Codman Square Health Center Supports Black Lives Matter

black lives matter vertical banner in lobbyThe brutal murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police, caught on video so that all could see, was a turning point in the Black Lives Matter movement. When Floyd’s name was added to a long list of defenseless black men and women murdered in cold blood, the country and world responded with outrage and pain.

Codman Square Health Center, an organization with deep roots in the heart of Boston’s Black community, could not remain silent. We wanted to let our patients, staff, and community know that we heard their cries of pain and trauma.

We started our response by writing a clear and concise message that we recognize and support the Black Lives Matter movement. We don’t just support the community, we are the community. Black lives have always mattered at Codman, as we treat a patient population that is more than 95% people of color. For that reason, we have stated:

“Black Lives Matter – Codman Square Health Center stands with

our community in fighting racial injustice.”

Codman created a Black Lives Matter image that incorporated the statement above and our logo. We put that image on/in:

  • Facebook posts
  • Facebook banner
  • Twitter posts
  • Twitter banner
  • Instagram posts
  • Regular advertisements in the Bay State Banner and the Dorchester Reporter
  • Front page placement on our website
  • 2 6-foot tall retractable banners in Codman’s lobby and front vestibule (the first image you see as you ascend the Health Center’s from steps.)
  • 8’ x 4’ banners on the fence in front of the Health Center and Great Hall
  • 8’ x 4’ banners at our Health and Wellness Center at 450 Washington Street


We also launched a “listening session” series for staff to discuss topics such as self-care, unconscious bias, and other important issues related to racial trauma and race relations.

We acted quickly because we wanted to affirm and validate the feelings of our staff, patients, and community , but as we move forward, we will continue to seek input, including  from our staff, on next steps.

Codman leadership is consulting with local organizations to provide a training for health center staff to ensure that we provide an environment that is open and inclusive, and actively anti-racist.

Codman Offers Mobile Well-Child Visits

Dr. Daftary holds babyFor families who cannot get to Codman for their child’s wellness visits, our providers are now available to go to them! The Codman Square Pediatric Mobile Vaccine and Well-Child Van is starting visits next month, and will treat children (ages 0-2) whose families cannot  make it to the Health Center because of transportation, health, or other reasons.

Due to COVID-19, many families did not come to the Health Center for their well-child visits from mid-March on. As a result, providers conducted significantly fewer well-child visits and immunizations. In April of 2020, Codman performed only about one third of the typical number of well-child visits for children 2 and under, which means these young children are missing, among other things, important vaccinations. But now we have a solution to this important issue.

The mobile well-child vans will drive to a patient’s home for an immunization. The van will be staffed with a provider and nurse who will perform the child’s visit including, if needed, vaccinations.

Provider’s stress that coming to Codman for a child’s visit allows for the most comprehensive care, and that the van will temporarily offer this important service for those families who cannot visit the Health Center. Families who would like to have their child’s visit conducted in the mobile unit should call their health care provider.

We will be using a mobile clinic van that is already licensed through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to Boston Health Care for the Homeless through support from the Kraft Center for Community Health.

two women

Codman Launches Nurse Practitioner Residency Program

Codman Square Health Center is proud to announce the inaugural year of our Family Nurse Practitioner Residency program!  We welcome two top-notch, newly graduated FNPs: Nnemdi Azubuko and Marta Escriu-Suñé.  The residency will be 12 months in duration, and Ms. Azubuko and Ms. Escriu- Suñé will remain at Codman as family medicine providers for at least one year post-residency.

CSHC has long been an organization that embraces training and education, hosting medical interns, nursing students, and a robust Family Medicine Residency through Boston University School of Medicine.  CSHC also hosts residencies in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Optometry, and Dental.  We have also hired and trained many newly graduated Nurse Practitioners over the years.

This FNP residency program will formalize and expand on our training and expertise, preparing a cohort of diverse nurse practitioners who we hope will become leaders in community health. “Codman does an excellent job pairing high quality training with excellent patient care,” states Kyla Biegun, a FNP at Codman for 8 years and currently serving as interim NP Residency Director.

For more than 40 years, Codman Square Health Center has served our patients and community by providing high-quality and holistic care and nurse practitioners have been part of that excellent care since the mid-1970s, when the Commonwealth passed legislation allowing advanced practice nurses to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients.

“Nurse Practitioners play an important role at Codman,” Kyla expands. “This residency opportunity will continue to elevate the NP here and in the fields of Family Medicine and Community Health.”  Residencies are a relatively new part of an NP education but are quickly becoming the wave of the future.  Among the first in the country, this pioneering residency program confirms Codman’s status as a cutting-edge leader in community health.

The process of securing our two residents was competitive and intense, with Codman seeking NPs with a commitment to community health, language skills, and a connection to the community.  Although there were many excellent candidates, we chose Ms. Azubuko and Ms. Escriu-Suñé.   (Please see below a brief description).

Nnemdi Azubuko is a native of Dorchester and completed her undergraduate degree at Bridgewater State University. She earned her Masters of Science at Yale School of Nursing, where she developed an interest in providing care for marginalized communities. She completed additional coursework in gender and health justice to learn about providing care to individuals living with HIV/AIDS, substance use disorder, and members of the LGBTQIA communities.  Nnemdi enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and cooking.

Marta Escriu-Suñé was born and raised in Catalonia, Spain. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Massachusetts Boston and earned her Ph.D. from University of Massachusetts Worcester Graduate School of Nursing.  While in school, she volunteered with a global health group, training community health workers in the Dominican Republic to manage hypertension among Haitian migrant workers. She also has experience working with homeless families in Boston.  Marta has worked as a case manager and nurse at two community health centers in Boston. She is especially interested in women’s health, immigrant health, and addiction medicine. Outside of the clinic she enjoys hiking, reading, art, and dancing.

Please join us in enthusiastically welcoming Nnemdi and Marta to Codman as our first Family Nurse Practitioner Residents.

Codman Re-Opens Doors for Routine Medical Care: Beyond COVID-19

sign in parking lotAlmost four months after we suspended in-person, routine health care visits to focus on COVID-19 care, Urgent Care, and patients who needed emergent, in-person care, Codman is happy to begin re-opening its doors, under strict regulatory guidelines,  for most routine care visits.

Some routine care that can be and has been delivered via telehealth will continue as well. For example, our Behavioral Health and Nutrition departments are still conducting most of their visits via telehealth. Both departments have reported the effectiveness of this method.

Although Codman made many changes to its model of care and operations to address the pandemic, patients continue to receive the same high-quality care they have always received. These changes include:

  • Curbside Appointment Check-In. Patients who arrive to their appointment in a car can check in over the phone and stay in their vehicle until their provider is ready to see them. This significantly reduces the number of people in the clinic and enables social distancing protocol. Patients just call 617-825-9660 and press 9 when they arrive.
  • Appointment Time Buffers. We have increased the amount of time between each appointment to reduce the number of people in the Health Center.
  • Socially Distanced Waiting Rooms. To ensure that patients stay socially distanced, waiting room chairs have been placed six feet away from each other, and staff are monitoring room capacity. If a waiting room fills to capacity, a patient service navigator can move patients to an overflow waiting area in our pediatric group room.
  • Visitors Screened. Friends or family members who accompany a patient to an appointment are screened by front desk staff and receive a visitor’s badge while they are here. This enables Codman to monitor who is in the building.
  • Transition to Mobile COVID-19 testing. After almost three months, we removed the testing tent standing in the parking lot. Now, patients and community members who want COVID-19 testing can attend one of our daily mobile testing sites. We also continue to test in our Urgent Care Department.