Adult Healthy Weight: The Adult Healthy Weight Management at Whittier is an integral part of the Diabetes and Cardiovascular Clinics and Adult Medicine department. The multi-disciplinary clinical team comprises of physicians, nurse practitioners, nutritionists, behavioral health specialist and a care coordinator. Every patient referred to the program receives individualized nutrition and weight loss plan and if they choose to have surgery (bariatric) a comprehensive follow-up and tracking of all necessary procedures to “clear” the patient to be able to have the surgery.
The Adult Healthy Weight care team at Whittier Street Health Center offers support to patients seeking surgical weight loss options. We work closely with Brigham and Women’s bariatric program that performs the weight loss surgery. Our team includes a provider champion nurse practitioner, registered dietitian, fitness coach, care coordinator and behavioral health counselor.
Community Cancer Care: Dana-Farber Community Cancer Care is a partnership between the Whittier Street Health Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Our on-site comprehensive cancer care program offers the following:
- Expert second opinion for known malignancies
- Efficient diagnostic work-up of suspected malignancies
- Immediate referrals into disease specific departments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- Referrals to breast health specialists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Referrals to dental specialists at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
- Referrals to geneticists and genetic testing
- No-cost lung cancer screening and on-site tobacco cessation counseling
Infectious Disease Program
Whittier’s Infectious Disease program is comprehensive and embedded in our primary care clinic. We are focused on addressing Sexually Transmitted diseases, HIV and HCV infection at every stage of life for all populations, especially at risk and minority populations. Our community health workers are out in the community five days a week at various high risk locations, where we offer HIV and HCV prevention counseling, condom and safe kit distribution, HIV testing, referral and linkage to comprehensive care. We also identify those who are previously diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and link them to treatment.
WSHC has an infectious disease (ID) specialist that treats low to high acuity HIV positive patients. We also have primary care physicians who have been trained to provide HIV care to low acuity patients with consultation with the infectious disease specialist from Boston Medical Center. The HIV medical team includes an ID specialist, physicians, NPs, high risk nurse, and high risk medical case manager.
HIV Services: Whittier’s HIV Services Department offers a comprehensive set of programming that encompasses outreach, community building, prevention (including positive prevention), testing, case management, peer support, and treatment, with an HIV testing program that is designed to be easy to access. During clinic hours anyone, whether or not they are currently a Whittier client, can come for a free confidential rapid 20 minutes test delivered by a peer counselor or community health worker. These counselors reflect the demographics of our patient population. The community outreach workers also conduct testing on Whittier’s mobile medical van, at homeless women’s shelters, drop-in-centers, and other places within high risk areas in Boston. All testing sessions include risk reduction counseling, the availability of free condoms and bleach kits, and any relevant referrals within the health center — with an emphasis on providing assistance with eligibility and enrollment in health insurance.
All people who test positive to HIV are immediately linked to a medical case manager who will act as their point-person for coordination of their care for the entirety of the time that they remain a patient at Whittier. These case managers work with the clients on positive prevention, adherence, housing, HDAP, insurance compliance, and any other issues that come up that compromise their medical care.
LGBTQ Clinic: The health disparities experienced by LGBTQ people are linked to a long history of stigma and discrimination. Our goal is to make health care services more welcoming to LGBTQ people, and to assure that all patients receive sensitive and appropriate preventive, medical, and behavioral health care. In early 2015 WSHC started the process of transforming WSHC into an LGBTQ friendly environment for all our patients and especially the LGBTQ population. An LGBTQ committee was formed that took the lead to make the transformation. The LGBTQ committee requested and contacted the National LGBTQ Health Education Center who navigated WSHC through the process of transforming the center into a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ population.
National LGBTQ Health Education Center and their team have conducted several trainings and continue to provide trainings to our staff. On-going trainings geared towards teaching how to avoid assumptions and stereotypes and to communicate in an inclusive way. We have openly LGBTQ people on staff that helps to build a foundation for a respectful and inclusive health care environment. Whittier has a medical case manager for our LBGTQ clients. The LGBTQ primary care provider assists in the areas of:
- Disease risk reduction and prevention
- STD and HIV screening and treatment
- Transgender health services including hormonal medical care
- Medical and behavioral health services for LGBTQ and questioning youth
- Management of chronic diseases: hypertension, diabetes, and lung disease
- Smoking cessation
- Referral to Family planning
- Well adult care
- Well child care, including immunizations
Viral Hepatitis: WSHC has stepped up Hepatitis C screening and has developed a HCV treatment clinic as well as a STD clinic.
Screening Services for Developmental Disabilities: Whittier’s Pediatric Department in collaboration with Boston’s Children’s Hospital provides screening services for developmental disabilities. Whittier Rainbow Clinic serves children diagnosed as “Special Needs.” The care provided in the clinic is multi-disciplinary with the patient’s primary care provider, care coordinators and behavioral health provider working collaboratively to provide compassionate patient centered care.
Complementary Therapies: WSHC has recently added massage therapy and acupuncture services to our array of services available to our patients.