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Homeless programs
Harm reduction

 
Next Stop Care Program
Program name: Next Stop Care Program
Population served: Active injection drug users and their partners, homeless persons
Eligibility: Participants in two large urban needle exchange programs
Region served: Greater Boston area
Funding: Massachusetts Department of Public Health HIV/AIDS Bureau, Boston Public Health Commission Substance Abuse Treatment Services, Northeastern University
Program started: 2001
Number of clients: 2000+
Contact: Catherine A. O'Connor, RN, MSN
Clinical Director, HIV Innovations
138 Highland Street
Milton, MA 02186
Phone: (781) 964-3856
Fax: (617) 373-8675
Email: hivinnovations@aol.com
Website: None
Description:

Background: The Next Stop Care Project is an initiative involving Needle Exchange Program (NEP) staff in collaboration with senior nursing students and faculty to prevent illness due to viral hepatitis. Involvement of health departments and an academic institution have been integral to model development and implementation.

Target Population: The target population includes clients from NEPs, which include active injection drug users with co-morbid conditions of mental illness, homelessness, poly-substance use, viral hepatitis, and/or HIV infection.

Project Description: This project provides clients accessing NEPs with viral hepatitis prevention education, vaccines (HAV, HBV, influenza, pneumococcal, and tetanus) and referral services for specialty care which may be difficult to access through traditional venues. Services are provided weekly by senior nursing students and faculty for six hours. Clients are engaged through street outreach and a mobile health van utilizing a harm reduction philosophy. Clients past histories of screening and immunizations for viral hepatitis are assessed. Food incentives are offered for client participation.

Results/Lessons Learned: This initiative has allowed for experiential learning for students through collaborative efforts while delivering a viral hepatitis prevention and education program to NEP clients. State and municipal health departments in collaboration with academic institutions may consider this model as a way to maximize resources for underserved clients in an environment of fiscal constraint to meet the needs of emerging and underserved populations at risk for and living with viral hepatitis.


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