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The Dimock Community Health Center's new approaches to comprehensive care

3/22/2011, 8:57 p.m.
(Marilyn Humphries photo) The Dimock Community Health Center, located...

The Dimock Community Health Center, located on our beautiful nine-acre campus in the heart of Roxbury, serves the residents of Roxbury, Mattapan, Dorchester and Jamaica Plain.  

Dimock, formally known as “The New England Hospital for Women,” continues its more than 148-year tradition of serving our most vulnerable every day in these challenging times. The critical and complex needs of our community are met by our more than 350 talented doctors, nurses, licensed clinicians and residential and support staff.

The health center

At Dimock, we provide access to adult medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatric services, dental services and eye care, as well as a pharmacy and optical shop. Here, we treat our patients’ health concerns, encourage prevention and wellbeing, and continuously create new initiatives to improve on the aid given at Dimock.

Our adult medicine department is where patients receive primary and geriatric care and specialty services such as diabetes and HIV. Currently, our patient navigator manages more than 500 diabetics, providing medical assistance and healthy living and nutritional counseling. Our HIV clinic has answered the community’s need for HIV and AIDS-related support for 20 years with free rapid-response HIV testing as well as prevention education, counseling and help for at-risk patients and their families.  

Our partnership with the New England Eye Institute is essential so that Dimock patients can receive attention for specialized eye concerns.

Dimock’s dental department sees patients of all ages. In addition to routine check-ups, the team detects oral cancers and facilitates smoking cessation in adult patients. Our Oral Health Initiative is one of the few pediatrics programs that provide more than 250 children each year with fluoride varnishes during their annual physical checkup, an essential cavity-prevention treatment.

In a recent health care assessment, Dimock found that 50 percent of the families in our pediatric practice had a number of school and health-related needs including housing, child care, job training and food resources.

To answer this call, we collaborated with Health Leads USA, a national nonprofit that connects underserved families with resources to help them thrive. Health Leads coordinators work with our pediatric providers to give families access to nutritious food, safe housing and mental health support.

Meeting and exceeding our community’s needs

Our Child and Family Services Programs give our children and their parents a head start on educational success. Our home-based and center-based early education programs, including Early Head Start, Head Start, Early Intervention and School Readiness, give children and their parents nurturing, supportive care year-round, from pregnancy to age 5.

The Dimock Center is the largest provider of substance abuse and mental health treatment in Boston’s inner city. Our Behavioral Health Services include:

• Dimock Acute Treatment (Inpatient Detox) serves more than 2,800 clients annually, one-third women (700) and two-thirds men (1,400), providing a safe withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs and aftercare referral to next steps in their recovery process.

• Behavioral Health Outpatient Services serves more than 1,200 children and adults annually through day treatment and individual, family and group services including trauma, anger management, dual diagnosis and specialized groups.

• Women’s Recovery at Dimock — The spring 2011 expansion of two new short and long term on-campus residential programs for women in recovery will address the effects of trauma on the life cycle of women and will complete a full continuum of services for women and their families.

• John Flowers Recovery Home, a halfway house for working men, serves 80 men annually and provides individual counseling, group support and case management with a four-month average length of stay.

• Askia Academy at Dimock is a therapeutic community for men, serving more than 40 men annually with an eight-month average length of stay.

• Mary Eliza Shelter for families serves 26 young parents and their children.

• Ummi’s, Sheila Daniels and Edgewood House serves more than 50 families in transitional and permanent housing, including dual diagnosed mothers in recovery and their children.

• Developmental Disability Services provides residential services for 25 developmentally challenged adults.

• Transitions of Boston is a clubhouse for individuals with psychiatric disabilities, provides educational, vocational and employment opportunities for its members.

As we approach our 150th anniversary, The Dimock Center will continue the success and growth we share with our community.