November 2023

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Equity in Diabetes

BMC Voices: Diabetes Care for the Whole Person

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly one in 10 American adults has diabetes, and 20 percent of those with diabetes don’t even know it. At Boston Medical Center (BMC), through our Health Equity Accelerator and Clinical Diabetes Program, we continue to find comprehensive ways to care for patients with diabetes. We provide services that support health and diabetes management across all areas of life, such as a clinical pharmacist for personalized medication and blood glucose monitoring guidance. We also offer diabetes education and diabetes essentials classes where patients learn tips on how to maintain a healthy weight through exercise and a balanced diet, how to care for their diabetes when sick with another illness like the flu, the best ways to manage blood sugar levels, how to troubleshoot medical equipment like an insulin pump, and more.

“I was surprised by the team concept because I came from a time when you only had a physician. That was your main person to talk to. But now there's a full team involved, and I can get in touch with them easily, which I find to be crucial,” says BMC patient Miguel Balboa.

Watch to learn the rest of Miguel's story →

Mental Health Support for Managing Diabetes

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Patients often tell us that a chronic illness diagnosis, like diabetes, can be overwhelming. There are often new diets and exercise routines to try, medicines to learn, and medical equipment to manage. BMC understands the importance of providing mental and behavioral health support to help our patients navigate these changes as a part of a comprehensive care approach for people with diabetes.

Read more about this approach on HealthCity →

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Should You Get Screened?

Annual lung cancer screenings are an important way to catch cancer early for those at the highest risk. The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), an expert panel that makes recommendations about preventive services, recommends annual lung screening if:

  • You are 50-80 years old (Medicare pays for annual screenings until age 77)

  • You have a smoking history of at least 20 pack years (such as one pack per day for 20 years or 1/2 pack per day for 40 years)

  • You are a current smoker

  • You are a former smoker who quit within the past 15 years

Cigarette smoking is the #1 risk factor for lung cancer, but it’s never too late to quit! If you are a smoker, our team of tobacco-trained specialists, pulmonologists, nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, and behavioral health specialists at BMC's Tobacco Treatment Center can help you understand what it might take to quit smoking and offer you a personalized plan to help.

Other ways to reduce your risk of lung cancer include reducing exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, eating a healthy diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, and exercising regularly to keep your heart and lungs healthy.

Early detection is the best way to prevent serious disease. If you currently smoke, previously smoked, or are sometimes around smoke, knowing the health of your lungs is critical. The expert team at BMC's Lung Cancer Screening program is available to help answer any questions. You can call them at 617-638-5864.

Learn more about lung cancer screening →

Are the "Winter Blues" Real?

The “winter blues” are feelings of loneliness or sadness that occur in the fall and winter months. Why does this happen? Our bodies crave light and outdoor activities. With the change of season comes shorter days with less sunlight and colder temperatures that may limit our ability to get outside. The particularly rainy summer in New England has limited everyone’s ability to get outside and do the things we love, causing some people to experience the “winter blues” earlier than usual this year. These feelings are common and tend to pass and improve over time. If feelings of loneliness and depression due to the weather worsen or become long-lasting, ask your doctor to evaluate you for seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

BMC neurologist Sanford Auerbach, MD suggests these tips to help ease SAD symptoms:

Try Light Therapy

Your healthcare provider may recommend light therapy with specialized lamps that mimic natural sunlight.

Go Outside

Spend time outdoors, especially during the daylight hours. Even on cloudy or overcast days, natural light can help lift your mood.

Stick to a Regular Schedule

Regular sleep and mealtime schedules can help regulate your body’s internal clock and reduce mood swings.

Stay Active

Regular exercise strengthens and improves well-being while releasing endorphins that combat SAD symptoms.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids for a healthier body and mind. Salmon offers both vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Tuna fish and fortified milk and cereals can help provide vitamin D. Plant oils like soybean or flax seed oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, and walnuts are good sources of omega-3s.


Stay connected with loved ones. Isolation can often worsen the symptoms of depression, so it is important to make the extra effort to spend time with friends and family.

Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation

Practice mindfulness, meditation, and yoga to help reduce stress and improve mood. Dr. Auerbach also suggests keeping a gratitude journal to focus on the positives in life.

If SAD significantly affects your life or you have severe symptoms, our mental health providers can evaluate you for any related issues and give you a personalized treatment plan.

Learn more about mental health care at BMC →


Construction Near Emergency Department Corridor

Our Emergency Department entrance is located at 725 Albany Street and is always open. If you need to access emergency services, please only use this entrance.

Construction activities will be taking place near our Emergency Department this month, and there will no longer be access to the Emergency Department from the Moakley building or main Menino entrance. Starting Monday, Nov. 6, the corridor connecting the Moakley building to the Emergency Department driveway will be permanently closed.

If you park in our 710 Albany garage, please access our main campus on Harrison Avenue via East Concord Street. If you are entering campus from Harrison Avenue, you can reach our Shapiro Building and Emergency Department via East Concord Street and Albany Street.

Click here to keep up to date on BMC’s campus construction activities →


COOs to Know

Joe Camillus, MBA, MPH, Chief Operating Officer at BMC, has been named one of "75 Hospital and Health System COOs to Know" in 2023 by Becker's Healthcare.

100 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Orthopedic Programs

BMC has been recognized as one of 100 hospitals and health systems with great orthopedic programs by Becker's Healthcare. Our internationally known orthopedic physicians and surgeons have advanced expertise and state-of-the-art technology to care for everyone. We have a comprehensive range of services, including hip and knee replacement, spine surgery, joint reconstruction, and more.

Learn more about BMC's orthopedic services →

Extraordinary healthcare means having expert doctors and groundbreaking research—but it also means ensuring care is accessible to anyone who needs it. At BMC, we do both.

Through our world-class clinicians and essential community partnerships, we treat all aspects of patient health with the compassion and expertise that we all deserve.

Together, we’re rewriting healthcare by empowering all patients to thrive through our innovative and equitable care.

Learn more about how we are rewriting healthcare here →

Are you ready to be part of a dynamic team dedicated to delivering exceptional and equitable care? BMC is looking for radiology techs of all experience levels with a $7,500 sign-on bonus.

Competitive pay, excellent benefits, and endless growth opportunities await. Apply now!

In Your Words

The Endocrinology and Diabetes clinic has always been top-notch. The staff give 100%. I've been going to this clinic for 18 years, and there have been a lot of changes over this time, but all have been for the best — friendly, knowledgeable, informative, and very hardworking people.

“In Your Words” features comments from patient experience outreach surveys. We appreciate your time completing these and sharing your thoughts with us. The information gathered is used to learn where we can improve, to continue to provide exceptional care to all.

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