BHCHP Summer Zoom Series - July 14 - COVID-19 Tent Medicine

Maggie Beiser, NP, and Diana Aycinena, RN present on the concept of tent medicine, a necessary innovation our staff deftly made in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for the surge in our community. 

Maggie Beiser, ANP/Diana Aycinena, RN: COVID-19 TENT MEDICINE Tuesday, July 14 at 11 am

Over the course of six days in the middle of March, BHCHP, in conjunction with the City of Boston and Suffolk Construction, designed and built a comprehensive care site with two MASH-style medical tents for the city’s unsheltered. These are individuals who had nowhere to isolate if they had COVID-19 symptoms or had been exposed to someone who had tested positive. The tents were part of BHCHP’s comprehensive response to support homeless individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 (isolation tent A), or at risk for developing them (quarantine tent B), which also included BHCHP-led screening and testing at area shelters, and isolation for COVID+ individuals at our 24/7 Barbara McInnis House (a few blocks away) and the Boston Hope field hospital. On Saturday, March 21, we admitted our first patients to the tent in a parking lot behind the Southampton Shelter, in the shadow of the South Bay House of Corrections. We counseled, tested, quarantined and, if people tested positive, we immediately admitted them to our Barbara McInnis House, or to an area hospital. At the time, no city in the country had devised such a comprehensive solution.

Diana and Maggie will talk about:

  • How the tents came to be-- and the mad scramble to get them up within a week
  • Operating the tents, changing priorities, staffing, patient education and support, Mission Control, and lessons learned
  • How this experience will inform our future work, on the COVID front, and within our own practice.

Marguerite Beiser, ANP-BC, Director of HCV Services

Maggie has been an adult nurse practitioner at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program for the past 12 years. She provides care to patients living with HIV and has been certified as an HIV Specialist by the American Academy of HIV Medicine since 2010. In 2014 she developed and implemented a primary care-based hepatitis C treatment program which has treated over 900 individuals and with an astounding cure rate of 85% within this very vulnerable patient population. She currently administers that program as the Director of HCV Services and participates in HCV treatment advocacy, policy planning and research at local, state and national levels. Maggie completed her training as an adult nurse practitioner at Columbia University School of Nursing in 2008.

Diana Aycinena, RN, Director of Case Management

Diana oversees the social services for BHCHP patients and serves as a homeless health care liaison to major Boston hospitals, coordinating care for our patients seen often by emergency services. She also oversees the Behavioral Health Community Partners, a Mass Health care management program that serves dual-diagnosis, medically complex homeless patients in Boston. Diana joined BHCHP in 2012 as a medical respite nurse. Early in her career, she developed an interest in the intersection between social determinants of health and healthcare. She entered the case management field by working on a Housing First, post-housing stabilization initiative led by researchers at University of Massachusetts Medical School. Diana completed her nursing training at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. Although a nurse by training, Diana’s interest lies in building connections between case management and medical care providers at BHCHP and in Boston.