Perspectives in Primary Care features writing from practitioners, activists, and community members representing organizations, practices, and institutions across the United States and around the world.

Reflections on Tribal Primary Care in America

California of the pioneers, peopled by progressives of campsites with bear lockers of pines and berries of easy cilantro in markets of walnut milk

Addressing the Social Needs of Patients at Cambridge Health Alliance

Housing and food insecurity have always existed in Massachusetts, but the pandemic has exacerbated these issues. Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), an academic community health system serving Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north region, has witnessed this firsthand and is addressing the nutritional and housing needs of patients by connecting them to ...

Exploring Work That Scratches the Soul: Reflection on a Rural Health Independent Study

When my fellow Harvard Medical School classmates asked “what I was up to,” I called it my Rural Family Medicine Adventure Month. More formally, it was my extreme privilege and pleasure to learn Family Medicine across northern Maine and western Massachusetts as part of an independent study in rural primary care in June 2021. My travels brought me to the Jackman Community Health Center, the Northern Maine Medical Center, the Barre Family Health Center, the Behavioral Health Network Methadone Clinic, and the Community Health Center of Franklin County. I explored the ...

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 & Emerging Opportunities for Community-Based Healthcare

As the largest system for primary care in the United States, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) (and other community health centers) stand in a unique position to redress the

Homelessness Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic: How the Perry Street Recovery Center Reminds Us to Prioritize Community Partnerships

In January 2020, Tom was 61 years old when he was evicted from his home. In the following months, an already distressing and traumatic experience was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tom was living in a shelter when he first tested positive for COVID-19. He said, “I was alright, but I didn’t know what [a positive test result] meant for me.” And Tom’s story is extremely common. When people living in congregate shelters test positive for COVID-19, they have limited options. If ...

Spirituality and Health

When a person becomes a patient, their sense of innate humanity has a way of being negated—their clothes are replaced with a hospital gown, they are placed in a patient room, and all of the subtle intricacies that make up their personhood pale in comparison to their illness and identity as a patient. They are their illness. Introducing spirituality in healthcare is a way to humanize an otherwise sterile and foreign experience within the context of a person’s values and beliefs. We know spirituality is valued in healthcare: hospital chaplains and multi-faith chapels pepper ...

Men and Primary Care: Removing the Barriers

A recent study of British dental patients found that men are more likely than women to be hospitalized due to severe dental disease. Why? Because men delay seeking help at earlier disease stages when their condition would be easier to treat. While it’s a myth to assume that all or even most men do not use, or largely avoid, primary care, there is nevertheless good evidence that services are under-utilized by many. In one Australian study,

Consequences of COVID-19: Addressing Social Isolation From Physical Distancing in Older Adults

Ms. B sits alone at home day after day, grieving. Ever since one of her loved ones died last fall in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. B has found herself struggling with feelings of depression and loneliness. Recently retired and isolated from her nearby family due to pandemic precautions, she has no one to talk to, no one to share her grief with. Ms. B tearfully ...

Menstrual Health During COVID-19: How Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Can Improve Equity

Globally, over 800 million women, girls, and gender non-binary persons are menstruating while simultaneously coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. For many, the ability to safely manage their menstrual health and hygiene remains a widely
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