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Sep 18
National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day

Did you know that in 2016, nearly half of people in the U.S. living with diagnosed HIV are aged 50 and older? People aged 50 and older made up 17% (6,812) of the 39,782 new HIV diagnoses that year.

Today, September 18, 2019 is the annual National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD). 

Older adults are often not tested for HIV because they do not think they are at risk. They may mistake HIV symptoms, such as weight loss, pneumo­nia, fatigue, confusion, and vision problems, for those of normal aging. Therefore, older adults are more likely to find out about their HIV infection late in the course of their disease. This late diagnosis of HIV can result in delays in treatment.

Having unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV put you at the greatest risk for contracting HIV yourself. Protect yourself by:

  • Talking to your partner about their sexual history and HIV. Before having sex with a new partner, discuss their HIV status.
  • Protecting yourself. Use a latex condom and lubricant when you have sex. Polyurethane condoms also protect against HIV and can be used by people with a latex sensitivity
  • It is also important to avoid contact with another per­son's blood and be sure to never share or reuse needles or 'works."
  • The risk of HIV can be higher for older women due to age-related vaginal thinning and dryness that can lead to tears in the vaginal area.

Remember, HIV risk does not diminish with age!

Many older adults find it awkward to discuss sex and sexually transmitted infections like HIV with their healthcare provider. Don't be! Get tested! Protect yourself and your partner!

Talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you should be tested for HIV! There are also several free and confidential testing centers in Boston. To find a testing center near you, call the Mayor's Health Line at 617-534-5050 or visit https://gettested.cdc.gov/search_results

Sep 16
BPHC Recognizes Global Female Condom Day

September 16 is Global Female Condom Day! 

Female Condom PictureAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1 million people become infected with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) every day. Condoms provide protection from both unintended pregnancy and sexual transmitted infections (STIs). And, there are condom options for both male and female anatomy.

As part of this important international awareness day, the Boston Public Health Commission is drawing attention to female condom option available and important information about its effective use. 

Why use Female Condoms?

  • They provide women more control over their sexual health. 

  • They are a safe option for women who do not or cannot use the pill or other birth control techniques. 

  • Pre-lubricated female condoms help post-menopausal women who have vaginal dryness have more comfortable sex

  • A female condom can be used for protection during either vaginal or anal sex.

 

Female Condom Dos and Don’ts

  • DO store female condoms in cool, dry places.

  • DO read and follow the instructions on the package insert.

  • DO use lube to help prevent the condom from slipping and tearing.

  • DO check the condom itself to make sure there are no obvious tears or holes.

  • DO use a new condom from start to finish every time you have vaginal or anal sex.

  • DON'T reuse a female condom.

  • DON'T flush female condoms as they may clog the toilet.

  • DON'T use a female condom if it is passed the expiration date on the package.

  • DON'T use a male and female condom at the same time as this can cause tearing. 

Sep 13
Massachusetts Public Health Officials Raise West Nile Virus Risk level to Moderate in Boston

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced yesterday it was raising the risk level for West Nile Virus (WNV) from low to moderate in Boston and in nearby towns. No human cases of WNV infection have been reported to Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) in Boston residents in 2019. In 2018, 7 human cases were reported in Boston. Residents are urged to take precautions against mosquito bites.

WNV is a mosquito borne infection, transmitted by insects that bite both in daylight hours with peak periods between dusk and dawn. It poses greater health risks to people over 60 and those with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants.

The Boston Public Health Commission is also closely monitoring the risk for EEE in the City. However, at this time, no human or animal cases of EEE have been detected in Boston. Mosquitoes rarely test positive for EEE virus in Boston. Regardless, BPHC encourages everyone to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites because that is the best way to prevent both WNV and EEE.


Tips to Prevent Mosquito Bites:

    • Use Mosquito repellent
      • Use repellents containing DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin or IR3535. 
      • Always read the directions on the label.
      • Apply DEET to exposed skin (avoid eyes and mouth) and on clothes, but not on open cuts or wounds. 
      • After going inside, wash off repellent with soap and water. If the product has been applied directly to clothing, wash it before wearing again.
      • Do not use DEET concentrations of more than 30%.
      • Do not let children apply repellents themselves. Avoid children's eyes, mouth, or hands and use cautiously around ears.
      • Do not use DEET on infants under two months of age (mosquito netting can be used over infant carriers) or oil of lemon eucalyptus on children under 3 years of age.
      • Use only repellents approved for use on animals on pets.
    • Cover up
      • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks whenever possible. Tuck your shirt into your pants to keep mosquitoes from going under your clothes.
    • Protect your home
      • Make sure window and door screens don't have holes in them. Screens in good condition will help prevent mosquitoes from getting inside your home.
    • Stop Mosquito breeding outside your home and around your yard
      • Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so it is important to make sure items around your home do not collect any water. It only takes one week for mosquito larvae living in water to grow into biting adults. Turn over unused flowerpots, buckets, wheelbarrows and garbage cans; remove leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap water; dispose of or cover old tires; and cover swimming pools when not in use.

Tracking & Controlling Mosquitoes:

    • The Boston Public Health Commission partners with the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project (SCMCP) to protect Boston residents from mosquito-borne illnesses. SCMCP collects samples in traps every week during the summer and fall. Those samples are tested to see if WNV or Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is present. Mosquito control measures are also implemented during the summer and fall months. Wetlands, storm drains and other areas around the city are treated to limit the number of mosquitoes that emerge.

      You can read more about the signs and symptoms of West Nile Virus right now on our website. Fact sheets are available in English, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.


Sep 03
Mayor Walsh, City of Boston recognize National Recovery Month

BOSTON - Friday, August 30, 2019 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced a series of events marking September as Recovery Month, a national observance that aims to combat the social stigma around addiction, celebrate recovery, and promote overall awareness.

"The effects of the opioid epidemic can be felt in every neighborhood in our City, across the Commonwealth, and all over the country," said Mayor Walsh. "Addiction is a serious disease but with support and treatment, we know people can recover and get their lives back on track. This month is dedicated to everyone who has been impacted by substance use disorder, and to the care providers who support people throughout their recovery."

recovery month logo

The City's Recovery Month programming began this week with a voluntary overdose prevention and naloxone training hosted by the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) for City employees, following an announcement that Boston will have opioid overdose reversal kits in municipal buildings. The kits contain the overdose reversal medication naloxone (Narcan), clear instructions for its use, and other medical supplies to assist individuals who experience an overdose.

The training kicked off a series of events throughout Boston aimed at starting community conversations about the effects of the opioid crisis. It is also a time to shine a spotlight on the treatment and services offered here in the City of Boston that make recovery a reality for individuals and families.

"Every day of the year, we are committed to helping people access the care they need for substance use," said Jennifer Tracey, Director of the Mayor's Office of Recovery Services. "Recovery Month gives us an opportunity to honor those in recovery, and the providers, first responders, and community members that support them and provide hope to those still struggling with substance use."

"Recovery Month lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and the message that recovery in all its forms is possible," said MOAR Executive Director Maryanne Frangules. "Recovery Month spreads the word that addiction recovery is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective, people do recover!"

In 2018, 181 Boston residents lost their lives to a drug overdose. Tomorrow, Saturday, August 31, 2019, City Hall will be lit purple, the recognized color for drug overdose awareness, to remember the lives lost and to honor all those impacted by overdoses.

Events during Recovery Month are free and open to all to attend, and include:

  • Wednesday, September 4 at 9:30 a.m.: Building Trades Stand Down at 450 Summer Street. Hundreds of workers will stop construction to observe a moment of silence honoring the 150 construction workers who die per 100,000 due to opioid addiction.
  • Mondy, September 9, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.: Overdose Prevention and Naloxone Training at 774 Albany Street. Participants learn about the importance of calling 9-1-1 in the event of an overdose, how to perform rescue breathing and administer nasal Narcan, and treatment options for opioid users.
  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.: Overdose Prevention and Naloxone Training at 774 Albany Street. Participants learn about the importance of calling 9-1-1 in the event of an overdose, how to perform rescue breathing and administer nasal Narcan, and treatment options for opioid users.
  • Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.: Recovery Month Interfaith Service at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center. This service will remember and celebrate recovery leaders in our community, and commemorate National Recovery Month.

Mayor Walsh, who has been in recovery for more than 20 years, has made expanding access to recovery services in Boston a priority. In his first term, he created the Office of Recovery Services to study substance use in Boston and lead the city's strategy around substance use disorder, addiction and recovery. This is the first municipal recovery office in the nation.

The City has taken a comprehensive approach to tackle the opioid epidemic. The City serves people in all stages of the continuum of care, from providing harm reduction services to ensure people can maintain health in various aspects of their lives, to connecting people with beds at treatment programs, to offering outpatient care and long-term peer support.

The City of Boston is planning an innovative and holistic recovery campus on Long Island that will expand essential recovery services for the region, fill gaps in the continuum of care and utilize the natural environment to provide a healing space. The City has contracted with Gensler and Ascension Recovery Services to identify the types of services, resources and treatment options that would be best suited for the island and create a master plan for the recovery campus. The draft design for the Long Island bridge was completed earlier this year. 

Continuing these efforts, the City of Boston filed a complaint in Suffolk Superior Court against 13 opioid manufacturers, four distributors, and one local doctor that have contributed to the local opioid epidemic through misleading marketing and reckless dissemination of opioids that has led to the deaths of more than 832 Boston residents since 2014. As part of the litigation, the City is seeking to recover both past and future damages and injunctive relief associated with addressing the opioid epidemic in Boston.

For more information on recovery services in Boston, please visit boston.gov/recovery or click here.

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Aug 20
Boston’s BRFSS Reveals Characteristics of LGBT Population in Boston

Boston is a diverse city that has seen the make up of its population change over the centuries. The demographics and health outcomes, including upstream factors influencing them such as housing/food security, education and income, of different ethnic and racial populations in Boston has been explored greatly. However, the demographics of Boston’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adult residents has been less explored compared to others.  

LGBT Adults by Neighborhood Boston 2010-2017

View a full copy of the BPHC Data Brief: Demographic Characteristics and Social Determinants of Health Among Boston's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adult Residents, 2010 – 2017

According to new research from the Boston Public Health Commission, the percentage of Boston’s population that identifies as LGBT has grown significantly in recent years. While LGBT residents can be found in all parts of Boston, the neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain and the South End were home to the largest populations whereas Hyde Park and Charlestown had the smallest overall percentage of residents identifying as LGBT.  

Combining data from the last four Boston Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (Boston BRFSS) cycles, researchers found that 8.2% of adult residents identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Transgender adult Boston residents represented 0.7% of the adult Boston population according to the combined survey data analysis. Whereas LGB adult residents accounted for 7.7%  of the population, an increase from 6.2% to 9.1% over the time period included in this study. Approximately three-in-five transgender residents identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or other sexual orientation.  

In a new data brief, Demographic Characteristics and Social Determinants of Health Among Boston’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Adult Residents, 2010 – 2017, researchers describe not only the demographics of the LGBT population in Boston, but also begin to explore these residents’ experiences with social determinants of health (SDoH) and how those factors influence health and well-being. 

More Boston Residents Identify as Bisexual than Ever Before 

The percentage of Boston’s population identifying as LGB in 2010 was 6.2%, growing to 9.1% in 2017 according to resident responses to the Boston BBRFSS. Combined with data collected in 2013 and 2015, the overall population is 8.2%. Analysis shows that a statistically significant growth in the number of residents who identify as bisexual is the main driver of the growth in the LGB population in Boston. The percentage of Boston residents overall that identifed as bisexual jumped from 1.4% in 2010 to 3.8% in 2017. Bisexual adult residents for the first time were the largest cohort within the LGB community in Boston in 2017 with gay and lesbian residents coming in at 3.4% and 1.9% respectively.  

Precentage of Adults Who Identify as LGBT in Boston by Year

Combined data from the Boston BRFSS reveal lesbian and gay male adult residents living in Boston were predominantly White Non-Latinx, US-born, and living with relatively high socioeconomic status with respect to household income, educational attainment, and home ownership. Bisexual adult residents were predominantly female, young, unmarried, and with socioeconomic status reflecting their age. Overall, bisexual adult residents shared similar demographic and SDoH patterns with heterosexual adult residents than with lesbian/gay male adult residents. Further stratification of LGB status by sex reinforced these patterns. Overall, 40% of transgender adult Boston residents identified as White Non-Latinx and more than 60% were under the age of 45. A majority of transgender Boston residents surveyed were employed at the time of the survey, held a high school diploma or less, and were found to have a household income of less than $25,000.  

This new research shows Boston’s LGBT population to be demographically diverse. Analysis also found differences among social determinants of health, such as education or income, among the sub-populations (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents). These findings provide useful insight for future public health research and policy supporting LGBT adult Bostonians. Researchers caution that single indicator data that speak for all LGBT residents may reinforce an image of Boston’s LGBT population as a homogenous group and miss important differences that exist among and between LGBT sub-population groups and others in Boston. To this point, tables within the full report  highlight  demographic and SDoH factors by which LGB Boston residents diverge from one another. 

While this initial report lays a foundation in understanding of the demographics and SDoH within the LBGT population in Boston, a second report forthcoming dives deeper into different lived experiences and health outcomes, particularly several associated with mental health, found through comparative analysis across the LGBT and other populations in Boston. As the population of Boston changes, public health needs may as well. Research such as this can help the Boston Public Health Commission, the City of Boston and community partners better understand the needs of LGBT residents and identify areas in which health equity concerns exist.

Aug 19
Can you, should you get vaccines while pregnant?

There are a lot of things pregnant mothers worry about. A few big questions when it comes to health: Should you get vaccinated? Is it safe? What vaccines do you need?

You probably know that when you are pregnant, you share everything with your baby. So that means if you get vaccinated, you are passing that protection onto unborn baby.

The CDC recommends three main vaccines for pregnant women: flu, whooping cough, and MMR (measles-mumps-rubella). You should discuss how and when to get these vaccines with your doctor: 


Influenza (The Flu)

Having the flu while pregnant increases your chances of developing serious problems for you and your baby, including premature labor and birth. Getting the seasonal flu vaccine every year is the best way to prevent flu, both protecting a pregnant mother and her baby.

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Whooping Cough can be serious for anyone, but for a newborn, it can be life-threatening. Per the CDC, as many as 20 infants die in the United States from whooping cough every year. About half of babies younger than one-year-old who get whooping cough need to be treated in the hospital. Getting vaccinated during pregnancy against pertussis (Tdap vaccine) can help provide early protecting for your baby.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

If you are trying to conceive, make sure your MMR is up to date before getting pregnant. It is suggested that women get this vaccine at least one month before getting pregnant or one month postpartum. Rubella can lead to a miscarriage or birth defects. Measles was declared eliminated in 2000, but in 2019 the U.S. saw the greatest number of cases reported in a quarter of a century. Cases of measles, mumps, and rubella are dangerous to both the person carrying the child as well as the baby. If you plan to travel to an area where these diseases are more common, getting vaccinated before you go will help protect against infection. Just because you were given the MMR vaccine as a child doesn't mean you are still protected against the disease. Check with your doctor to determine if an MMR booster is right for you and to make sure that your vaccines are up to date.

Other vaccines may also be needed before, during or after your pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider about what vaccines make sense for you while trying to get pregnant as well as during pregnancy.

Fact sheets on vaccines are available on our website in several languages, including English, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

This blog post is the first in a series published by the Boston Public Health Commission as part of its recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month.  



Aug 19
Mosquito Spraying Planned for East Boston on August 20, 2019

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) advises residents and community members in East Boston of upcoming spraying to help control mosquito populations in selected neighborhood areas. BPHC partners with the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project (SCMCP) to protect Boston residents from mosquito-borne disease transmission. 

SCMCP will be using a truck mounted aerosol sprayer to apply a formula that contains the pesticide, sumithrin, to control mosquitoes.

  • Spraying is scheduled for neighborhoods located near Orient Heights, including streets in the vicinity of Orient Avenue, Boardman Street, Andrew Road, and Horace Street in East Boston. (See map below)
  • Spraying will be conducted Tuesday, August 20, 2019 between dusk and 11:30pm. If spraying is postponed for any reason, it will be rescheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 between dusk and 11:30pm.

Residents do not need to take any special precautions for this application. As with any pesticide, people should minimize exposure. If residents see a spray truck approaching, they are advised to go indoors for a couple of minutes while the spray dissipates. Residents are also advised to close windows during and immediately following spraying. Beekeepers do not need to take any special precautions since spraying begins after dusk.

About Sumithrin: Sumithrin is a synthetic pyrethroid that is classified as slightly toxic by the EPA. Mosquito control applications of sumithrin do not pose a significant risk to people or their pets due to the low toxicity of sumithrin and the small amount used to control mosquitoes.

Mosquito species have different breeding habits, but most want to lay their eggs near water – usually in vegetation or in still water. To help prevent mosquitoes from breeding, BPHC advises residents to limit places around the home where standing water can collect. Residents should turn over unused flowerpots, buckets, wheelbarrows and garbage cans; remove leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap water; dispose of or cover old tires; and cover swimming pools when not in use.


Click here for more information about the mosquito control work of BPHC and its partnership with SCMCP.

For further information contact the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project at 781-899-5730.


Aug 16
Mosquito Spraying Planned for Hyde Park and West Roxbury on August 19, 2019

The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) advises residents and community members in Hyde Park and West Roxbury of upcoming spraying to help control mosquito populations in selected neighborhood areas. BPHC partners with the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project (SCMCP) to protect Boston residents from mosquito-borne disease transmission. 

SCMCP will be using a truck mounted aerosol sprayer to apply a formula that contains the pesticide, sumithrin, to control mosquitoes. 

  • Spraying is scheduled for Hyde Park neighborhoods located between Hyde Park Avenue and the Stony Brook Reservation. Spraying is also scheduled for West Roxbury neighborhoods located in the vicinity of Eagle Street, Cowing Street, Pine Lodge Road, and Centre Terrace.
  • Spraying will be conducted Monday, August 19, 2019 between dusk and 11:30pm. If spraying is postponed for any reason, it will be rescheduled for Wednesday, August 21, 2019 between dusk and 11:30pm.

Residents do not need to take any special precautions for this application. As with any pesticide, people should minimize exposure. If residents see a spray truck approaching, they are advised to go indoors for a couple of minutes while the spray dissipates. Residents are also advised to close windows during and immediately following spraying. Beekeepers do not need to take any special precautions since spraying begins after dusk.

About Sumithrin: Sumithrin is a synthetic pyrethroid that is classified as slightly toxic by the EPA. Mosquito control applications of sumithrin do not pose a significant risk to people or their pets due to the low toxicity of sumithrin and the small amount used to control mosquitoes.

Mosquito species have different breeding habits, but most want to lay their eggs near water – usually in vegetation or in still water. To help prevent mosquitoes from breeding, BPHC advises residents to limit places around the home where standing water can collect. Residents should turn over unused flowerpots, buckets, wheelbarrows and garbage cans; remove leaves and other debris that can clog gutters and trap water; dispose of or cover old tires; and cover swimming pools when not in use.

Click here for more information about the mosquito control work of BPHC and its partnership with SCMCP.

For further information contact the Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project at 781-899-5730.


Aug 13
Parents Can Protect Their Children from Diseases by Deciding to Vaccinate

Vaccines can protect babies and young children from 14 very serious diseases before they turn 2-years-old. Many of these vaccines are available at low or no cost to parents through a variety of programs. If you are a parent who would like more information on vaccination options, please contact our Communicable Disease Division at 617-534-5611.

"Vaccines are crucial to creating a healthy environment for children to grow up in," said Jen Lo, M.D., Medical Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. "I would recommend that parents take steps to ensure that they're also vaccinated. Vaccines can help protect your entire family from severe diseases that are preventable."

 It is easy to think some of these diseases are problems from the past or things that don't happen in the United States. But the truth is that people are still getting sick from vaccine preventable diseases here in the US, including here in Boston. For example, Measles was declared eliminated in 2000, but in 2019 the U.S. saw the greatest number of cases reported in a quarter of a century. Whether your child is at home, on vacation or at school, vaccination is the most effective way to protect your child from many serious diseases. In Massachusetts, proof of immunization is required for children to go to daycare, school, camps, and college. 


You can also provide extra protection to your children by making sure those around them are current on their vaccines. When family members and caregivers of children are vaccinated, they are not only protecting their own health from vaccine preventable diseases, but they are also helping to limit the children's exposure to these diseases. This is especially important in the children's first few months of life when they haven't been fully vaccinated.  


Talk to your health care provider to make sure you and your children are up to date with their vaccinations. Fact sheets on vaccines are available on our website in several languages, including English, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

This blog post is the second in a series published by the Boston Public Health Commission as part of its recognition of National Immunization Awareness Month. 

Aug 09
Mayor Walsh, Boston EMS Celebrate New EMT Graduates

Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined Boston EMS to celebrate the graduation of 15 Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) recruits, as well as four promotions, in a ceremony at Faneuil Hall on Friday, August 9, 2019. This graduating class will be assigned to 911 ambulances, strengthening the City of Boston's emergency medical services (EMS).

 

"I want to congratulate this class of graduates on joining the ranks of Boston EMS, a proud and historic first responder family," said Mayor Walsh. "Becoming an EMT is a noble calling of public service. During a crisis, our EMTs and paramedics are often the first on the scene and the first to offer immediate help when people are most vulnerable and hurting. We cannot thank them enough for their service to our City."


Today's ceremony in front of family, friends and colleagues formally acknowledges 15 recruits' successful completion of a rigorous post-hire training program for EMTs at Boston EMS. The recruits, already state-certified EMTs prior to hire, completed an additional 27 weeks of classroom and field training. Known as "Recruit Class 2019-1" recruits were trained in a variety of emergency situations, including life-threatening emergencies, transportation accidents, recovery services, hazardous materials exposure, human trafficking and mass casualty incidents.

"Being an EMT or a paramedic on the streets of Boston takes heart, passion and dedication. Today's EMS recruits have all of that and more. I am proud to be here today to celebrate their accomplishments and officially welcome them to the Boston EMS family," said Boston EMS Chief Jim Hooley.

The graduating recruit class responded to nearly 2,400 calls during their training across all neighborhoods of Boston. Those emergency incidents included cardiac arrests, motor vehicle accidents, childbirths, shootings, stabbings, overdoses and more.

"Our EMTs and paramedics are called upon to help people on the worst and most frightening days of their lives," said Boston Public Health Commission Executive Director Monica Valdes Lupi. "I want to thank all of our EMT recruits for choosing to be on medicine's front line not only delivering excellent pre-hospital care but also protecting the safety and health of the public, particularly the most vulnerable."

With guidance from veteran EMT field training officers, recruits were not only prepared to provide care to patients, they also now understand the level of care, clinical excellence, and professionalism expected of Boston EMS EMTs.

Boston EMS is one of the busiest municipal EMS providers in New England, responding to more than 125,000 emergency medical incidents per year. As a bureau of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), Boston EMS is committed to serving Boston's residents through clinical excellence, emergency planning and preparedness, and community outreach.

"Today's graduates are now part of a larger community of first responders and public servants in Boston whose work is aimed squarely at being there whenever the call comes for help," said Chief of the Mayor's Office of Health and Human Services Marty Martinez. "I offer my sincere thanks and my congratulations to our new EMT graduates. They're answering one of the highest calls to public service and will help bring compassionate care to the people of Boston."

In his FY19 budget, Mayor Walsh prioritized funding for 20 additional EMTs, increasing the number of budgeted full-time EMS providers from 375 to 395 for the City of Boston. 

Mayor Walsh's FY20 budget includes additional resources to promote diversity and recruitment as well as resources to expand the capacity of Boston EMS's Community Assistance Team, also known as Squad 80. Squad 80 is a two-person team that travels in an SUV and answers calls where patients have a low frequency of being transported to the emergency room. Squad 80 frees up city ambulances, making more ambulances available for priority calls that need to get patients to the hospital. It also connects people to our recovery or homeless services and other city programs.



About Boston EMS:

Boston EMS is the primary provider of emergency medical services for the City of Boston and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of pre-hospital emergency medicine. The department leverages the latest advances in both medicine and technology to bring high-quality, compassionate care to the people of Boston. Boston EMS also plays a key role in the City's emergency preparedness efforts and provides community programming designed to educate the public about important health and safety topics.

About the Boston Public Health Commission:

The Boston Public Health Commission, one of the country's oldest health departments, is an independent public agency providing a wide range of health services and programs. It is governed by a seven-member board of health appointed by the Mayor of Boston. Public service and access to quality health care are the cornerstones of our mission - to protect, preserve and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable. The Commission's more than 40 programs are grouped into 6 bureaus: Emergency Medical Services; Child Adolescent & Family Health; Community Health Initiatives; Homeless Services; Infections Disease; and Recovery Services.

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Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: info@bphc.org