Kraft CareZONE van boston globe credit: Michael Dwyer/Associated Press/File 2017
The Boston Globe

Another prominent Boston-area business leader is stepping up to address the state’s opioid crisis.

The Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital — funded by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family’s charitable foundation — on Tuesday rolled out a specially equipped mobile van, dubbed CareZone, to bring health services to Boston residents who are struggling with addiction. The van will rotate between two locations in the city, one in the Dudley Square area and the other close to North Station.

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft CareZONE mobile health van ribbon cutting
New England Patriots

The Kraft family attended the unveiling of CareZONE, which is a mobile health center that will be going out into the community to help serve those who need it most.

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 Kraft CareZone ribbon cutting
The Kraft Center of Community Health

Nearly every Boston neighborhood has been affected by the national opioid epidemic and in Boston, overdose deaths have almost tripled in the last five years.  In January 2018, The Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital unveiled CareZONE, a mobile health van aimed at better engaging individuals struggling with addiction and complex health conditions to deliver on-demand services and linkages to community health centers who can provide ongoing care.

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Our relationships with Boston Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital are unique in the country, and distinguish BHCHP from all of the other 250 health care for the homeless programs across the country. By sharing our mission, these academic teaching hospitals have incorporated our health care of homeless persons into the fabric of their own daily clinical mission to assure excellence in the care of our most vulnerable neighbors. The quiet legacy of BMC and MGH, two world-class institutions, to serve our patients is a truly singular commitment that has withstood the test.

Winter in New England poses many challenges to us all, but as you might imagine, cold weather is a particularly intense threat for our patients here at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. As the nights grow longer and the temperature drops, our patients are especially at risk. So what are we doing to prepare our patients and what can you do to help?

Boston Medical Center
Bay State Banner

Boston Medical Center announced this month a $6.5 million investment initiative to support affordable housing in the city and track how health care systems can reduce medical costs for families by improving housing security and community health over a five-year period.

These investments include $1 million to Pine Street Inn and the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program to create a housing stabilization program; a $1 million no-interest loan and $400,000 operating subsidy to support a new healthy food market in a new housing development in Roxbury; and $800,000 over four years to rehabilitate 35 units of Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation’s housing for individuals with mental health issues on Waldeck Street in Fields Corner.

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RIZE Massachusetts

RIZE Massachusetts (RIZE), a state-wide philanthropic initiative, chose six organizations from a broad pool of applicants to receive $50,000 design grants for its inaugural Saving Lives, Improving Health: Redesigning Opioid Use Disorder Care program.

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When people think of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, they typically consider our medical or behavioral health work on the street or in over 40 shelter or hospital locations in Boston. Case management is one of the vital parts of our work that focuses on supporting the important social circumstances of our patients, which can be critical to their overall good health.

The Boston Globe

Dr. Jennifer Brody, director of HIV services for the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, speaks about the uptick in HIV rates among those injecting drugs.

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BHCHP has participated in planning Boston’s Transgender Day of Remembrance event for the past six years and this year sponsored the event as well. This year, BHCHP hosted our own Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) event for the first time. TDOR is a global, annual event to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

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