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A Global Health Conversation with Dr. Jim O’Connell

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Event Details:

A Global Health Conversation with Dr. James J. O’Connell, MD

Event details

  • Thursday, April 24 5-6:30pm
  • Li Ka Shing Center, Stanford Campus, Room 320 
  • Light refreshments provided

Join us for this Global Health Conversation with Dr. James (Jim) O’Connell, a Boston physician who has dedicated his career to caring for people living on the streets. In conversation with Global Health Faculty Fellow and veteran interviewer Paul Costello, Dr. O’Connell will discuss his life, career, and insights on bringing compassionate health care to those with the fewest resources.

Dr. O’Connell is the founding physician of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, which now serves over 10,000 homeless individuals and families each year in two hospital-based clinics, 30 shelters and outreach sites, and on the streets of Boston. With his colleagues, Dr. O’Connell established the nation’s first medical respite program for homeless persons in September 1985, with 25 beds in the Lemuel Shattuck Shelter. This innovative program now provides acute and sub-acute, pre- and post-operative, and palliative and end-of-life care in the freestanding 104-bed Barbara McInnis House. 

Dr. O’Connell previously served as the National Program Director of the Homeless Families Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He has been featured on ABC’s Nightline, CBS Evening News and in several feature-length documentaries including Give Me a Shot of Anything and The Antidote. He has received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award in 2012 and The Trustees’ Medal at the bicentennial celebration of MGH in 2011. Dr. O’Connell has collaborated with homeless programs in many cities in the USA and across the globe, including Los Angeles, London, and Sydney. Dr. O’Connell’s book Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor was published in 2015 in celebration of BHCHP’s 30th anniversary. In 2023, Dr. O’Connell work was chronicled by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Tracy Kidder in Rough Sleepers, Dr. Jim O’Connell’s Urgent Mission to Bring Healing to Homeless People. Dr. O’Connell is president of BHCHP and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.