Join us in learning more about homelessness and solutions from experts in the field.
Dr. Jim O’Connell, founder and President of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and Bobby Watts, CEO of National Health Care for the Homeless Council, will share their journeys in the field of homelessness and share their perspective as housing instability hits an all-time high in cities all over the U.S.
Join us and be a part of the solution to break the cycles of homelessness indefinitely.
Ticket purchase includes complimentary continental breakfast.
Date: Thursday, February 8, 2017
Time: 8:15 A.M. – 12:00 P.M.
Location: Christ Cathedral Campus, Cultural Center Freed Theater
13280 Chapman Avenue, Garden Grove, CA 92840
Proceeds will benefit homeless families and individuals in Orange County!
For additional information, please contact Sinae Bang at [email protected].
Homelessness Panel Tickets
Bobby Watts, MPH, MS, CPH
Chief Executive Officer
National Health Care for the Homeless
G. Robert (“Bobby”) Watts is the chief executive officer of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council and oversees all aspects of the Council’s activity in advocacy, training, technical assistance, research, peer support, organizing, and fund development.
A nationally recognized advocate and leader in meeting the health needs of people without homes, Watts has more than 25 years of experience in administration, direct service, and implementation of homeless health services. He began his work with people experiencing homelessness as a live-in staff member of the New York City Rescue Mission in Manhattan.
Watts is a former board president of the National HCH Council and served as the executive director of New York City’s Care for the Homeless from 2005-2017. Under his tenure, the Federally Qualified Health Center agency tripled in size, adding major programs and initiatives–including constructing and operating a large women’s shelter (Susan’s Place)–and becoming licensed as a Diagnostic and Treatment Center in New York State.
A long-time New Yorker before his transition to Nashville, Watts is the former Finance Officer of the New York City HIV Health and Human Services Planning Council. As a member of the Steering Committee of the New York City Medicaid Managed Care Task Force, Watts helped to develop safeguards for people without homes under New York City’s Medicaid managed care program. He also has served as a member of the New York State Interagency Council on Homelessness, co-chairing its Health Committee—in addition to serving on multiple boards of membership organizations and governmental task forces such as the HIV Planning Council’s Health Workgroup, the U.S. Public Health Service’s Bureau of Primary Health Care Data Workgroup, and an NHCHC workgroup which published recommendations on outcome measures for HCH programs.
Watts has made numerous presentations at annual meetings of the Community Health Care Association of New York State, National HCH Conferences, the Ryan White Care Act All-Titles Conferences, a Title III Data Workshop, and several American Public Health Association annual meetings.
He is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School, Cornell University, and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health–from which he holds a Master’s in Public Health in health administration and a Master’s of Science in epidemiology. He also holds a Certification in Public Health (CPH). At Mailman, Watts was a Columbia University International Fellow and received the Gorman Humanitarian Award for founding Homelessness Concern, which mobilized medical and public health students and faculty to volunteer at a shelter for men without homes. He also holds a Certificate of Theological Studies from Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, NY.
James J. O’Connell, MD
Founding Physician and President, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
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 (MGH). 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 13,000 homeless persons each year in two hospital-based clinics (Boston Medical Center and MGH) and in more than 60 shelters and outreach sites in Boston. With his colleagues, Dr. O’Connell established the nation’s first medical respite program for homeless persons in September 1985, with 25 beds in 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 the freestanding 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 the feature-length documentary Give Me a Shot of Anything. 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 has collaborated with homeless programs in many cities in the USA and across the globe, including Los Angeles, London, and Sydney. Dr. O’Connell’s book Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor was published in 2015 in celebration of BHCHP’s 30th anniversary. Dr. O’Connell is president of BHCHP and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.