By: Stan A McLaren, MBA, President & CEO

Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center (HSNHC) is part of the frontlines that continues to face the greatest health threat of our generation - the Coronavirus Pandemic rages on across the country. From the onset of this crisis, Harvard Street prepared for the worst. The Pandemic has caused unprecedented strains on the healthcare delivery system, from a shortage of testing and medical supplies to the fact that COVID-19 disproportionately affects the population served by the HSNHC. Not only has COVID-19 brought forth misery and death, but it has also exposed many of the inequities that affect the patients we serve in our health center each day. This disease is a Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) Disease. Poverty, food insecurity, access to housing, etc. are all SDoH that can have a considerable effect on COVID-19 outcomes.

According to Dr. Christopher Zimmerman, medical director at HSNHC, “The impact of the Pandemic has been wide-ranging and will likely continue to impact care and operations at HSNHC as well as other health centers.”

Throughout our history, HSNHC has stayed committed to providing quality care to some of the most vulnerable populations in Boston. This unprecedented environment is no different. Our actions during this Pandemic are essential to serving our community and stopping the spread of this disease. What I’m most proud of is how the Harvard Street Family met this challenge. Our clinicians and staff courageously and selflessly worked to provide care to our patients.

As we advance during these uncertain times, we will face many challenges - like the uncertainty in funding at the federal level and budget shortfalls at the state level. Despite these challenges, our shared vision with the community calls for the building of a new facility that would bring increased access to quality care and economic revitalization to this neighborhood. Growth and opportunities will be top of mind as we expand our Behavioral health services, add programs, and increase our capacity in our Ophthalmology Department. As we work with the Board of Directors and with the support of the community, our health center is well-positioned to meet our goals and support our employees, patients, and community.