The Boston Area Health Education Center (BAHEC) is a youth pathway to health careers program in the Division of Child and Adolescent Health at the Boston Public Health Commission. Founded in 1978 and the first program of its kind in the city of Boston, BAHEC's mission is to increase racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity among Boston's healthcare workforce by raising the proportion of youth from underserved populations who successfully pursue careers in health and public health. BAHEC does this by developing, implementing, disseminating, and evaluating enrichment programs to middle and high school aged youth in Boston. Through its programming, BAHEC works to fulfill the Boston Public Health Commission's mission to "protect, preserve, and promote the health and well-being of all Boston residents, particularly the most vulnerable."
BAHEC is part of the Massachusetts Area Health Education Center (MassAHEC) Network, a statewide system to address health disparities with a focus on workforce development.
BAHEC accepts students entering the 9th to 12th grade. Students must reside in Boston to be eligible to apply for the program. Accepted students receive a stipend to participate in the program. The BAHEC program has 3 components: a summer enrichment program, an in-school academic year program, and an after-school academic year program.BAHEC Summer Enrichment Program
BAHEC's intensive 6-week summer program provides students with academic enrichment, college preparation, and internships at healthcare sites throughout Boston. BAHEC works with partners at Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Public Health, Tufts University School of Dentistry, Harvard School of Public Health, and Boston Children's Hospital, among others. Approximately 80 students participate in the summer program annually. BAHEC In-School Academic Year Program
BAHEC in-school programming is designed to educate youth about health careers as well as provide them with foundational knowledge in public health, determinants of health, and health careers. Approximately 400 students in more than eight partnering Boston public and charter middle schools participate in BAHEC's in-school programming annually.
BAHEC After-School Academic Year Program
In BAHEC after-school programming, youth are trained in introductory concepts around health insurance, health literacy, and health equity. Students also learn about primary health care, nursing, dentistry, medical interpreting, and working with children with special health care needs. In addition, BAHEC students have the opportunity to participate in a Youth Advisory Board (YAB), a public health leadership program where students design, implement, and evaluate a public health intervention. BAHEC trains 40-60 youth from more than 20 partnering Boston public and charter schools in its after-school program annually. Most students have completed BAHEC’s summer enrichment program prior to starting the after school program.
For more information on how to apply to or partner with BAHEC, please send an email to email@example.com
BAHEC Students Learn About HPV!
The Division of Child and Adolescent Health at the Boston Public Health Commission is implementing an HPV (Human papillomavirus) awareness campaign in all its adolescent youth engagement, peer leadership, health education, and school-based health center programs. In 2015, BAHEC summer students learned about HPV--a virus that can cause oral cancer in men and cervical cancer in women. They also learned about the HPV vaccine, a youth vaccine to prevent these and other cancers. Armed with this knowledge, BAHEC summer students decided to take action by writing and producing the following public service announcement video to motivate their peers to get vaccinated.
For more information about the HPV video or the HPV awareness campaign in the Child and Adolescent Health Division at the Boston Public Health Commission, please contact the Division Director, Philomena Asante, MD, MPH at 617-534-5671.