Greater Portland Health’s Bayside location (formerly 63 Preble Street) hosts our Health Care for the Homeless Program, which provides primary care and dental services to all clients regardless of their ability to pay. We follow a harm reduction model and provide nonjudgmental, trauma informed care.
We are located in the Bayside Neighborhood of downtown Portland. The Health Care for the Homeless site is located directly across the street from the City’s Preble Street Resource Center and soup kitchen. It is 2 ½ blocks from the shelter hub and 0.7 miles to the south of Florence House, a shelter for women.
Greater Portland Health staff often meet patients in their most vulnerable moments: just arriving in a new country, navigating shelter systems, accessing detox/substance use treatment, or spending nights sleeping on the streets. The team builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as navigation of systems, outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support, and advocacy. This serves to help patients effectively carry out their treatment plans. Team members also serve as cultural brokers between Greater Portland Health, health or social services, and the communities of focus to facilitate access and improve the quality and cultural competence of health care delivery, ensuring positive health outcomes.
Outreach staff, led by the Director of Social Work, are immersed in and members of Portland's diverse communities, the homeless community, and the recovery community. In coordination with leadership and providers, outreach staff build bridges between GPH and the communities served, facilitating fluid feedback regarding ways to reduce barriers to medical and behavioral health care.
A community health worker (CHW) based at our Bayside location spends much of her time in the community focusing on ways to bridge the large gap that exists between healthcare services and individuals experiencing homelessness. The CHW spends significant time in the local soup kitchen, resource center, on the street and provides outreach twice a week at the City of Portland Oxford Street Shelter to explain available health services, and support individuals to walk into the health clinic to see a medical provider and/or social worker. CHWs and Social Workers reduce barriers to care by going walking and/or taking the bus with patients to specialist appointments, viewing apartments for rent, going to the pharmacy to get medications, and connecting patients with benefits such as Food Supplemental Program, MaineCare and/or housing vouchers. Peer support provides additional support to those struggling with substance use. Our peer Support Coordinator meets with patients wherever they are at and supports them through the stages of recovery.
In response to Maine’s opioid crisis among the homeless population, we rolled out an innovative daily dosing program in 2017.
The program provides daily intensive outpatient support to high-risk patients experiencing homelessness with a focus on those who do not have access to other outpatient or residential treatment.
MARP’s daily observed dosing model has shown clear evidence of positive results in the community. The program optimizes existing substance use disorder (SUD) treatments and recovery-oriented services and adds monitored daily dosing MAT, paired with mental health counseling. Our Preble Street partners provide daily intensive case management, expedite access to entitlements and community services, and support efforts to gain housing and employment.
Our dental team at Bayside offers preventative and restorative dental services to all patients regardless of their ability to pay.
Learn more about our dental services here.
With your support, we are able to continue providing needed medical, dental, and behavioral health services for our most vulnerable community members.
Kevin Sullivan, MD, Bayside Clinical Director
Dr. Kevin Sullivan earned his Doctor of Medicine from Emory University in Atlanta, completed his Internal Medicine training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. He has a passion for bringing clinical care to those who most often fall through the cracks, and meeting patients wherever they are physically, emotionally, or situationally. When confined to four walls, Dr. Kevin sees patients at Bayside—our Health Care for the Homeless health center.
Renee Fay-Leblanc, MD, Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Renee Fay-LeBlanc has served as Chief Medical Officer at Greater Portland Health since June 2014. Dr. Renee graduated from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 2003 and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at New York University in 2006. Prior to joining Greater Portland Health, she worked at Maine Medical Partners Cape Elizabeth Internal Medicine for 8 years. Dr. Renee is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, a Fellow in the American College of Physicians, and a McAfee Fellow through the Hanley Center for Health Leadership. Born and raised in Portland, Dr. Renee is honored to provide excellent healthcare to those most in need.
John Fitzsimons, DMD, Dental Director
Dr. John Fitzsimons earned his Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry at Boston University in 2011 before completing a general practice residency at Penobscot Healthcare in Bangor. Following his residency, Dr. John served at a federally qualified health center in Portsmouth for six years. He is excited to be back in Maine and expand the scope of services provided in the dental component of Greater Portland Health’s integrated mission. Dr. John is an active member of the Academy of General Dentistry, Maine Dental Association, and American Dental Association.
Joanna Kass, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Joanna Kass was born and raised in Maine and cherishes the local community. She completed undergraduate degrees in psychology and biology at Bowdoin College, and obtained her advanced practice nursing degree at the University of Southern Maine. Joanna provides psychiatric care for school-aged children, adolescents, and adults.
Lori Nicholas, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Lori Nicholas graduated from the University of Southern Maine after working for many years with individuals experiencing homelessness. She offers psychiatric specialty care for children and adults.
Courtney Pladsen, FNP
Courtney Pladsen received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Boston College and worked as an Emergency Room Nurse for five years before going on to receive her graduate degree from Georgetown University and becoming a Nurse Practitioner. In 2018, she was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Leaders Fellowship to develop programs that promote health equity, specifically for people experiencing homelessness. Courtney provides medical, mental health, and substance use to people who are experiencing homelessness, as well as medical outreach to people who were formerly homeless.
Jennifer Rogers, NP-C, AAHIVS
Jen Rogers is a Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program nurse practitioner who has been caring for people living with HIV and viral hepatitis since 2005. A former member of the Maine HIV Advisory Council and the New England Division of the American Liver Foundation’s Medical Advisory Committee, she holds an HIV Specialist certification with the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Jen is honored to work with her patients at Greater Portland Health.