BHCHP Chief Medical Officer, Jessie Gaeta, MD, recently wrote a moving essay for the JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, “A Pitiful Sanctuary.” The piece talks about her experience reversing overdoses in BHCHP bathrooms and her sadness at not being able to do more to help these patients and relieve their psychic pain.
Dr. Gaeta has been at the national forefront of the efforts to address the opioid overdose epidemic among homeless individuals. She created the country’s first dedicated clinical space, SPOT (Supervised Place for Observation and Treatment), that medically monitors patients after they have injected opioids in order to prevent overdose. She also treats people with substance use disorder in a clinic-on-wheels, the CareZONE van. The van travels to Boston overdose hotspots and cares for patients who eschew regular health centers. The CareZONE van is a partnership of The Kraft Center, the GE Foundation, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and AHOPE, a program of the Boston Public Health Commission, with support from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, The Hearst Foundation, Partners HealthCare and Ford Motor Company. Check out this WBUR piece on the CareZONE.
Congratulations to Dr. Gaeta for being published in this prestigious peer-reviewed journal.