Monica Bharel, MD, MPH, is the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, appointed in February of 2015. As Commissioner, she is responsible for spearheading the state’s response to the opioid crisis, implementation of health care cost containment legislation, reducing health disparities, finding public health solutions for health care reform, finding innovative solutions using data and evidence-based practices, and other health care quality improvement initiatives.
Prior to Dr. Bharel’s appointment, she served as the Chief Medical Officer of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, the largest nonprofit health care organization for homeless individuals in the country. The nonprofit program is devoted to providing medical care to one of the city’s most vulnerable populations and under her leadership, the organization provided health care to over 12,500 homeless men, women and children in the greater Boston area at over 70 different sites.
In the public service sector, Dr. Bharel was a gubernatorial appointment to the Behavioral Health and Primary Care Integration Task Force under the Massachusetts health care payment reform initiative. She has also participated on the Massachusetts Medicaid payment reform policy committee and Primary Care Payment Reform Initiative operations committee. Additionally, she served on the National Quality Forum expert panel on Risk Adjustment for Socioeconomic Status.
Dr. Bharel has served on the faculty of Boston University Medical School, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. She was previously at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Medical Center. She has practiced general internal medicine for 20 years in neighborhood health centers, city hospitals, the Veterans Administration, university hospitals and nonprofit organizations. She received her Master of Public Health degree through the Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy, with a concentration in health care policy and management in 2012. She received her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 1994 and in 1998 completed a residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Boston City Hospital/Boston Medical Center.
Her areas of interest include preventive health care and chronic disease management for underserved populations through system- based improvements. Her areas of research have included cervical cancer screening in homeless women, treatment of alcohol use among homeless women, and hepatitis C in vulnerable populations.
- Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health
- Boston Medical Center
- Boston University School of Medicine, MD
- Boston University, BA
- Published on 2/1/2019
Bharel M. The True Prevalence of Opioid Use Disorder Nationally Is Likely Underestimated. Am J Public Health. 2019 Feb; 109(2):214-215. PMID: 30649930.
- Published on 8/1/2018
Schiff DM, Nielsen T, Terplan M, Hood M, Bernson D, Diop H, Bharel M, Wilens TE, LaRochelle M, Walley AY, Land T. Fatal and Nonfatal Overdose Among Pregnant and Postpartum Women in Massachusetts. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 08; 132(2):466-474. PMID: 29995730.
- Published on 7/5/2018
Samet JH, Botticelli M, Bharel M. Methadone in Primary Care - One Small Step for Congress, One Giant Leap for Addiction Treatment. N Engl J Med. 2018 Jul 05; 379(1):7-8. PMID: 29972744.
- Published on 12/1/2017
Keith DA, Kulich RJ, Bharel M, Boose RE, Brownstein J, Da Silva JD, D'Innocenzo R, Donoff RB, Factor E, Hutter JW, Shaefer JR, Karimbux NY, Jack H, Thomas HF. Massachusetts Dental Schools Respond to the Prescription Opioid Crisis: A Statewide Collaboration. J Dent Educ. 2017 Dec; 81(12):1388-1394. PMID: 29196326.
- Published on 6/1/2017
Bharel M, Antman K, Berman H, Dimitri D, Flier J, Flotte T. In Reply to Manion and Khan. Acad Med. 2017 06; 92(6):725-726. PMID: 28557909.
- Published on 5/1/2017
Mitchell MS, León CLK, Byrne TH, Lin WC, Bharel M. Cost of health care utilization among homeless frequent emergency department users. Psychol Serv. 2017 May; 14(2):193-202. PMID: 28481604.
- Published on 1/1/2017
Behl-Chadha B, Savageau JA, Bharel M, Gagnon M, Lei PP, Hillerns C. Comparison of Patient Experience between a Practice for Homeless Patients and Other Practices Engaged in a Patient-Centered Medical Home Initiative. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2017; 28(3):1151-1164. PMID: 28804084.
- Published on 10/1/2016
Antman KH, Berman HA, Flotte TR, Flier J, Dimitri DM, Bharel M. Developing Core Competencies for the Prevention and Management of Prescription Drug Misuse: A Medical Education Collaboration in Massachusetts. Acad Med. 2016 Oct; 91(10):1348-1351. PMID: 27532868.
- Published on 7/1/2016
Wittenberg E, Bharel M, Bridges JF, Ward Z, Weinreb L. Using Best-Worst Scaling to Understand Patient Priorities: A Case Example of Papanicolaou Tests for Homeless Women. Ann Fam Med. 2016 Jul; 14(4):359-64. PMID: 27401425.
- Published on 5/1/2016
Bharel M. Emergency Care for Homeless Patients: A Window Into the Health Needs of Vulnerable Populations. Am J Public Health. 2016 May; 106(5):784-5. PMID: 27049413.
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