• March 18, 2020

DENTAL AND EYE CARE SERVICES: Based on the advisory from the American Optometric Association (Urgent Patient Care Advisory for Doctors of Optometry from the CDC March 17, 2020—5:50 p.m. ET, it was recommended that optometrist postpone routine dental and eye care visits).

The Massachusetts Dental Society Issued Guidance on COVID-19: As the facts and situation around coronavirus and COVID-19 continue to evolve, and in step with Governor Baker’s recent Declaration of a State of Emergency, the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Executive Committee and Board of Trustees is issuing the following guidance for dentists in Massachusetts.

The MDS strongly recommends that dentists practicing in the Commonwealth close their offices from March 17 to April 6 to patients seeking elective and non-urgent care. As always, it is expected that dentists will continue to be available as needed for emergency management.


We are have closed the dental and eyecare clinics, and have Customer Service staff available to triage calls or questions. Our Dental Director and Associate Dental Director are at Whittier to triage urgent dental visits requiring a prescription. No oral exams are being performed based on the March 17th advisory from the MDS.


PRIMARY CARE, MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELING: Whittier Street Health Center providers will provide telehealth services from the health center (1290 Tremont Street or 278 Blue Hill Ave) and from their homes for primary care and behavioral health services.


All patients, visitors and employees entering both clinics – 1290 Tremont Street and 278 Blue Hill Ave will be screened using the CDC guidelines. Those who meet the criteria for coronavirus screenings will be directed to the Wellness/Weight Management Clinic on the first floor for Coronavirus testing. We are now able to provide coronavirus testing on a limited basis for our patients.


All adult primary care well visits will be provided by phone or in the Orange Team or the adult exam rooms at the Blue Hill Ave clinic.


All newborns under one month of age, will be visited by the VNA. All other pediatric patients will be served by phone or in the Pediatrics department on the fourth floor.


All behavioral health patients will be served by telephone or on the second floor of 1290 and the BH office on Blue Hill Ave.

Medication Assisted Programs (Suboxone) groups of less than 10 people will be provided to support patients in their recovery, especially during these challenging times.


MOBILE HEALTH VAN: Whittier has obtained new funding from the Cigna Foundation ($100k) and the Massachusetts Development ($50k) to expand the services of our Mobile Health Van to include health screenings, HIV screenings, mental health and substance abuse screening, oral health services, diabetic retinopathy screenings, insurance application and social services screenings. The oral health and diabetic retinopathy services will be implemented in July 2020. During the Coronavirus Pandemic, we will perform the following services:


Mobile Van and Outreach during the state of emergency/coronavirus pandemic:

  • We will continue to conduct mobile van outreach in the community.
  • The van will offer regular services to members of the public one at a time.
  • The outreach workers will continue to conduct outreach mostly in public areas.

Infectious Disease patients

  • The Lead Infectious Diseases physician will continue to see patients and prescribe medications. However, HIV patients will be encouraged to consider virtual visits (telephone or Zoom).
  • Depending on the scheduled patient visit type chosen by the patients, Dr. Wong will either be in the clinic or see patients from home virtually.
  • We will continue to refill and deliver medications to patients who have signed up for our medication delivery program.
  • We will continue to send ID patients to the laboratory for blood work as needed.

HIV/HCV/STI Counseling and Testing

  • We are still conducting HIV, Hep C, and STI counseling and testing. The testing hotline 617-308-0060 is still taking calls.
  • We will continue to test individuals in the clinic or the van.
  • Patients will be screened for TB and sent to the laboratory for necessary blood work for treatment

Medical Case Management

  • Medical Case Managers will continue to see patients individually and provide medical case management services.
  • Case managers will intensify calls to patients to check on their well-being, coordinate medical and non-medical appointments, and offer medical transportation assistance where needed.
  • Patients will be assessed for Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) and offered financial assistance when necessary through our BPHC EFA program.
  • Patients will be assessed for medical transportation needs and offered transportation assistance as needed through our BPHC MT program.

Psychosocial Peer Support program

  • We have suspended psychosocial peer support groups until May 1st.
  • We will continue to provide individual psychosocial sessions to the patients.
  • We will continue to provide other psychosocial services to the patients on an individual basis.
  • Every employee and patient will be screened at the reception area of our building – 1290 Tremont Street and 279 Blue Hill Ave by our Infection Control team.


  • All events have been canceled until after May 1st2020. Your health and well-being is our top priority. If there are any changes in our service delivery and planned events, we will update this notice.


Your health and well-being is our top priority. If there are any changes in our service delivery and planned events, we will update this notice.

We have posted information at the health center for our patients. If you are a patient and have any questions or concerns, please contact your care delivery team for guidance and information.

These are the best sites for reliable information:

·     The best source for accurate information is the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC has a section dedicated to corona virus that includes regularly updated information on:

·     the disease: how it spreads, symptoms, treatment, etc.

·     the situation: in the U.S. and abroad, how the U.S. is responding, and what may happen next.

·     Guidance for businesses and employers. This page includes strategies for employers to use now, and information about planning for a potential U.S. outbreak.


State & Local Government

·     The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has an information page on coronavirus. Data on statewide flu cases and coronavirus is reported in the state’s Weekly Flu Report.

·     The City of Boston also has an information page on coronavirus and it includes links to fact sheets in multiple languages.


Last updated: March 18th, 2020

A note about Whittier and COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in our area, we ask all clients and patients to call ahead before coming to any of our sites. We are working to take care of most clients/patients via phone/video encounter so we can meet your ongoing healthcare needs. This is for your safety and so we can provide the highest quality of care to you while following CDC guidance for COVID-19. Please call 617-427-1000 for any questions or concerns.

Whittier will provide COVID-19 testing from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday to Friday. Following CDC guidance, we recommend testing if you have a fever AND one of the following three symptoms: cough OR shortness of breath OR sore throat. Please bring your picture identification and your insurance card (if you have insurance).