James J. O'Connell, MD
Assistant Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of General Internal Medicine

MD, Harvard University




Dr. O’Connell graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1970 and received his master’s degree in theology from Cambridge University in 1972. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1982, he completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1985, Dr. O'Connell began fulltime clinical work with homeless individuals as the founding physician of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, which now serves over 11,000 homeless persons each year in two hospital-based clinics (Boston Medical Center and MGH) and in more than 45 shelters and outreach sites in Boston. With his colleagues, Dr. O’Connell established the nation’s first medical respite program for homeless persons in 1985, with 25 beds nested within the Lemuel Shattuck Shelter. This innovative program now provides acute and sub-acute, pre- and post-operative, and palliative and end-of-life care in BHCHP’s 104-bed Barbara McInnis House.

Working with the MGH Laboratory of Computer Science, Dr. O’Connell designed and implemented the nation’s first computerized medical record for a homeless program in 1995. From 1989 until 1996, Dr. O'Connell served as the National Program Director of the Homeless Families Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Dr. O’Connell is the editor of The Health Care of Homeless Persons: A Manual of Communicable Diseases and Common Problems in Shelters and on the Streets. His articles have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Circulation, the American Journal of Public Health, the Journal of Clinical Ethics, and several other medical journals.

Dr. O’Connell has been featured on ABC’s Nightline and in a feature-length documentary entitled “Give Me a Shot of Anything.” His first book, Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor, was published in 2015 and featured on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He has received numerous awards, including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award in 2012 and The Trustees’ Medal at the bicentennial celebration of MGH in 2011. Dr. O’Connell is president of BHCHP and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
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.

  1. Roncarati JS, Baggett TP, O'Connell JJ, Hwang SW, Cook EF, Krieger N, Sorensen G. Mortality Among Unsheltered Homeless Adults in Boston, Massachusetts, 2000-2009. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Sep 01; 178(9):1242-1248. PMID: 30073282.
     
  2. Barocas JA, Beiser M, León C, Gaeta JM, O'Connell JJ, Linas BP. Experience and Outcomes of Hepatitis C Treatment in a Cohort of Homeless and Marginally Housed Adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2017 06 01; 177(6):880-882.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28395004; DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0358;.
     
  3. Koh HK, O'Connell JJ. Improving Health Care for Homeless People. JAMA. 2016 12 27; 316(24):2586-2587. PMID: 28027356.
     
  4. Kertesz SG, Baggett TP, O'Connell JJ, Buck DS, Kushel MB. Permanent Supportive Housing for Homeless People - Reframing the Debate. N Engl J Med. 2016 12 01; 375(22):2115-2117. PMID: 27959753.
     
  5. Baggett TP, Chang Y, Singer DE, Porneala BC, Gaeta JM, O'Connell JJ, Rigotti NA. Tobacco-, alcohol-, and drug-attributable deaths and their contribution to mortality disparities in a cohort of homeless adults in Boston. Am J Public Health. 2015 Jun; 105(6):1189-97.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25521869; PMCID: PMC4431083; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302248;.
     
  6. Kertesz SG, Holt CL, Steward JL, Jones RN, Roth DL, Stringfellow E, Gordon AJ, Kim TW, Austin EL, Henry SR, Kay Johnson N, Shanette Granstaff U, O'Connell JJ, Golden JF, Young AS, Davis LL, Pollio DE. Comparing homeless persons' care experiences in tailored versus nontailored primary care programs. Am J Public Health. 2013 Dec; 103 Suppl 2:S331-9.View Related Profiles. PMID: 24148052; PMCID: PMC3969114; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301481;.
     
  7. Baggett TP, Hwang SW, O'Connell JJ, Porneala BC, Stringfellow EJ, Orav EJ, Singer DE, Rigotti NA. Mortality among homeless adults in Boston: shifts in causes of death over a 15-year period. JAMA Intern Med. 2013 Feb 11; 173(3):189-95. PMID: 23318302.
     
  8. Inouye SK, O'Connell JJ, Puelle MR. A piece of my mind. Falling off the edge. JAMA. 2013 Feb 06; 309(5):451-2. PMID: 23385270.
     
  9. Koh KA, Hoy JS, O'Connell JJ, Montgomery P. The hunger-obesity paradox: obesity in the homeless. J Urban Health. 2012 Dec; 89(6):952-64. PMID: 22644329.
     
  10. 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.View Related Profiles. PMID: 21279455; PMCID: PMC3101971; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-011-1638-4;.
     
Showing 10 of 29 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 29 publications over 20 distinct years, with a maximum of 3 publications in 2004 and 2005 and 2013

YearPublications
19901
19911
19951
19961
19971
19981
20011
20031
20043
20053
20072
20091
20102
20111
20121
20133
20141
20162
20171
20181
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