Medical Clinic

Living constantly exposed to the elements and experiencing poverty can lead to a unique set of medical concerns.


Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) operates our Marie L. Arky Medical Clinic on-site at St. Francis House. Their physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and behavioral health clinicians have the experience and expertise to treat these concerns.

We are also fortunate to collaborate with local colleges, universities, and nursing/social work schools, whose students matriculate through our program for their community-health clinical experience. All BHCHP staff work within an integrated model supporting St. Francis House programs and services to maximize patient wrap around care.

The clinic here at St. Francis House provides approximately 7,000 appointments per year, making it one of the busiest health care sites in the city for houseless adults.

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We offer primary care, episodic care, preventive health services, and foot care – an often-overlooked need. We assess and treat common acute or chronic foot problems on-site and provide podiatry referrals when necessary.

HIV testing and counseling are available once a week, and we assist with referrals to vision and dental care.

The clinic also provides psychiatric care to assist in effective diagnosis, prevention, treatment, mental health wellness and support, along with interns and residents from several local hospitals. We address specific behavioral health issues associated with substance use, trauma, and homelessness.

Office-Based Addiction Treatment Program (OBAT): The clinic also offers office-based addiction treatment or (Medication Assisted Treatment), primarily treating Opioid Use Disorders, but also attending to co-existing substance use disorders. Using a harm reduction lens, the OBAT nurse and social worker collaborate with the patient’s provider, psychiatrist (as needed), and case manager to offer optimal care.


To schedule an appointment or follow-up on your medical care, please call the clinic at 857-654-1501 or visit the SFH clinic located within our day shelter at 39 Boylston Street on the 2nd floor.

Who is Marie L. Arky?

A Life Spent Caring for Others

Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Marie Louise (Mahoney) Arky launched her nursing career after graduating from the Salem Hospital Nursing School. During the Korean War, she served in the U.S. Air Force Nursing Corp stateside in Alaska and Kansas before a career as head nurse for the Veterans Administration Hospitals in Manhattan, NY and West Roxbury, MA.

Marie’s life was driven by a passion and deep concern for homeless populations, the under-served, and individuals burdened by chronic physical and mental illness. Her favorite organizations were St. Francis House, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem and the American Diabetes Association. She was a lover of history, an expert at embroidery, an avid reader and collector of antiques. In supporting her husband’s roles in the medical field, Marie was a beloved maternal figure for generations of house officers at the Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge and medical students of Harvard Medical School’s F. W. Peabody Society. She also was a tireless volunteer for the American Diabetes Association, which recognized her with its Outstanding Service Award in 1997.

A Gift of Love and Legacy

Marie met her husband, Dr. Ronald Arky, MD, at the Manhattan Veterans Administration Hospital. The couple married and moved to Wellesley, MA where they enjoyed 49 years of marriage. Marie kept detailed diaries of the couple’s many adventures traveling the world together while Dr. Arky served as the President of the American Diabetes Association, including Asia, India and the Middle East. When Marie passed away in 2009 from ovarian cancer, Dr. Arky made a generous donation to dedicate the St. Francis House medical clinic in her name and memory, in keeping with Marie’s nursing background and commitment to direct care of underserved populations.

Operated on-site by Boston Health Care for the Homeless, physicians, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses at the Marie L. Arky Medical clinic now provide more than 10,000 free appointments per year, making it one of the busiest health care sites in the city for adults experiencing poverty and homelessness. Marie would be so proud and happy to see the powerful impact of our clinic today.