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Am J Public Health. 2010 Aug;100(8):1400-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.173609. Epub 2010 Jun 17.

The Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program: a public health framework.

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  • 1Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, MA 02118, USA.


During the past 25 years, the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program has evolved into a service model embodying the core functions and essential services of public health. Each year the program provides integrated medical, behavioral, and oral health care, as well as preventive services, to more than 11 000 homeless people. Services are delivered in clinics located in 2 teaching hospitals, 80 shelters and soup kitchens, and an innovative 104-bed medical respite unit. We explain the program's principles of care, describe the public health framework that undergirds the program, and offer lessons for the elimination of health disparities suffered by this vulnerable population.

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