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January 29 @ 11:00 am

In-Person: Morning Coffee with Tracy Kidder | ROUGH SLEEPERS


January 29
11:00 am


Books & Books Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave
Coral Gables, FL 33134 United States
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Books & Books and Camillus House present…


To be introduced by Francis Afram-Gyening, CEO of Camillus Health Concern


Rough Sleepers: Dr. Jim O’Connell’s Urgent Mission to Bring Healing to Homeless People

(Random House, $30.00)

Sunday, January 29th, 11 AM | LIVE & IN-PERSON at Books & Books, Coral Gables

Signing to follow the conversation 


Books & Books and Camillus House invite you to an IN-PERSON morning coffee chat with Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Tracy Kidder, discussing his new book: ROUGH SLEEPERS. (Random House, $30.00).

***Please note: This event will take place at Books & Books at 265 Aragon Ave. Tickets are FREE and books will be available for purchase at the event. 

About the Book:

The powerful story of an inspiring doctor who made a difference, by helping to create a program to care for Boston’s homeless community—by the Pulitzer Prize–winning, New York Times bestselling author of Mountains Beyond Mountains.

“I couldn’t put Rough Sleepers down. I am left in awe of the human spirit and inspired to do better.”—Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

Tracy Kidder has been described by The Baltimore Sun as a “master of the nonfiction narrative.” In Rough Sleepers, Kidder shows how one person can make a difference, as he tells the story of Dr. Jim O’Connell, a gifted man who invented ways to create a community of care for a city’s unhoused population, including those who sleep on the streets—the “rough sleepers.”

When Jim O’Connell graduated from Harvard Medical School and was nearing the end of his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, the chief of medicine made a proposal: Would he defer a prestigious fellowship and spend a year helping to create an organization to bring health care to homeless citizens? Jim took the job because he felt he couldn’t refuse. But that year turned into his life’s calling. Tracy Kidder spent five years following Dr. O’Connell and his colleagues as they served their thousands of homeless patients. In this illuminating book we travel with O’Connell as he navigates the city, offering medical care, socks, soup, empathy, humor, and friendship to some of the city’s most endangered citizens. He emphasizes a style of medicine in which patients come first, joined with their providers in what he calls “a system of friends.”

Much as he did with Paul Farmer in Mountains Beyond Mountains, Kidder explores how a small but dedicated group of people have changed countless lives by facing one of American society’s difficult problems instead of looking away.


“Rough Sleepers will do for homelessness what Mountains Beyond Mountains did for public health. I’m in awe of this book. I’m in awe of Jim O’Connell. What a compellingly beautiful, inspiring read.”—Alex Kotlowitz, bestselling author of There Are No Children Here

“The nightmare of homelessness can seem both overwhelming and slightly abstract to the safely housed. That abstraction vanishes in the pages of Rough Sleepers. Tracy Kidder has reported the hell out of important stories before, but never more finely and relentlessly. It’s a story full of hard questions, a story with many heroes.”—William Finnegan, author of Barbarian Days


About the Author:

Tracy Kidder graduated from Harvard and studied at the University of Iowa. He has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, and many other literary prizes. His books include A Truck Full of Money, My Detachment, Home Town, Old Friends, Among Schoolchildren, and House. Kidder lives in Massachusetts.

About the Introducer:

Francis Afram-Gyening (guy-ning) is a senior executive with more than two decades of solid experience. He has earned extensive recognition for his strong commitment to the highest standards of superior financial performance, clinical quality and patient care, and consistently maintains extensive community involvement.

Afram-Gyening’s work has transformed multiple organizations, raising their profiles through streamlining operations and bringing in additional resources to exponentially expand their footprint. Whether it is his four years at Camillus Health Concern or his decade at Care Alliance Health Center in Cleveland, Ohio, he is a proven, effective, dynamic CEO. He has a well-earned reputation for leading with both is head and his heart, as he encourages compassionate care, while demanding financial responsibility. In both of these positions, Afram-Gyening turned organizations around, launching them to a new, higher level. He has secured millions of dollars to expand services and facilities. At both Camillus Health Concern and Care Alliance, Afram-Gyening was able to leverage collaborative relationships to determine community needs and then expand the organization to meet those needs.

Collaboration is a hallmark of Afram-Gyening’s whole career, allowing him to raise the profile of the organizations he serves and generate greater revenue, while often reducing some expenses at the same time.

Afram-Gyening is a Fellow of American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), a Certified Public Purchasing Officer (CPPO), Certified Purchasing Manager (CPM) and Certified Healthcare Risk Manager (CHRM). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from York College, a City University of New York; a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, a Masters in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and completed the Health Care Executive program at the University of California at Los Angeles/Johnson & Johnson. He regularly presents at conferences and serves as a contributing editor regarding public health issues.

In addition to the contributions he makes to the community as part of his job, Afram-Gyening serves on numerous non-profit boards.

About Camillus House:

For more than 60 years, Camillus House has provided material aid and hope to Miami-Dade County’s hungry and homeless.

The seed that became this ministry was planted in 1960 with a small act of kindness: Brother Mathias Barrett gave a hungry, newly arrived Cuban exile a bowl of corn flakes and milk.

In the more than six decades since, our ministry has flourished, bringing material help, hope, healing, community, and dignity to hundreds of thousands in need.

Today, as the largest and one of the oldest service providers caring for the homeless in South Florida, Camillus still provides more than 600 meals a day to the hungry. But that’s only the beginning.

Camillus House is now the most broad-based homeless services provider in our community, helping the poor and vulnerable not only with food and shelter, but with clothing, job-training, counseling, medical assistance, and other tools that help rebuild broken lives. We seek in all our works to keep alive the spirit of compassionate service that marked Camillus from the start.