Housestaff Spotlight: Fall 2018
Leah Harvey, MD
Future Infectious Disease and Addiction Specialist
HIV Track; Primary Care Track
I’m interested in the intersection of infectious disease and addiction medicine, particularly improving care and outcomes for patients at risk for and affected by the infectious complications of injection drug use. I’m passionate about addressing health disparities and want to optimize treatment strategies and improve retention in care for patients from marginalized communities and in resource-poor settings.
I’m currently collaborating with colleagues from GIM, ID, and the ED on a project to quantify the number of blood-borne and sexually transmitted infections diagnosed in patients presenting to Faster Paths, our opioid urgent care clinic. In the midst of the escalating opioid epidemic, low barrier to access programs like Faster Paths have emerged as a new and innovative care delivery model. However, the scope of practice of these clinics is still in flux- our research demonstrates high incidence and prevalence of blood-borne and sexually transmitted infections in this high risk population and justify the inclusion of comprehensive infection screening programs in these care settings.
I’m also involved in a quality improvement project to expand access to naloxone for our hospitalized patients via an innovative, EMR-based strategy. We are working with hospital leadership and our EMR to have naloxone automatically added to patients’ medication reconciliation at the time of hospital discharge, thus reducing alert fatigue and provider workload and expanding access to a potentially life-saving medication for our highest-risk patients.
Favorite experience, case, or project
I’ve also become very involved with a number of public health advocacy projects through the primary care track. One of my favorite projects has been leading our residency’s response to the current revision of the public charge rule and working to expand immigrant access to healthcare and essential social services. Working closely with the BMC Office of Governmental Affairs, we’ve partnered with the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition to spearhead a public comment-writing campaign and to implement a written advocacy curriculum within the primary care track.
One goal you hope to accomplish in the future
To continue to hone my advocacy skills and to advocate for my patients and my community via evidence-based policy implementation
One thing you are going to miss from residency
My co-residents! I feel so lucky to have made such wonderful friendships and I could not have survived residency without the camaraderie and support from my fellow residents.