related needs of homeless people resulting from conditions like exposure to extreme weather, trauma, violence, chronic illnesses, persistent mental illness, and substance abuse. 

BHCHP at Mass General offers primary care each weekday in the Medical Walk-in Unit, and coordinates and assists with care and discharge planning for homeless patients throughout MGH. The Barbara McInnis House provides recuperative and rehabilitative care to homeless persons who are too ill or injured to withstand the rigors of life on the streets and in homeless shelters. This innovative model fills a widening gap in the health care system for those without the safety and support of a home and family.

BHCHP’s Street Team, based out of Mass General, provides direct care in a variety of unconventional settings: under bridges, down back alleys, in abandoned cars, on park benches and street corners, and in community meals programs, overnight drop-in centers, emergency departments, detoxification units, and nursing homes. These dedicated professionals are a consistent presence on the streets, providing a continuum of care that brings people from the street corner, to the intensive care unit, to respite care, and ideally, to secure housing.

In addition, BHCHP actively prepares future physicians in the art and skill of caring for homeless persons at MGH. Primary care residents join BHCHP staff for community and street clinics during their ambulatory rotations, and spend two or four weeks with BHCHP in an elective rotation, working directly with various clinics and teams, learning firsthand about the special health care needs of homeless persons.

About this Program

2015 Outcomes

  • There were 4,417 encounters at the MGH site during Thursday “street” clinic and through street outreach. Encounters include visits with primary care providers, behavioral health providers, nurses and case managers.
  • Medical and behavioral health clinicians and case managers made 1,003 home visits to 176 housed
  • Forty-two percent of the patients seen in home visits were also admitted to the Barbara McInnis House medical respite facility for clinical stabilization and housing
  • BHCHP nursing liaisons made 747 visits to homeless and formerly homeless inpatients at MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospital for discharge planning including screening for admission to the Barbara McInnis House after hospital discharge.
  • 238 patients received integrated medical and behavioral care for 2,214 medical encounters and 1,336 mental health encounters as part of a collaborative grant through MGH and the Department of Mental Health.

Video

  • Boston Health Care for the Homeless at Massachusetts General Hospital

    Clinicians from the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of General Internal Medicine help provide high-quality care to homeless men, women and children in the area through the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP). The program coordinates and provides interdisciplinary care as well as discharge planning to homeless patients, while partner organizations provide recuperative and rehabilitative care to those who are too ill or injured to withstand the rigors of life on the streets and in homeless shelters. This innovative model fills a widening gap in the health care system for individuals in our community who lack the safety and support of a home and family. Meet some patients who have overcome complex medical and psychosocial challenges with the help of this innovative program.

Contact

Contact Us

Boston Healthcare for the Homeless

780 Albany St. Boston, MA 02118

Call us for more information: 617-726-2707

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