Keywords
Last Name

Monica Bharel, MD, MPH

TitleClinical Assistant Professor
InstitutionBoston University School of Medicine
DepartmentMedicine
DivisionGeneral Internal Medicine
Address72 E. Concord St Instructional (L)
Boston MA
Other Positions
TitleCommissioner
InstitutionMassachusetts Department of Public Health

InstitutionBoston Medical Center

 Research Expertise & Professional Interests
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.

 Publications
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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  1. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  2. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  3. 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.
    View in: PubMed
  4. Lin WC, Clark RE, Zhang J, O'Connell E, Bharel M. Lin et al. Respond. Am J Public Health. 2016 Mar; 106(3):571-2. PMID: 26885967.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Lin WC, Bharel M, Zhang J, O'Connell E, Clark RE. Frequent Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalizations Among Homeless People With Medicaid: Implications for Medicaid Expansion. Am J Public Health. 2015 Nov; 105 Suppl 5:S716-22. PMID: 26447915.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Koh KA, Bharel M, Henderson DC. Nutrition for homeless populations: shelters and soup kitchens as opportunities for intervention. Public Health Nutr. 2016 May; 19(7):1312-4. PMID: 26434381.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Wittenberg E, Bharel M, Saada A, Santiago E, Bridges JF, Weinreb L. Measuring the Preferences of Homeless Women for Cervical Cancer Screening Interventions: Development of a Best-Worst Scaling Survey. Patient. 2015 Oct; 8(5):455-67. PMID: 25586646.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Baggett TP, Chang Y, Porneala BC, Bharel M, Singer DE, Rigotti NA. Disparities in Cancer Incidence, Stage, and Mortality at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. Am J Prev Med. 2015 Nov; 49(5):694-702. PMID: 26143955.
    View in: PubMed
  9. Cimino T, Steinman MA, Mitchell SL, Miao Y, Bharel M, Barnhart CE, Brown RT. The Course of Functional Impairment in Older Homeless Adults: Disabled on the Street. JAMA Intern Med. 2015 Jul; 175(7):1237-9. PMID: 26011591.
    View in: PubMed
  10. Brown RT, Miao Y, Mitchell SL, Bharel M, Patel M, Ard KL, Grande LJ, Blazey-Martin D, Floru D, Steinman MA. Health Outcomes of Obtaining Housing Among Older Homeless Adults. Am J Public Health. 2015 Jul; 105(7):1482-8. PMID: 25973822.
    View in: PubMed
  11. Bharel M. Doctoring for the homeless: caring for the most vulnerable by building trust. AMA J Ethics. 2015 May; 17(5):469-72. PMID: 25986093.
    View in: PubMed
  12. Bharel M, Santiago ER, Forgione SN, León CK, Weinreb L. Eliminating health disparities: innovative methods to improve cervical cancer screening in a medically underserved population. Am J Public Health. 2015 Jul; 105 Suppl 3:S438-42. PMID: 25905832.
    View in: PubMed
  13. Sheu J, Gonzalez E, Gaeta JM, Bharel M, Tan JK. Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program-Harvard Dermatology Collaboration: A Service-Learning Model Providing Care for an Underserved Population. J Grad Med Educ. 2014 Dec; 6(4):789-90. PMID: 26140137.
    View in: PubMed
  14. Upshur C, Weinreb L, Bharel M, Reed G, Frisard C. A randomized control trial of a chronic care intervention for homeless women with alcohol use problems. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2015 Apr; 51:19-29. PMID: 25488504.
    View in: PubMed
  15. Brown RT, Kiely DK, Bharel M, Grande LJ, Mitchell SL. Use of acute care services among older homeless adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Oct 28; 173(19):1831-4. PMID: 23752708.
    View in: PubMed
  16. Bharel M, Lin WC, Zhang J, O'Connell E, Taube R, Clark RE. Health care utilization patterns of homeless individuals in Boston: preparing for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Am J Public Health. 2013 Dec; 103 Suppl 2:S311-7. PMID: 24148046.
    View in: PubMed
  17. Upshur CC, Weinreb L, Bharel M. Homeless women and hazardous drinking: screening results in a primary health care setting. Am J Addict. 2014 Mar-Apr; 23(2):117-22. PMID: 25187047.
    View in: PubMed
  18. Brown RT, Kiely DK, Bharel M, Mitchell SL. Factors associated with geriatric syndromes in older homeless adults. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2013 May; 24(2):456-68. PMID: 23728022.
    View in: PubMed
  19. Brown RT, Kiely DK, Bharel M, Mitchell SL. Geriatric syndromes in older homeless adults. J Gen Intern Med. 2012 Jan; 27(1):16-22. PMID: 21879368.
    View in: PubMed
  20. Baggett TP, Singer DE, Rao SR, O'Connell JJ, Bharel M, Rigotti NA. Food insufficiency and health services utilization in a national sample of homeless adults. J Gen Intern Med. 2011 Jun; 26(6):627-34. PMID: 21279455.
    View in: PubMed
  21. Bharel M, Casey C, Wittenberg E. Disparities in cancer screening: acceptance of Pap smears among homeless women. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 Dec; 18(12):2011-6. PMID: 20044864.
    View in: PubMed
  22. Liebschutz JM, Darko GO, Finley EP, Cawse JM, Bharel M, Orlander JD. In the minority: black physicians in residency and their experiences. J Natl Med Assoc. 2006 Sep; 98(9):1441-8. PMID: 17019911.
    View in: PubMed
  23. Bharel M, Jain S. A longitudinal curriculum to improve resident teaching skills. Med Teach. 2005 Sep; 27(6):564-6. PMID: 16261670.
    View in: PubMed
  24. Bharel M, Jain S, Hollander H. Comprehensive ambulatory medicine training for categorical internal medicine residents. J Gen Intern Med. 2003 Apr; 18(4):288-93. PMID: 12709096.
    View in: PubMed
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