Photo description: Tina Chery (r), Founder, President and CEO of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Fields Corner.
Boston Medical Center Emergency Medicine Residents’ Class of 2019: A Unity Tour to Meet the Neighbors
By: Jonathan Santiago, MD (PGY 1)
On June 19th, 2015, the emergency medicine intern class of 2019 set out to discover the neighborhoods they will serve for the next four years. For many interns – several coming from as far as Hawaii and Ireland – it was their first time visiting the streets of Roxbury and Dorchester. Led by Dr. Ed Bernstein and Project ASSERT staff, the community tour was first organized three years ago with two purposes: (1) to visit and learn about the community’s resources; and (2) expose BMC’s newest doctors to the social ills that manifest in ED visits. “We wanted to welcome the interns to not only BMC but the community-at-large…to encourage them to be stakeholders in the community’s health. We want them to get involved and not be afraid to enter these neighborhoods because of rumors they hear…they are now a part of us,” said Ludy Young, a Project ASSERT supervisor of twenty-one years and Dorchester resident. With this notion of service and unity, twelve interns would soon begin a day full of inspiration, reflection, and initiation into the greater BMC family.
The morning began with a presentation on the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program at BMC, a public health intervention that has become a national model in addressing substance abuse disorders. The knowledge gained during these morning exercises proved helpful in understanding the role of Hope House, a residential treatment center for recovering substance abusers and the first visit of the day. “Visiting Hope House was a nice way to get exposed to some of the follow-up and transition options that are available for patients suffering with substance abuse issues.
Although there’s clearly a shortage of these kinds of facilities, and not enough high quality rehabilitation programs out there, it’s great to know that there are passionate people who are working to improve the lives of folks who are trying to get clean and make a change in their lives,” said Haley Thun, an intern from Atlanta, Georgia. The visit included the touching testimony of a former user, now clean for many years and expressing his gratitude for Hope House. “I can’t imagine how hard it would be to do the right thing for patients with substance abuse disorders in our ED if it weren’t for programs like this one,” continued Haley.