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Library event featuring doctor who created homeless healthcare program postponed

by | Sep 10, 2023 | Featured

Health Department DIrector Shaun McAuliffe announced that author Dr. Jim O’Connell, the founding physician of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, will be unable to attend as the guest speaker at an event at the Hopkinton Public Library on Monday night because he has been hospitalized.

McAuliffe stated in an email that O’Connell is scheduled to be released from the hospital on Monday but will need time to recuperate before his appearance is rescheduled. The event, cosponsored by the Hopkinton Public Library and the Hopkinton Board of Health, was set to take place Monday from 6-8 p.m.

O’Connell is the centerpiece of “Rough Sleepers,” a New York Times bestseller by Tracy Kidder that describes the powerful story of an inspiring doctor who made a difference by helping to create a program to care for Boston’s homeless community. He also wrote a memoir of his experiences called “Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor,” which was published in 2015 in celebration of BHCHP’s 30th anniversary.

O’Connell has collaborated with homeless programs in many cities in the USA and across the globe, including Los Angeles, London and Sydney. He has been featured on ABC’s “Nightline” and in the feature-length documentary “Give Me a Shot of Anything.” He has received numerous awards, including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award in 2012 and the Trustees’ Medal at the bicentennial celebration of Massachusetts General Hospital in 2011. He also is an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Although his condition was not identified,  O’Connell was said to be “in good spirits,” according to the email.

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