Reflections of 2020 - as we Embrace 2021
Message from the President and CEO:
Stan A. McLaren, MBA
2020 has been a turbulent year to say the least, the unknown and unthinkable. Our nation and the world were invaded by a deadly virus that has infected millions and killed more than 300,000 people in the United States alone, and more than 12,000 in Massachusetts.
For 10 months, Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center (HSNHC) has remained on the frontlines of the greatest health threat of our generation - the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic that continues to rage across the country and in our community. 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. However, we are very inspired with the approval of new Vaccines to treat the virus, and following CDC and state guidelines, Harvard Street has begun vaccinating our employees and will ultimately participate in vaccinating the surrounding community in the year ahead.”
Throughout our history, HSNHC has stayed committed to providing quality care to many of the most vulnerable populations in Boston. This unprecedented environment is no different. Our actions during the Pandemic were 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. Our employees are the real heroes who never stopped working since the beginning either directly in the health center or via telehealth. We are one of two non-profits chosen by the United Synergy Foundation to be the recipient of a United Heroes T-shirt Fundraising Campaign with proceeds to support our Food Pantry.
With support from the Boston Public Health Commission, we have opened a COVID-19 Testing Trailer in the parking lot at our 895 Blue Hill Avenue site, and continue weekly testing indoors at Children’s Services of Roxbury and Prince Hall in Grove Hall, as well as community testing with our Mobil Van. To date, we have tested thousands of individuals and see this trend continuing long into 2021. Do visit our website for our COVID-19 Testing Schedule www.harvardstreet.org.