News & Updates - Spring 2019
GE Foundation Award Supports CareZONE For Next 3 Years

The Kraft Center is thrilled to receive a three-year award from the GE Foundation, a CareZONE partner since the program's inception, to enhance and expand services on the van. We are incredibly grateful for the GE Foundation's generosity, guidance, and leadership in helping to serve our community's most vulnerable residents. Stay tuned to hear more about  CareZONE's three year plan as we work with our partners and stakeholders to optimize and expand the program.

Program Updates

The CareZONE staff was excited to receive a visit from Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services, Marylou Sudders, during one of our clinics in March. Secretary Sudders chairs the state's Harm Reduction Commission, tasked with reviewing and making recommendations regarding harm reduction opportunities to address substance use disorder. Kraft Center Executive Director, Dr. Elsie Taveras, presented CareZONE's work to the Commission in January, and the program was highlighted in the Commission's March report as a potential part of a statewide approach to combat the opioid crisis.

In January,  Care ZONE wrapped up a very successful year of services.  In late January, the evaluation team, led by Dr. Travis Baggett, released results from the pilot phase of the program spanning from January 16, 2018 to November 16, 2018.  Below are some of the highlights from that report:
  • Overall reach - CareZONE staff logged more than 3,800 outreach encounters at all service sites and distributed more than 1,400 life-saving naloxone kits. The medical staff saw 119 unique patients who participated in 308 clinical visits. 47 patients were prescribed medication for addiction treatment, and 28 received follow-up care.
  • Gradual ramp-up -   Since its launch, CareZONE has continued to gain traction as word gets out. In the final month of the pilot evaluation, the team had over 3 times as many clinical encounters as it averaged in its first 4 months.
  • CareZONE is reaching new patients - 55% of CareZONE patients were new to the services of our clinical partner, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, indicating the van may be a portal of entry for patients not currently receiving services.
  • Services are well received by people with addiction - Qualitative interviews demonstrate that CareZONE patients appreciate the convenience of the services and the compassionate, judgment-free approach by the staff.
This spring, CareZONE, through its partners at AHOPE, will enhance its harm reduction services by implementing Fentanyl testing of paraphernalia using a device called the MX908. This will be the first time in New England this device is used in a harm reduction setting, providing program staff with new opportunities to engage with clients around strategies to protect their health and safety.
Trefler Cancer Care Equity Grants - 6 Month Update

Three community health centers received Trefler Cancer Care Equity Grants in 2018 and have been implementing innovative programs to reduce inequities in cancer care and outcomes. Below are some updates from their projects.

Codman Square Health Center
  • Codman Square Health Center is working to improve colorectal cancer screening and narrow the disparities in screening rates at their health center using an automated text message platform called CareMessage. 
  • The health center will roll out the new new texting platform in May. 
Charles River Community Health
  • Charles River Community Health is also using CareMessage to connect with high-risk patients and reduce their barriers to adhering to screening and treatment protocols for breast and cervical cancer. 
  • The health center is conducting focus groups with members of the target population to tailor text message language to maximize response rates. 
The Dimock Center
  • The Dimock Center is working to improve screening for endometrial and cervical cancer using multiple implementation strategies including (1) creating systematic workflows to ensure all eligible OB/GYN patients are offered HPV vaccination; (2) developing a targeted motivational interviewing protocol for patients with concerns about the HPV vaccines; (3) training staff to do on-site colposcopies; and (4) rolling out automated appointment reminders.
Bridging the Divide: Mental Health & Cancer Care 3rd Annual Symposium

Don't forget to register for the Bridging the Divide: Mental Health & Cancer Care 3rd Annual Symposium. Dr. Kelly Irwin, a psychiatrist at Mass General and a grantee of the Trefler Cancer Care Equity Program, is also the Director of Collaborative Care and Community Engagement at the Mass General Cancer Center who made this event possible. Join the conversation to increase access to cancer care for all people affected by mental illness and their caregivers. The event takes place on Friday, April 12, 2019, and you can register  HERE.

Meet Our New Community Health Intern, Annabelle Aguirre
This summer, the Kraft Center is hosting another intern from th e Health Career Connection program. A nnabelle Aguirre is a student at Emmanuel College and an alumna of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Youth Scholars Program. Annabelle's goal after graduation is to improve the health of individuals and underserved communities. We at the Kraft Center look forward to working with Annabelle on various community health projects throughout the summer.  
Alumni Spotlight - Dr. Alex Keuroghlian
Alex Keuroghlian, MD, MPH
Since completing his Kraft Center Fellowship in 2016, Dr. Keuroghlian's work and accomplishments exemplify what it means to be a leader in community health. Alex is a member of the Psychiatry Department at MGH,  serves as Director of Education and Training Programs at The Fenway Institute, and is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In 2018, he received the Jonathan F. Borus Outstanding Early Career Educator Award, which is awarded to junior faculty members at HMS who demonstrate exceptional promise, initiative, and commitment in the area of psychiatric education. Alex also directs two HRSA-funded initiatives: the National LGBT Health Education Center, a cooperative agreement to improve health care for LGBTQ people at health centers, and the Evidence-Informed Interventions Coordinating Center for Technical Assistance to implement effective and culturally tailored interventions nationally for people living with HIV. Alex has authored over 40 research articles, review articles, and book chapters on topics that include HIV medication adherence, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, transgender health, and homelessness among LGBT youth. As a Kraft Fellow, he was a recipient of funding from the Trefler Cancer Care Equity program during which he led a project to enhance HPV screening and vaccination to prevent cancer among sexual and gender minorities. Alex has established himself as a national leader in transgender mental health and is a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community. We at the Kraft Center are very proud of Alex's many accomplishments which embody the mission of the Kraft Center's Fellowship Program of training champions in community health. We look forward to many more impressive achievements throughout Alex's career!    
CDC Grant Awarded For Obesity Prevention Programming
Dr. Taveras, Kraft Center Executive Director, will serve as Principal Investigator on the Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (CORD) Project 3.0 recently awarded from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Building on previous CORD projects, CORD 3.0 research teams will focus on adapting, testing, and packaging effective programs to reduce childhood obesity among children from lower-income families. In addition, CORD 3.0 projects will work towards programs that are sustainable and cost-effective in multiple settings. Research teams will translate these programs into user-friendly, "packaged" materials and messages that healthcare, community, or public health organizations can use in real-world settings. To learn more about this program, click HERE.
Kraft Center Participates in Confronting the Opioid Crisis in Massachusetts Hosted by The Boston Foundation
Kraft Center Executive Director, Dr. Elsie Taveras (2nd from Left) participates in a panel on innovative responses to the opioid crisis at the March 6, 2019 event

On March 6, 2019, The Boston Foundation, in partnership with Philanthropy MA and RIZE Massachusetts, hosted an event called  Confronting the Opioid Crisis in Massachusetts . The event served as a briefing and conversation on the current state of the opioid crisis in the Commonwealth. Dr. Taveras, served on a panel during the event that discussed innovative solutions to address the opioid crisis. During the discussion, she shared the design and impact of the Center's CareZONE program, specifically focusing on its innovative care combination of offering both harm reduction and clinical services. To read more about the event, click HERE.
Dr. Taveras A ppointed as Conrad Taff Professor of Nutrition in the Department of Pediatrics

At a reception on March 26, 2019, the MassGeneral Hospital for Children convened colleagues, family, and friends for a celebration of the Conrad Taff Professorship of Nutrition in the Department of Pediatrics and the appointment of Dr. Elsie Taveras, Kraft Center Executive Director, as the second incumbent. Dr. Ronald Kleinman, Physician-in-Chief at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, highlighted Dr. Taveras's internationally renowned childhood obesity research, her achievements in implementation science, and her commitment to health equity through community programming during the celebration of her endowed chair. Congratulations to Dr. Taveras on this great achievement!
Updates from our Kraft Center Alumni

Current and former participants in The Kraft Fellowship and Practitioner Programs continue to leave their impressive mark on the field of Community Health. Below are highlights of their work, including notable publications, career moves, and other personal news. 
We encourage all Kraft Center alumni to send us updates by emailing  [email protected] .
Maggie Beiser, NP: Maggie was recently appointed to the steering Committee of EndHepCMA, a statewide advocacy organization that is working to eliminate hepatitis C in the Commonwealth. Congratulations on your appointment, Maggie!

Benjamin Bearnot, MD:  Ben has recently accepted an offer to join the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of General Internal Medicine as a clinician-investigator following the completion of his Kraft Fellowship in July. Coinciding with the start of his new job, he has been awarded 3 years of NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funding through a K12 career development award focused on addiction medicine. His grant application is entitled "Addiction Treatment in People with Opioid Use Disorder and Serious Bacterial Infections." Finally, Ben has been awarded with a Ruth Fox Addiction Medicine Scholarship and was named as an honorable mention for the Young Investigator Award at the upcoming American Society of Addiction Medicine 2019 conference. Congratulations on all of these achievements, Ben!

Audrey Provenzano, MD, MPH: Audrey hosts an excellent podcast about the changing healthcare landscape called  Review of Systems that we encourage everyone to check out. While there are many great episodes to choose from, we wanted to highlight the February 19th episode " RoS Racism and Inequity in Healthcare with Utibe Essien." The episode features Dr.  Utibe Essien, a Health Equity researcher, primary care physician in the VA Pittsburgh Health System, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine who discusses his research on racial discrimination and its implications in the medical field and beyond. 

Erica Mintzer, MD:  After nearly 10 years at Codman Square Health Center, Erica has taken a position with Cambridge Health Alliance as Medical Director for the Malden Care Center. Congratulations on your new job, Erica!

Kimberly Montez, MD, MPH:  Kimberly recently joined the Wake Forest School of Medicine faculty as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics where she precepts pediatric residents at a Look-Alike Health Center and serves as a clinical skills coach for third-year medical students.  She is also the Pediatric Residency Program Advocacy Director. She was also recently elected to the American Academy of Pediatrics Executive Committee.  Congratulations on all of these achievements, Kimberly!
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