Project REACH, an initiative created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, was launched to assess the well-being of all Boston Medical Center pediatric patients who were quarantining in their homes. With pediatric in-person visits dropping significantly during the surge of COVID cases, BMC providers grappled with how to stay connected to their most vulnerable pediatric patients and families who were at-risk now, more than ever. Though switching to telehealth allowed providers to meet the needs of some of their patients, it still left them unable to provide essential vaccinations and other critical follow-up care to families fearful of coming to the hospital. Brewster Ambulance Service stepped forward with a solution, generously donating an ambulance to the team of providers, nurses and staff who would be doing house calls to families living in nearby Boston neighborhoods.
During assessments, Project REACH learned that 15 percent of pediatric families were not able to leave their houses due to positive COVID-19 diagnoses, childcare needs or risk to vulnerable family members. Leaving them in dire need of food and supplies. In response, Project REACH quickly expanded on home visits to include deliveries of food, hygiene items, cleaning supplies and other services such as stress management, financial education, music classes and story times for children.
Project REACH, with the help of philanthropic support, will continue to evolve to meet the acute needs of those struggling now and well into the foreseeable future.