Codman Recognizes World AIDS Day

Codman recognized World AIDS Day by hosting a health center-wide event for the staff with food, giveaways, staff and patient stories, and giveaways. World AIDS Day occurs on Dec. 1 each year

and is an opportunity for people to unite to fight against the spread of HIV, show support for people living with HIV, and commemorate those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.

This year, Codman’s Communicable Disease Prevention Program (CDPP), which coordinates care for people living with HIV, performs testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and more, hosted the World AIDS Day event.

CDPP staff prepared an engaging trivia contest that tested people’s knowledge of the history of the illness, its treatments, and its activists. They also ran a presentation highlighting HIV activists over the years, CDPP patient stories, and staff biographies.

Codman’s CDPP program offers extensive services for patients who are living with HIV including:

  • Case managers who can support patients with appointments, transportation, advocacy, and more
  • Onsite pharmacy
  • Integrated behavioral health services
  • Prevention (PrEP, free condoms)
  • Highly specialized and experienced medical staff

If you are interested in learning more about World AIDS Day, HIV, or Codman’s services testing for sexually transmitted infections, prevention HIV, or living with HIV, please contact 617-822-8350.

Codman Distributes Hundreds of Toys to Young Patients

 

Codman hosted its annual Holiday Gift Giveaway on Saturday, Dec. 17, in the Great Hall in Codman Square and gave away hundreds of wrapped gifts to patients.

Families from Notre Dame Academy in Hingham donated 480 carefully selected gifts. The students at the school joyously wrapped them and packaged them up by age and gender for young Codman patients.

Each year, Codman gives parents the opportunity to register their children who are patients of the health center for a holiday gift. Codman staff create a gift bag from the donated presents for each family who registered that includes a gift(s) for each of the children that is specific to the child’s gender and age.

On the day of the Gift Giveaway, parents came in to a festive scene with decorations, Holiday music, staff handing out presents, and children’s entertainment. Kristen Hale delighted children at the event with her custom-made balloon animals, face painting, and more!

Thank you to the students, families, and staff at Notre Dame Academy for the generous donations, and thank you to all the health center families for sharing in this joyous time with us!

Mass DPH & American Academy of Pediatrics (Mass. Chapter) Issue Advice for Parents on Kids Fever Reducer Shortage

parent with sick child

An especially active year for pediatric colds, flus, and other illnesses has increased demand for pediatric fever reducers (Acetaminophen/Tylenol; Motrin/Advil). Parents may have a hard time finding these medications. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a letter for parents during this time. See the content of the letter below.

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

We are writing with recommendations regarding a current shortage of infant and children’s pain and fever-reducing medications in stores and pharmacies nationally and in Massachusetts. This shortage includes common liquid preparations of acetaminophen and ibuprofen and other cold and flu medications that can reduce fever.

During this time when we are seeing increased cases of flu and other respiratory viruses, you may be unable to find these medications on pharmacy shelves. While this can be distressing, it’s important to remember that fever-reducing medicines do not cure or even shorten the duration of illness. While a fever can be uncomfortable, fever is a sign that your child’s body is fighting infection. Low to moderate fevers do not require fever-reducing medications and children are able to tolerate such low fevers well.

There are several steps you can take to help comfort your child if they develop a fever and you are unable to find fever-reducing medications including:

  • Encourage your child to drink lots of fluids including water and electrolyte-containing fluids for children. Staying well hydrated is important to help your child feel better and fight the infection.
  • Keep their room comfortably cool.
  • Dress them in light clothing.

It’s important to remember that fever in children should never be treated with aspirin or rubbing alcohol as both can cause serious illness.

During this current shortage of fever-reducing medications, it is recommended that you purchase only the quantity that you need for your child, to avoid worsening shortages and ensure available supply for others.  Please note: If you don’t see fever-reducing products on the store shelf, ask the pharmacy staff as they may be storing their limited supply behind the counter.

If you have questions about the medications you have at home, or have purchased, please check with your health care provider or pharmacist. Additional guidance can be found here: https://mcaap.org/2018/wp-content/uploads/Parent-Tips-during-Acetaminophen-and-Ibuprofen-Shortage-1.pdf

Group of people serving food

Men of Boston Cook for Women’s Health Celebrates 25 Years of Food, Fun, and Fundraising

Codman celebrated its 25th annual Men of Boston Cook for Women’s Health on Thursday, Oct. 20, under the gala tent in front of the health center. Hundreds of community members, supporters, and staff gathered to network, sample local food and drinks, and raise money for Codman’s women’s health programming.

Since 1996, the health center has hosted the event onsite. Organizers find hosting the event at the health center enables patients and community members to attend easily and brings supporters from other areas of the region to a neighborhood they may not otherwise visit.

This year was extra special to everyone because, not only was it the 25th anniversary, it was the first time the event had been held in person since 2019. At that 2019 event, we had no idea that the same tent would be used as part of our public health response to a global pandemic. (Codman hosted COVID-19 testing in the front parking lot during the first year of the pandemic.) Everyone was excited to see each other in person again and to see the tent used for a party!

Attendees enjoyed food from more than 20 local restaurants including long-time nearby establishments Tavolo Ristorante and Ashmont Grill, seen below.

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Boston City Council President Ed Flynn, CNN’s John King, and Marc Bonanno, executive chef at Ashmont Grill and Tavolo Ristorante.

WCVB’s Meteorologist Mike Wankum and CNN Anchor and Chief Political Correspondent John King, also a Dorchester native, emceed the event. Both celebrities are longtime supporters of the event where in addition to their official event duties, they love to mingle with the crowd and have fun. (pic below)

Another long-time celebrity chef, Governor Charlie Baker, spoke eloquently about the value of Men of Boston Cook for Women’s Health and presented Codman’s CEO Sandra Cotterell with a citation honoring the event’s 25 years.

The evening also featured:

  • Live performances by The Blue Hotel
  • Live performance by Boston’s own Louie Bello
  • Food and drink from more than 20 local restaurants and bars
  • WCVB was our media sponsor again

Codman CEO Sandra Cotterell was thrilled to see everyone under the gala tent and meet up with community members and supporters in person again. “Every year, Men of Boston Cook for Women’s Health is one of my favorite evenings. However, after the changes we all had to make during the pandemic made me appreciate seeing everyone even more!”

Protect Yourself this Respiratory Season

flu and vaccine clinic image

We are coming into winter, which means it is the season you are more likely to suffer from common respiratory illness.  Colds and flu can wreak havoc on anyone during this time, but the addition of COVID makes the season even more challenging.

You can protect yourself against flu and COVID at Codman’s Respiratory Season Vaccine Clinics. Even if you have had a COVID vaccine and two boosters, the new bivalent booster will help you fight the omicron strains of COVID. Clinics are Dec. 22 and Dec. 29 from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

At our Respiratory Season Vaccine Clinics, not only can you protect yourself with these vaccines, you can also:

  • Enter to win prizes
  • Receive a gift card (only available for COVID vaccines)

Cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have spiked early in children this year, and children’s hospitals have been filling with patients ill with the virus. While there is no vaccine for RSV, protecting children against flu and COVID can help prevent severe illness and keep kids out of the already-burdened hospitals.

Adults over 65 are more at risk for complications from flu and COVID, and vaccines are their best defense against severe illness. We encourage appointments, which you can make by calling 617-822-8271 or filling out an appointment request form (orange button on the right of this). We accept walk-in patients if space permits.

Codman Named Top 100 Women-led Business in Massachusetts for 9th Year

Sandra CotterellFor the 9th consecutive year, the Commonwealth Institute and the Boston Globe have named Codman Square Health Center to the list of the Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts.

The Commonwealth Institute is a nonprofit that supports women-led businesses, and it considers revenue, operating budgets, number of full-time employees, diversity, innovative projects, and more when it weighs candidates and organizations for the Top 100 list.

In a recent interview with Cotterell, she commented on how she inspires other women to leadership. “The inspiration to lead is a little different than the inspiration to care for patients, and it’s important that women in health care see that those in leadership roles can make a real difference in patient care,  staff satisfaction, and in their community.”