The Family Team at Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program: an integrated approach to care in outreach settings
Since 1986, the Family Team at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program has implemented an integrated, inter-professional, team-based model of care to serve families experiencing homelessness. The Family Team employs key strategies delineated by the well-established Health Care for the Homeless model, which emphasizes the importance of outreach medicine and a case management “one-stop shop approach”. We include an account of a specific case where the Family Team’s unique model helped a refugee family in Massachusetts access medical and social services otherwise more difficult to obtain. The Family Team’s onsite presence in the hotel-shelter and the team-based approach facilitated diagnosis of and successful treatment for cervical cancer in a mother of eight children. This case report suggests that the Health Care for the Homeless model of care should be more widely adopted in order to best serve homeless families.