How research helped change a Massachusetts policy that made it harder for families to find shelter

Physicians and policy makers usually work in separate worlds: those of medicine and government. But when a change in Massachusetts policy led to an unprecedented increase in the number of homeless families seeking shelter in the emergency department (ED), physicians at Boston Children’s Hospital set out to reverse that policy. What happened next shows that clinical experience and research can be powerful tools in addressing social determinants of health at a population level.

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