We support BWH faculty physicians volunteering within Indian Health Service hospitals serving the Navajo reservation in Gallup and Shiprock, New Mexico and Chinle, Arizona. Volunteers provide a mix of patient care and teaching of the local medical staff; as well as remote teaching and consultative activities from Boston via telemedicine technology.
Each year the Program supports faculty physicians individually and in teams with other health care providers, including trainees, to provide direct patient care and teaching services to our IHS colleagues.
On the remote and geographically isolated reservation, specialty care is extremely difficult to access and academic medical centers and travel can be up to four hours travel from the IHS hospital and there can be up to a six month wait for appointments due to resource limitations. Additionally, there are often travel constraints for these patients preventing access even when and where care may be available. In the Outreach Program model, patients with specialty needs are scheduled appointments with their IHS provider in advance. Our volunteers work alongside the IHS clinicians to treat and train during each patient encounter.
Many volunteers do not provide clinical care but have led educational and hands-on training sessions in such areas as diabetes management, ventilator management of patients with acute respiratory distress, trauma-informed-care, point-of-care ultrasound, end-of life care, and stabilization of premature infants awaiting transfer.
The program offers continued medical education gratis through video conferences linking the BWH with the IHS sites in a simultaneous and live broadcast. The weekly conference topics are selected by the sites and include both didactic and challenging case-presentation opportunities. Sessions are recorded and MP4 files are available for ongoing reference. Learn more about CME Video Conferences.
IHS can request and arrange a consultation from a BWH faculty for a challenging patient case. There is also an established second opinion Radiology program.
BWH faculty are eager to host IHS physicians in Boston to experience cutting edge medicine and more intense training within our own hospital. To date, 20 IHS clinicians have spent time in Boston in a variety of clinical services including cardiology, dermatology, emergency medicine, urology, and gynecologic oncology.