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Mission in Action

At Boston Medical Center our goal is not only to treat disease, but to question why it persists. Keeping people healthy is no longer about treating acute and chronic disease over and over again; a model in which people spend too much time at the doctor's and costs rise.

We know that for many, medical issues exist because of a lack of employment, income, stable housing or food, and limited education. These are sometimes called "root causes upstream" and the health issues they lead to are known as "downstream consequences." At BMC, we are now intervening at the upstream, in order to affect the downstream disease and instability we see in our clinics and hospital every day.

To do this, we are working with our partners in the community and leveraging our collective resources and expertise to break down the structural barriers our patients face and improve things like access to employment, food, and stable housing. Our goal is to help economically stimulate neighborhoods to transform where our patients live and work into sustainable, vibrant communities.

These website pages are designed to keep you up-to-date with our work, and provide you with the resources and tools you may need to help your patients and community. You will find information about the work we are doing around Social Determinants of Health, programs to assist patients, informative literature, and BMC events in the community. As you use this site, please let us know of ways we can add to or improve content to make it a more robust tool for you.

Equality vs Equity

Tall individual, middle height individual, short individual all attempting to look over a fence to see a baseball game. Only the tall individual can see over.

In the first image, it is assumed that everyone will benefit from the same supports. They are being treated equally.

Each individual is now at equal heights, and are able to see over the fence

In the second image, individuals are given different supports to make it possible for them to have equal access to the game. They are being treated equally.

The fence is now gone, and all 3 individuals can now see the baseball game

In the third image, all three can see the game without any supports or accommodations because the cause of the inequity was addressed. The systemic barrier has been removed.