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Communicable Diseases

Adapted Clinical Guidelines

Adapting Your Practice: Treatment and Recommendations for Homeless Patients with Chlamydial or Gonococcal Infections (2013) | Recommended clinical practice adaptations for the care of individuals with these sexually transmitted diseases who are homeless; developed by clinicians working in HCH projects.

Adapting Your Practice: Treatment and Recommendations for Homeless Patients with HIV/AIDS (2013) | Recommended clinical practice adaptations for the care of individuals with human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome who are homeless; developed by clinicians working in HCH projects.

Healing Hands Articles

Other Resources

Prevention & Response to Infectious Diseases Within the Homeless Population (2016) | Prevention and response procedures to infectious disease outbreaks often do not address the unique circumstances of persons experiencing homelessness. This fact sheet highlights infectious diseases within this population, addresses challenges in in the event of an outbreak, and provides strategies and tools that can be used to prevent and respond to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

Guide to Infection Prevention for Outpatient Settings: Minimum Expectations for Safe Care (2011) | This document from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention describes the minimum precautions expected in ambulatory settings regarding the prevention of health care-associated infections.

The Health Care of Homeless Persons: A Manual of Communicable Diseases & Common Problems in Shelters & on the Streets (2004) | This lavishly illustrated, 384-page manual describes serious health problems that commonly afflict people experiencing homelessness and discusses appropriate responses and treatment. The manual addresses communicable disease control and food handling in shelter settings as well as current approaches to the management of chronic diseases. It includes convenient patient education materials in English and Spanish that can be easily reproduced and given to shelter guests and staff. The manual is no longer available in print, but you may download it from the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program website.

Comorbid TB and HIV in a Chronically Homeless Male: Social Isolation Compounds Stress of Medical Confinement (2006) | Homelessness, long recognized as a risk factor for tuberculosis, can also complicate treatment, as this case report demonstrates. HIV coinfection increases the risk of progression from latent TB infection to active tuberculosis. Clinicians experienced in the care of homeless persons stress the importance of maintaining communication with these patients, even during medical confinement, and recommend close collaboration among public health, hospital, and primary care providers during treatment.

NHCHC Media Experts: COVID-19

To request an interview with a National Health Care for the Homeless Council staff or community member, contact Terri Woodmore, Communications Manager.

Council Staff

Hugo Aguas, MA

Research Associate

Hugo works with the research team to research health outcomes using data driven methodologies, Hugo collaborates with other community health partners throughout the country to develop educational materials pertaining to medical care for those experiencing homelessness. Hugo also disseminates data and provides ease-of-access to community partners throughout the nation, and assists in writing publications and scheduling educational seminars on public health amongst those experiencing homelessness.



Barbara DiPietro, PhD

Senior Director of Policy

Barbara directs the policy and advocacy activities for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. This includes conducting policy analysis, providing educational materials and presentations to a broad range of policymakers and other stakeholders, coordinating the Council’s policy priorities with national partners, and organizing staff assistance to the Policy Committee and the National Consumer Advisory Board.



Tineciaa Harris MSPH, MS

Clinical and Quality Improvement Manager

Tineciaa works to improve the clinical environment in health centers broadly through education, training, technical assistance, and policy with a focus on quality improvement. Tineciaa operates on the national level in frequent partnership with both federal and non-profit organizations and leads initiatives that seek to improve health outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.



Katie League, LCSW-C

COVID-19 Project Manager (Policy Team)

Katie works with the policy team to support the Council’s efforts surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic. She works to identify and promote promising practices, common challenges, and key policy issues faced by the HCH community.




Courtney Pladsen, DNP, FNP-BC, RN

Director of Clinical and Quality Improvement

Courtney Pladsen leads initiatives to improve the delivery of primary care, substance use treatment, and mental health care nationally. She directs training and quality improvement initiatives, and contributes to research and policy recommendations on emerging clinical issues affecting people experiencing homelessness.

Bobby Watts

Bobby Watts, MPH, MS

Chief Executive Officer

Bobby Watts has 30 years of experience in administration, direct service, and implementation of homeless health services, beginning as a live-in counselor at the New York City Rescue Mission. He spent most of his career prior to joining the Council at Care for the Homeless, which operates clinics and shelters and conducts policy analysis and advocacy in New York City.

HCH Community Experts


Kristie Hartig, MSN, RN, PHN, CWOCN
Topeka, KS

Erin Ryan, MSW, MPH
Senior Vice President, The Night Ministry
Chicago, IL

Return to main Experts Guide page


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