Page 4 - HealthcareNews May/June 2021
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 A Day with ‘Dr. B’
Physician Caring for the Homeless Meets Patients Where They Are
be considered a typical day for Bossie, or ‘Dr. B,’ as she is called by many of her patients, most of whom have come to know and trust her over the years.
That’s because, while they come to her — in this case, at the small clinic within the homeless shelter in Northampton — she also comes to them. Bossie’s work during what she calls “outreach” (more on that later) takes her to the streets, under bridges, to homeless camps, and other locations where this population gathers.
Bossie is one of many individuals within the broad healthcare sector who are part of the 40 Under Forty class of 2021 recently announced by HCN’s sister publication, BusinessWest. In fact, she was the top scorer among nearly 200 nominees. Her story obviously resonated with a panel of five judges, and as you read more, you’ll see why.
But there are many other stories — 10 of them, in fact — from within the healthcare sector that impressed the judges, involving individuals in fields ranging from nursing to marketing and public relations to fitness (see profiles beginning on page 9).
t’s called a Section 12, and is otherwise known as a ‘pink slip,’ because that’s the color of the paper it’s written on. “This is a determination that someone can’t maintain their own well-being in the community and is at serious
risk of harm because of delusions or hallucinations or other mental illness,” said Dr. Jessica Bossie, primary-care physi- cian for a program called Health Services for the Homeless, which is based in Springfield but serves most of Western Mass. “So they need protection from the community.”
Bossie came to the conclusion that a pink slip, something her office doesn’t like to do because it takes away the patient’s rights and autonomy — something this program always tries to preserve — was needed after a 40-minute session with her patient, during which she determined that action, in the form of an ER visit with the likelihood of a stay in a psychiatric bed, was needed.
Processing this Section 12 was the first act of what would have to
Dr. Jessica Bossie, right, with Katelyn Wrzesinski, RN after administering the COVID-19 vaccine to frail and high-risk patients at the Florence Inn in Northampton.

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