Mobile Health Program Offering Primary Care and Addiction Services

The opioid epidemic is one of the nation’s most acute crises. Deaths from opioid overdoses in the US have increased by 400 percent since 2000. We know from working with local communities that substance use disorder is often the top community health concern. Effective life-saving treatments for opioid use disorder are available, but only 5 percent of people with substance use disorders get access to the treatment they need.

In collaboration with Boston Healthcare Program for the Homeless, the City of Boston, the Hearst Foundation, the GE Foundation and Ford Motor Company, the Kraft Center for Community Health will pilot a mobile addiction and primary care van. The mobile van will focus on hotspots for opioid use and overdose to stabilize individuals, initiate and continue treatment and link them with long-term, community-based care.

The six-month pilot will begin by January 2018 and conclude by June 2018. It will focus on two hotspots in downtown Boston. The van will provide on-demand treatment that includes:

  • Prescriptions for Buprenorphine and Naltrexone to block opioid cravings
  • Distribution of Naloxone to reverse overdoses
  • Availability of primary care services.

Our goal is for the mobile van to become a model with the potential to scale up in a range of ways in the Boston area, across Massachusetts and nationally.