About Operation House Call
Operation House Call (OHC) teaches young medical professionals essential skills to enhance the health care of persons with intellectual and/or developmental disability (IDD), including autism. Offered by The Arc of Massachusetts, OHC turns to families, parents and individual self-advocates as educators in a health care field that seldom focuses on more than making a diagnosis. It is a rare and important training opportunity. Through OHC, students begin to build confidence and interest in working with individuals and their families.
OHC is growing. It was first designed in 1991 by two professors of medicine, one of whom is a pediatric neurologist whose brother has autism. Both doctors felt families could be excellent teachers of future health care professionals, and that they could provide learning and expertise not covered in medical textbooks. Today OHC is a requirement at most medical schools in Massachusetts and three advance practice nursing programs, and including The Yale School of Nursing in Connecticut. The Arc of Mass continues to empower families to teach with its OHC teams across two states.
The Arc is grateful to our network of volunteer families. They provide the opportunity for OHC students to have experiential learning through a two hour home visit. In 2019 OHC taught over 1,000 students with the help of our volunteer host families. OHC is expanding geographically and The Arc is working on legislation to support the need for this important work with our medical community.
A Boston University School of Medicine, 3rd year Pediatrics student, reflects on her home visit experience:
“Such a dedicated and compassionate family like this deserves an equally dedicated team of physicians to do everything possible”
A Yale School of Nursing student writes:
“Perhaps [OHC] could become part of the core curriculum so it could reach more students? It was a really powerful session in a brief period!”
In February 2016, Operation House Call‘s Robyn Dollar and her family opened their home and warmed our hearts in a wonderful interview with WBZ’s Paula Ebben. The Dollar Family, along with Reid Haflich, a BU School of Medicine student and Anne-Terese- Van dur burg, a Yale School of Nursing student, shared the hands on experience of Operation House Call.
View the full segment below: