Watertown resident leads charge against chronic disease among Boston’s homeless
Watertown resident Maggie Beiser is fighting to eliminate hepatitis C in Boston’s homeless population. A new drug has made the chronic illness curable. A nurse practitioner, Beiser is working with the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) to create better access to this treatment for her patients.
Hepatitis C is a viral infection spread via contaminated blood, according to the Mayo Clinic. The virus attacks the liver and can lead to cirrhosis or, in some acute cases, liver failure or liver cancer.
BHCHP provides health care for Boston’s homeless population. Beiser has worked with them as an adult nurse practitioner for the last 10 years. After graduating from her master’s degree program in New York, Besier started looking for jobs in the Boston area. From the very beginning she wanted to work with HIV-positive patients. This is how she stumbled across BHCHP, who were treating a significant patient population infected with HIV as a result of injection drug use.