A Unique Partnership to Treat Domestic Violence Survivors

For survivors of domestic violence, recovering from abuse can involve both emotional and physical reconstruction. A unique partnership between Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary expands access to much-needed treatment by providing free or low-cost care to women, men, children and transgender patients who have suffered from domestic violence.

The program began at Mass. Eye and Ear, when Missy Allen, manager of the Facial Nerve Center and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Center, approached her employer about financially supporting some of the domestic violence patients that the hospital was already treating, reported The Boston Globe. Allen now coordinates care for Mass. Eye and Ear’s domestic violence patients in the program.

MGH began working with Mass. Eye and Ear to treat these patients in 2009.

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Tags: affordability, community

Home Care: A Key Link in the Population Health Management Chain

Population Health Management patient Shirley Hutchins with a Partners at Home occupational therapist

It was late spring of this year when Shirley Hutchin’s chronic breathing problems suddenly got worse. She had been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, or high blood pressure in the lungs, and pulmonary fibrosis, a kind of scarring on her lung tissue.

But even after using oxygen on a part-time basis for nearly a year, she couldn’t catch her breath. Walking up and down the stairs to her second-floor apartment in an East Boston triple-decker was all but impossible.

Mrs. Hutchins, 75, called her primary care physician, who told her to immediately check herself into Massachusetts General Hospital. She spent six days in the hospital, followed by a week in Spaulding North Shore, a rehabilitation hospital in the Partners HealthCare network.

But now that Mrs. Hutchins is out of the hospital, she still needs help. She must adapt to being tethered full-time to an oxygen tank. She has to build up her lung capacity so she can perform daily chores without becoming winded. And she must re-learn how to function in the modest apartment she has lived in for 35 years.

But, she is not alone. Twice a week, an occupational therapist from Partners HealthCare at Home visits Mrs. Hutchins.

On any given day, Partners HealthCare at Home treats about 4,000 people in eastern Massachusetts, stretching from Newburyport on the North Shore to Plymouth in the south.

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Tags: coordinated care

The Case for Better Behavioral Health Care

Christine Tebaldi, RN, at McLean Hospital

More than 60 million Americans live with mental illness each year, yet social stigma and a lack of treatment facilities can make it difficult for them to get the care they need.

“While over the past two decades, the public’s awareness of mental illnesses and the effectiveness of treatment have significantly reduced the stigma, it remains a significant barrier both to the individual deciding to seek treatment and to the siting of treatment facilities and programs,” says Tim O’Leary, deputy director of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health.

As other providers cut back, we are embarking on a significant expansion of these services, which includes adding 50 new beds – mostly at McLean Hospital – and the creation of a new Center of Excellence in Behavioral Health in Lynn. We’re also focused on improving the quality of psychiatric care, and we believe better coordination between behavioral and primary health care is key to achieving that.

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Tags: coordinated care, redesigning care

Healthier Communities Start in the Classroom

Open Circle at Boston Public Schools Tobin K-8

At Partners HealthCare, we know that healthy living extends beyond the doctor’s office to include the neighborhoods where our patients live and work. That’s why we’re proud to aid Boston Public Schools in their efforts to give teachers the resources they need to help students grow to become engaged, responsible members of their communities.

In neighborhoods across Boston, we’re supporting social and emotional learning through an investment that brings the Open Circle curriculum to 42 public schools in Boston, in partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission. Developed by the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, Open Circle provides evidence-based curriculum and professional development for teachers of kindergarten through fifth grade students.

At the Tobin K-8 School in Roxbury, Principal Efrain Toledano is seeing clear results. Since the school began using the Open Circle curriculum three years ago, students have learned how to resolve differences and handle conflicts with their classmates.

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Tags: community

Keeping Kids Well Nourished During the Summer

Summer Food Service Program in East Boston with Mayor Walsh and Dr. Gary GottliebA critical component to good health is good nutrition. However, for some children, healthy meals can be elusive.

In Massachusetts, 363,000 kids qualify for free or subsidized breakfast and lunch during the school year. And when school is out, children in families that struggle with food insecurity can’t always count on regular, healthy meals.

That’s why this summer we once again continued our partnership with Project Bread, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Our commitment helped to bring meals to nearly 12,000 children a day in Boston and several surrounding communities during the summer months. Preventing hunger during the summer helps ensure that kids return to school healthy and ready to learn in the fall.

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Tags: community

Combining Affordability with Quality Health Care

Partners for Community Health Hyannis eventEarlier this week we visited Harbor Health Services in Hyannis to announce $3 million in grants to health centers on Cape Cod, the Islands and partnering community health centers (CHCs).

In our two years partnering with Neighborhood Health Plan and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers we’ve awarded over $10 million to Massachusetts health centers. The projects awarded will allow the CHCs to transform operations, patient communications and service delivery while collaborating with other health centers to find new solutions to common problems.

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Tags: community, community partnerships

Discussing Our Proposed Partnerships with WGBH’s Emily Rooney

Partners HealthCare president and CEO Dr. Gary Gottlieb appeared on WGBH’s “Greater Boston” last night to discuss our proposed partnerships with South Shore Hospital, Hallmark Health and Harbor Medical Associates.

“Our vision is really about our patients — getting them care where they live,” Dr. Gottlieb told host Emily Rooney.

As Rooney stated, Partners is known for our academic medical centers, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which serve an important role in providing the highest-quality care available to patients. However, Dr. Gottlieb noted there may not be a need to come to Boston; by partnering with hospitals in Melrose, Medford and Weymouth, we will better serve patients in those communities, closer to their homes, and help control health costs.

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Tags: affordability, coordinated care

Workforce Wednesdays: Patrick Menaged



Patrick Menaged is a Distribution Technician II at Newton-Wellesley Hospital (NWH), where he has worked for more than six years. Over this time, Patrick has grown in his role, earning promotions and helping to mentor other technicians. In addition, he is the Materials Management Team Leader in the operating room (OR), where he is responsible for ordering and overseeing everything needed in the OR, including all supplies and equipment.

While at NWH, Patrick – who moved to the United States from Haiti in 2001 – took advantage of the hospital’s U.S. Citizenship Program, which provides assistance with the application process, practice interviews and preparation for the citizenship test. This free, onsite program is available to NWH employees and their families.

In February 2013, Patrick was delighted to become a U.S. citizen. “I feel more freedom now that I am a U.S. citizen, and I am happy that I can vote and have a voice in this great country,” said Patrick.

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Tags: creating jobs

Workforce Wednesdays: Carmen Peña



Carmen learned about the Partners in Career and Workforce Development (PCWD) program from a flyer while she was unemployed and decided to apply. For Carmen, this was the first step in a long journey of personal and professional growth.

To get started on her career path, Carmen enrolled in PCWD. Soon after graduating she was hired by Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital (BWFH). She quickly took advantage of the hospital’s other workforce development offerings, taking pre-college preparatory courses and participating in the Partners Online College Preparation Program (OCPP).

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Carmen fulfilled a long-time personal goal of becoming a U.S. citizen in 2013. She was able to achieve this goal by participating in the free, onsite U.S. Citizenship Program at BWFH. Carmen is focusing on her short-term goal of completing the next phases of her education and registering for classes toward an associate degree in business at Roxbury Community College. Her long-term goal is to obtain her bachelor’s degree in business and continue her career growth.

“My involvement in these programs has been driven by my simple desire to achieve professional growth,” said Carmen, a mother of three young boys who believes she is setting an example for her children, including her two teenaged stepdaughters. “I feel that I owe it to myself and my family. I want them to see what can happen when you set goals and seize opportunities – you can achieve anything.”

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Tags: creating jobs

Boston Hospitals Make Top 10 in U.S. News & World Report

Boston is again home to two of the nation’s top hospitals, according to the 2014-2015 U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals list. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) ranked second on the Honor Roll and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), ninth. Boston is also the only city with two hospitals in the top 10 list; 2014 marks the eighth consecutive year that Partners HealthCare’s founding members have held that honor.

U.S. News recognized several other Partners hospitals for their excellence in specialty care. McLean Hospital was ranked fourth in the nation for psychiatry, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital came in at sixth for rehabilitation. MGH and BWH both appeared among the top hospitals in the country for a range of specialties, as well.

At the regional level, MGH and BWH were ranked first and second in the Boston area, respectively. Newton-Wellesley Hospital was also in the top 10 at number nine in the Boston area, commended for its services in diabetes and endocrinology, geriatrics, orthopedics and urology. And North Shore Medical Center ranked number 13 on the Boston list, also noted for its distinction in geriatric care.

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Tags: uniform high quality

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