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Medical Housing? Why Boston Medical Center Is Investing In Housing


Medical Housing?

Medical HousingWhen we think of healthcare we usually think of clinical care… hospitals, white lab coats, and stethoscopes. We think of pills, IV bags, and syringes. Too often we overlook what really determines health. We seldom think of housing or relationships or spirituality. Yet these “social determinants” of health are really the forces in healthcare. Boston Medical Center (BMC) has put its money on expanding its role in healthcare beyond the clinical, consider it medical housing?

“Only about 10 to 20 percent of health is actually determined by what type of health care you get,” says Dr. Megan Sandel, one of the leaders of BMC’s housing initiative. “Much more [significant are] the social determinants of health — where you live, what your environment is like. And so more and more we’re starting to screen for people’s social determinants.”

Waldeck represents one of nine investments for BMC — a total of $6.5 million the hospital has designated for housing in some of Boston’s poorest areas. Advocates say BMC’s investment is part of a burgeoning shift among health care leaders to view housing as a key “social determinant of health.

“Now, a handful of area hospitals are starting to put their money into housing.

BMC’s housing investment is tied to a renovation of its campus in the South End. The state requires that 5 percent of the cost of a hospital expansion be reinvested in community health. BMC chose to spend the money on housing.

The initiative also includes $1 million to help families fight evictions, $1 million to create a housing stabilization program for people with complex medical issues, and $1 million to support a grocery store at a development in Roxbury.

For more information please read the original article: Why Boston Medical Center Is Investing In Housing | CommonHealth

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