Martha Eliot Health Center to stop treating adults; will focus solely on children and teens

Boston Children’s Hospital, which has operated the Martha Eliot Health Center for 40 years, has decided to stop treating adults there, the hospital told employees Tuesday.

Hospital executives said they have evaluated their strategy for Martha Eliot over the past year and decided to focus expertise and resources “on children and adolescents alone and transfer care of adult patients to other providers in the community’’ over the next few months.

The center, which was founded in the 1950s to care for residents of the Bromley-Heath housing development in Jamaica Plain, provides medical care to mostly low-income families and runs outreach programs that address obesity, asthma, mental health, violence, and other issues.

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The change means that significantly fewer patients will receive care at Martha Eliot, which treats about 5,000 adults and 4,000 children and teenagers.

The hospital would not comment on the number of potential layoffs. But the e-mail to staff from chief executive James Mandell and president Sandra Fenwick said they would try to find jobs for workers affected by the change at Children’s Hospital or at other centers or hospitals that take on care of the adult patients.

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