BOSTON – The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation and Boston Medical Center yesterday celebrated the launch of Curbside Care, a first-of-its-kind mobile unit that brings perinatal care directly to mothers and babies right outside their homes. The Curbside Care mobile unit will be fully funded for three years, providing up to 2,100 patient visits a year for pregnant and postpartum patients and their newborns under six weeks of age that reside in the city of Boston and receive care at BMC.
The first six weeks of life are a critical period of time for mothers and babies, setting the stage for future health outcomes. However, 40 percent of mothers at BMC never return for a post-partum appointment in part due to lack of transportation or childcare. Data shows startling disparities between Black women and white women on rates of postpartum mortality, identification and treatment for postpartum depression, and breastfeeding duration.
“Boston Medical Center has a deep commitment to health equity, and perinatal care is an essential step in improving outcomes for mothers and babies,” said Kate Walsh, CEO of Boston Medical Center Health System. “Curbside Care will begin to address these glaring inequities by caring for our patients right outside their homes, extending care beyond our hospital walls into the community. This national model would not be possible without the generous support of the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, which shares our mission for health equity for our patients and neighborhoods.”
An initiative of Boston Celtics United, Curbside Care aims to eliminate a few of these barriers to care, including transportation and childcare, by providing dyadic care, for both mothers and newborns, directly outside patients’ homes. The program will allow mothers and babies to be seen together multiple times in the first six weeks of life, providing more touchpoints than traditional models.
“All people should have access to quality healthcare,” said Boston Celtics United Co-Lead and Celtics Vice President of Player Development and Organizational Growth Allison Feaster. “By providing critical services directly at patient doorsteps, this initiative, in partnership with Boston Medical Center, will help meet people where they are and address the very real barriers to accessing healthcare.”
Created in 2020, Boston Celtics United is a multi-focus commitment to addressing racial injustice and social inequities in the Greater Boston area, with an emphasis on combating issues that have impacted the Black and Brown communities.
The mobile unit, which will start running later this winter, will be staffed by a BMC nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, lactation specialist, and community wellness advocate and provide a myriad of services, including newborn care, lactation support, postpartum depression screening and connection to primary care and behavioral health services. Patients can also get necessities such as food, diapers, hygiene products, breast pumps, thermometers, and more.
“We know that race-based healthcare gaps at birth perpetuate generations of inequity,” said Melissa Nass, MD, a BMC pediatrician who developed Curbside Care. “With this investment from the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, Curbside Care will remove barriers to health, including the need for transportation and childcare. We believe we can make a real difference for families at this critical time in their lives.”
Together, BMC and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation are working to improve healthcare access and outcomes for mothers and babies throughout Boston, disrupting cycles of inequity.
About Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation
The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation benefits our community directly through programs that provide education and support to children in need. The Foundation currently serves over 2,000 non-profit organizations annually and partners with Berklee City Music Network, Boch Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Horizons for Homeless Children, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), Perkins School for the Blind, Positive Coaching Alliance and The3PointFoundation. For more information on the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, visit www.celtics.com/foundation.
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