skip to Cookie NoticeSkip to contents

Header Skipped.

History and Partners of Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center

From Curtis Hall to Centre Street

In the early 1970's, Brookside and Martha Eliot Health Centers already existed in Jamaica Plain. A group of mothers in the South Street area felt that these were too far away to serve their needs and organized to get a center in the southern part of Jamaica Plain (JP). Out of that effort came a two-room operation located in Curtis Hall, with Nurse Practitioner, Barbara Hohman, and a small staff providing services for children. SJPHC subsequently grew fast to meet patient needs.

  • Pediatrician Martin Leber, MD was the first provider to be added to the team.
  • The affiliation with Children's Hospital was changed to a long-term affiliation with Brigham and Women's.
  • Dr. Michael Lambert joined the team and SJPHC added an adult medicine component.
  • SJPHC re-located to a storefront at 678 Centre Street in 1974, and continued to grow adding mental health and other services, becoming a full-fledged community health center.
  • In 1998, SJPHC moved to its current location at 640 Centre Street. With the additional space and modern facility, the center grew rapidly from serving 4000 patients to over 12,000 patients by the end of 2004, and to 15,000 in 2016.
  • In 2009 SJPHC added Family Medicine when Dr. Robert Oldshue, board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics joined the practice. Today along with Dr. Shusmita Dhar, our Family Medicine is the newest of our departments.
  • In 2010, SJPHC secured the space on 10 Green Street which became the Health Promotion Center and launched an array of programs aimed at addressing the preventative and social health needs of its patients and community.
  • In 2013 Women's Health was added providing obstetrical and gynecological services.
  • In 2015 SJPHC received the highest level, level III, recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home. This national program focuses a series of services and programs in a primary care practice that aims to provide comprehensive care to patients, both during a visit, and in between, with focus on assuring preventative care, management of chronic conditions, attention to complex patients, and innovative access to care.

Community Advisory Board

The purpose of the board is to promote and assist in the establishment, maintenance, and support of community health programs, services, and education at SJPHC. This may include: creating partnerships with other neighborhood health centers, providing feedback on health center services or identifying new needs, advocating for an approach to care that recognizes social determinants of health, reviewing quality data, connecting the health center to other organizations, fundraising, local community scholarship implementation, and sponsoring appreciation luncheons for staff. Currently, there are nine members on the board working closely with the SJPHC Executive Director. A majority of board members are long-term patients of SJPHC and live either in Jamaica Plain or the surrounding communities.


At SJPHC, we are committed to working in partnership with organizations across sectors, not just health care organizations, to promote the health of our patients and our community. We love our partners because...

  • ABCD helps us provide family planning services and educate young people about sexuality.
  • Beantown Society collaborates with us for this youth program run out of Spontaneous Celebrations.
  • Boston Housing Authority with community partners, responsible for supporting a dynamic drop-in youth center at the South Street Development.
  • Boston Police Department has community officers that participate in efforts to promote family and health.
  • Boston Health Commission supports the Racial Reconciliation & Healing Project and informs our efforts to promote health equity.
  • Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Inc. (CCHERS) helps SJPHC and other health centers participate in community based research.
  • Children's Hospital supports programs for overweight youth. Helps support pediatric services.
  • City Feed and other local businesses help us with youth employment to promote health.
  • Cooperative Artists Institute supports the Peace Drum Project, afterschool arts program for multimedia art projects and an oral history project with local elders.
  • English High School supports Urban Improv antiviolence program.
  • Ethos educates seniors in Tai Chi, diabetes education and wellness classes and provides case management.
  • Friendship Works supports seniors from SJPHC with medical escorts and friendly visitors.
  • Hyde Square Task Force empowers youth in careers, physical fitness and health equity.
  • JP Neighborhood Development Corporation provides affordable housing to our patients, leads the business community in health equity work, job training and data collection, and participates in our Equity Collaborative.
  • JP Elder Care Network brings together elder care providers for information and networking for our seniors.
  • JP Tree of Life/Arbol de Vida collaborates with SJPHC to run the South Street Youth Center and supports the health center through trainings of staff and community meetings.
  • Mass League of Community Health Centers informs many things that we do as a health center through their technical assistance, advocacy for health centers, and connecting us to the national network of CHC's.
  • Allways Health Partners provides great coverage for our patients and supports community health centers as we carry out our mission.
  • Project Bread increases food stamp participation city wide, provides families with tools to navigate the system, and supports our efforts to help families impacted by food insecurity.
  • South Street Friends provides many types of support for the South Street Youth Center, including raising funds, providing tutors, and being supportive neighbors.
  • Tufts University provides us with students and interns and supports our research projects.
  • The City School supports the Summer Leadership Program with training and we are an internship site for them.
  • The Curley Middle School Girl Talk and other sexuality training, partners in middle school health programs
  • Urban Improv is an afterschool theater program held at English High School aimed at problem solving through youth participation in scenes. Topics include violence, dating, drugs and police.

Thank you to our partners!


For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

About BWH