CBS News

Dr. James O’Connell has been called by some the “Saint of Boston.”

He co-founded the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program in the 1980s, and it has since become the largest free-standing treatment center for the homeless in the country.

O’Connell, who is also an assistant professor at Harvard University, is now out with a new memoir, Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor. In it, he describes his nearly three decades of treating our city’s most vulnerable.

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NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross

As a doctor who provides medical care to Boston's homeless population, James O'Connell and his colleagues are used to working in unusual locations. "We are basically visiting them in their homes, which are often under bridges, down back alleyways [and] on park benches," O'Connell tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's been an education for us over these years."

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Living in a motel is not a vacation. Families are crammed into one room, with no kitchen, no place for children to play or do homework, and no privacy. Day in and day out. “Marguerite” knows this reality very well. She has been living in a motel near Boston with her 14-year old son, “Nicolas”, and her 1-year old daughter, “Sophie”.

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WBUR Radio Boston

The man known as “Boston’s doctor to the homeless” has spent 30 years offering hot coffee, warm blankets and medical care to souls left on the streets.

Now, Dr. Jim O’Connell, co-founder and president of Boston Health Care for the Homeless, has written a book of essays about his experiences, Stories from the Shadows.

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Boston Globe

As a young man, the doctor made a promise. He would do this kind of work for one year. It was, he believed, all anyone could stand.

Practicing medicine on the street is too taxing. It pushes its practitioners to the edge of their physical and emotional limits. One year, he told himself, and then it’s time for oncology.

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Boston Globe

In the summer of 1985, two days after finishing his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. James J. O’Connell entered the Nurses’ Clinic at Pine Street Inn for his first day of work. As he tells the story in his new book, Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor, his swagger drew a “stern grimace” from Barbara McInnis and the other nurses.

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They were roommates at Barbara McInnis House, BHCHP's 104-bed respite care facility for homeless adults with complex conditions like cancer, heart disease, pneumonia and diabetes. If Barbara McInnis House did not exist, these two men, who were both too sick for shelters or the streets, would require prolonged and costly hospitalization in the acute care rooms of Boston's hospitals.

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Wicked Local

You can’t keep a good cyclist down. After being forced to the sidelines last year, Medford resident Stacy Kirkpatrick made a much-anticipated return to the road for the 35th annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, Aug. 1-2.

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Boston Globe

It’s a long way from his practice at Massachusetts General Hospital, where Gonzalez sees more well-heeled patients. The homeless sometimes can’t, sometimes won’t get to mainstream hospitals, so for nearly two decades, Gonzalez, 76, has taken his black bag to them at the Barbara McInnis House on Albany Street, where Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) runs a treatment center.

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North End Post Gazette

Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) recently honored Howard K. Koh, MD, professor of the practice of public health leadership and director of the Leading Change Stuio at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health with it's Dr. Jim O'Connell Award.

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