Symposium 2013

International Street Medicine Symposium IX

October 24-26, 2013   Boston, Massachusetts, USA

July 28, 2013

Exciting News!

The Street Medicine Institute is excited to announce the 9th annual International Street Medicine Symposium, to be held in historic Boston, Massachusetts on October 24-26, 2013, with a special pre-symposium “Street Medicine 101” workshop on October 23rd for interested participants. The Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, widely regarded as one of the world’s largest and most effective homeless health care programs, has generously agreed to serve as a local sponsoring organization.

Learning Activities

The International Street Medicine Symposium is the world’s premiere educational event dedicated to the health care of unsheltered or “rough-sleeping” homeless populations. As always, the Symposium will offer a slate of homeless health care experts from around the globe presenting clinical topics, innovations, research outcomes, and best practices relevant to Street Medicine. The popular format mix of large-group lectures, small-group workshops, and poster presentations will be back again after positive reviews from last year’s Symposium. Additionally, there will be ample exposure to the talented clinicians and administrative staff of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program with scheduled site visits to the program’s renowned clinical facilities, including the Barbara McInnis House medical respite program. We hope to offer CME credits for eligible clinicians again this year.

Host City Spotlight

Street Medicine clinicians and administrators from around the world have long regarded the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program as a leader of the Street Medicine movement; many of the field’s most important research outcomes and clinical innovations have come from the talented clinicians and staff at BHCHP. The program’s extensive network of clinical services across the spectrum of homelessness and seamless integration into Boston’s world-class academic mental centers and health sciences educational institutions stands as an international model for comprehensive, continuous, and high-quality health care programming for persons experiencing homelessness.

In addition to its status as a homeless health care hub, Boston was chosen to host this year’s Symposium for its unrivaled combination of metropolitan beauty, history, international accessibility, and diversity. And there is no better time to visit Boston than late October, when the New England fall foliage season is at its spectacular peak!

Reconnect and Re-energize

As consistently reported by past participants, one of the most valuable experiences of the Symposium is the opportunity to interact with Street Medicine colleagues from across the country and around the world. Again this year, program activities will incorporate time to reconnect with old friends, make new contacts, and share stories of the triumphs and challenges of this important work. Participants will be inspired and re-energized as they renew a common commitment to improving the lives of their brothers and sisters living on the streets.

Call for Presenters

The deadline for presentation proposal submissions was June 14, 2013 and has passed. Please visit for additional information about the presentation proposal guidelines and submission process. To view the past call for submissions click here.

Program Schedule (preliminary and subject to change)

    Wednesday, October 23, 2013; 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

  • Special pre-Symposium “Street Medicine 101” workshop for interested participants
    Thursday, October 24, 2013; 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

  • Local sponsoring organization presentations including welcoming keynote address
  • Panel discussion highlighting topics of local expertise
  • Service agency site visits for participants (transportation provided)
  • Box lunch included
  • Evening reception included
    Friday, October 25, 2013; 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

  • Invited presentations (large-group lecture/discussion format)
  • Keynote address (internationally-renown speaker with core Street Medicine values)
  • Invited presentations (small-group, interactive workshop format)
  • Poster session
  • Continental breakfast and buffet lunch included
    Saturday, October 26, 2013; 8:00 am – 12:00 noon

  • Invited presentations (students)
  • Poster session
  • Street Medicine Institute update
  • Symposium wrap-up with reflection and discussion
  • Continental breakfast included

Pre-Symposium “Street Medicine 101” Workshop

Back by popular demand, we are pleased to again offer this special pre-Symposium half-day workshop on Wednesday, October 23rd. This high-yield introductory session is targeted to those individuals and organizations who may be new to Street Medicine or in need of expert guidance to launch or grow their Street Medicine activities. This workshop will provide a brief overview of the history and practice of Street Medicine followed by a unique opportunity to interact with an expert panel of Street Medicine practitioners for individualized advice and problem solving. Since capacity for this special session is limited and high demand is anticipated, participants must register in advance to attend. To best meet learner needs, the panel asks that participants prepare the following materials and submit them for review at least two weeks prior to the workshop:

  • Description of current Street Medicine practice status or future plan
  • Prioritized listing and brief explanation of current/anticipated challenges
  • Specific educational goals for the session


With the exception of Thursday, October 24th, all Symposium programming will occur at the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Boston’s Back Bay/Copley Square neighborhood (40 Trinity Place, Boston, MA, 02116; On the morning of Thursday, October 24th, participants will convene instead at the headquarters of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program in Boston’s South End neighborhood (Jean Yawkey Place, located at 780 Albany St., Boston, MA, 02118;


The Boston Common Hotel & Conference Center was chosen for its excellent meeting space and outstanding central location in one of Boston’s most active and popular neighborhoods.

  • Around the corner from world-class restaurants, unique shops, and trendy watering holes along Newbury and Boylston Streets
  • An easy ten-minute walk to the Boston Common (the nation’s oldest public city park), the Boston Public Garden (a magnificent sight during peak fall foliage season in late October), and the beginning of the Freedom Trail (a free guided walk through American Revolution-era historical sites that winds throughout the city)
  • One block from the “T” at the Copley Square Green Line subway station (Boston is a very walkable city, but the “T” will also take you just about anywhere you need to go, including the Logan International Airport)

Click to enlarge.


A block of hotel rooms has been reserved for Symposium participants at the Boston Common Hotel & Conference Center ( at a reduced room rate of $189 per night. Rooms available at this rate include standard queen rooms and a limited number of double full rooms. To receive this special rate, reservations must be made by calling the hotel directly at (617) 933-7700 and mentioning “Street Medicine Symposium.This reserved room block and reduced rate expires on September 23, 2013. Accommodations at the Boston Common Hotel are modest yet comfortable, and value is excellent compared to larger hotels in the same area. The hotel also offers:

  • Complimentary continental breakfast
  • Complimentary weekday newspaper
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access in public places
  • Discounted self-parking rates of $27/day at an adjacent garage

Participants are strongly urged to make hotel reservations as far in advance as possible since October is the most popular time of the year to visit Boston, with hotel occupancy rates typically running at or above 99%. There are many other hotel options in the Back Bay/Copley Square neighborhood that participants may wish to explore, but it is uncommon to find rooms for less than $250/night. Several other recommended properties nearby include:


Registration is now open! Please click here to register.

For the first time in the nine-year history of the International Street Medicine Symposium, it has become necessary to implement registration fees to help offset the increasing costs of hosting the event, especially in a major city like Boston, while continuing to attract outstanding presenters from around the world. 100% of registration fees collected will be used to directly offset Symposium costs (meeting space, meals, presenter stipends, program materials, CME credits, transportation), with the expectation that participant fees will account for approximately half of the total Symposium budget (with the remainder being covered by the Street Medicine Institute).

The following fee structure respects the fact that Symposium participants come from a variety of disciplines with disparate resources. It is informed by responses to a survey of last year’s Symposium participants and is designed to offer significant value relative to other educational conferences or professional meetings of similar scope and quality.

    Tier 1: $295

  • Physicians
    Tier 2: $225

  • Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Public Health researchers
    Tier 3: $175

  • Nurses, Social Workers, Behavioral Health specialists, Service Agency administrators
    Tier 4: $125

  • Outreach Workers, Case Managers, community representatives
    Tier 5: $75

  • Students (undergraduate, graduate, professional)
    Tier 6: $0

  • Consumers, Journalists/local media
  • pre-approved lead presenters and first co-presenters
  • Members of SMI Board of Directors
  • Volunteer Symposium staff

A 50% fee reduction will be offered for single-day or single-session registrants.

There is an additional $25 fee to participate in the special pre-Symposium “Street Medicine 101” Workshop.

Refunds of registration fees, minus a 10% cancellation charge, will only be granted if registration is cancelled in writing at least one week prior to the start of the Symposium (on or before October 15, 2013).

Message from the Chair

On behalf of the Street Medicine Institute and the International Street Medicine Symposium Committee, I thank you for your interest and for sharing this notice with any friends and colleagues who may not have received it. As always, your ideas for a successful Symposium are most welcome, including recommendations for speakers, topics, or formats. Questions, comments, and suggestions about the Symposium can be addressed to the committee chair at

With your participation and expertise, this will be a truly outstanding event! I look forward to seeing you in Boston this fall so that we can continue to learn from one another and renew our commitment to improving the lives of our brothers and sisters living on the streets throughout the world.



Patrick J. Perri, MD
Chair, 9th annual International Street Medicine Symposium
Chair, Board of Directors, Street Medicine Institute