The Boston Area Health Education Center (BAHEC) is a program of the Boston Public Health Commission that aims to diversify the pool of health professionals in Boston by encouraging youth to pursue careers in health and public health. BAHEC develops, implements, and evaluates in-school and after-school enrichment programs and events for middle and high school aged youth from Boston. Through its programming BAHEC works to fulfill the Commission’s mission to protect, preserve, and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly those who are most vulnerable.
BAHEC is part of a national consortium of Area Health Education Centers whose statewide office is located at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester.
BAHEC’s primary program is its Youth to Health Careers (Y2HC) initiative. Through Y2HC programming BAHEC works to increase youth knowledge, awareness, and pursuit of health careers through academic enrichment, job shadowing, leadership training, and college preparation. Central to the Y2HC initiative is a 6-week Summer Enrichment Program, during which participating students take courses in math, science, public health, and personal wellness topics such as nutrition and healthy relationships. Students also participate in an internship in a medical or public health setting.
BAHEC Academic Year Programs Include:
Introduction to Community Health and Health Careers (ICHHC)
Students learn about different occupations in healthcare and public health. Students are also educated on personal wellness issues including topics such as nutrition and fitness, sexual health, and substance abuse prevention.
Advanced Introduction to Health Careers (AIHC)
Students learn about four rapidly growing health careers: Athletic Training, Radiologic Technology, Occupational Therapy, and Hospital Administration. Students gain a better understanding of what the professionals who work in the fields do, what skills they require, and what pay and benefits they offer. Students will also have opportunities to meet professionals in these fields, and visit their worksites and offices.
Exploring Oral Health Careers (OHC)
Students learn about how important oral health is to their wellness, and about different careers in oral health, including Dentist, Dental Assistant, and Dental Hygienist. They learn what it takes to be successful in these fields as well as the benefits of becoming an oral health professional. Students will have the opportunity to meet practicing oral health professionals, visit dental clinics and hospitals, and participate in events around oral health.
Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA)
HOSA is a national organization whose mission is to "promote career opportunities in health care and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people." Students train to compete in competitions that test health and healthcare knowledge, develop leadership skills, and participate in service learning opportunities.
Medical Interpreting (Multilingual Youth for a Healthy Boston – MYHB)
MYHB provides opportunities for multilingual students to leverage their language proficiency to promote health. Students learn more about the role of Medical Interpreters by studying medical interpreter theory and medical terminology. Students also build skills in leadership and teamwork.
Youth Advisory Board (YAB)
BAHEC's Youth Advisory Board is reserved for students who have demonstrated strong leadership skills, commitment to excellence, and overall maturity. Students who participate serve in two capacities; a) advising BAHEC on ways to improve its programming and b) gaining knowledge pertaining to food and nutrition in order to facilitate group workshops aimed at increasing youth knowledge of nutrition and food justice issues.
For more information on our programs, please call (617) 534-5258 or email us at BAHEC@bphc.org.