Boston Young Healthcare Professionals

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Young Health Care Professionals Unite!

Marisa Levine, a founder of the Boston Young Healthcare Professionals

In the spirit of broadening the conversation here at CommonHealth, we present a guest post from one of the founders of a dynamic new group of health care enthusiasts, the Boston Young Healthcare Professionals. It’s a coalition that includes doctors, policy makers, consultants, consumer and public health advocates and drug company researchers, among others, and last night was their official launch party at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge. Carey and I got a chance to speak to the group (note to legislators considering repealing the state’s gift ban: we respectfully declined the $50 restaurant vouchers they offered us as honoraria) and we look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

By Marisa Levine
Founding Executive Board Member, Boston Young Healthcare Professionals

Last night, while the Massachusetts State House passed a budget, including cuts of $800 million to MassHealth, a different sort of health care conversation was taking place across the river, one with fewer bureaucratic hitches and a lot more positive energy. With over 200 young leaders from organizations across the city coming together to meet and learn from one another, the launch of the Boston Young Healthcare Professionals (BYHP) started to meet the demand for dialogue about the fast-paced world of health care outside of office walls.

On the average day working in the Development Office at Mass General, I talk to my fundraising colleagues, my vendors, and a few of my connections outside my office. I read about health care in the mainstream media and a few choice blogs, but I don’t get the chance to interact with people doing drug research that spurs the care I help raise money for. I don’t hear first-hand about new policy changes that may affect the care my hospital can offer our patients. I may never read about the challenges that smaller hospitals and community health centers are facing. I work in a professional bubble—and last year, I realized that wasn’t going to cut it anymore.

I met the other eight founders of Boston Young Healthcare Professionals– all of us between 23 and 30 years old — in 2010, and we all knew that while we were enjoying gaining traction in our own careers and fields, we wanted and needed to learn more, to get outside of our small worlds. We wanted to know more about the facets of health care and to meet more young professionals like ourselves, passionate about the field but feeling trapped inside our office walls. A major roadblock was that there was no strong mechanism for meeting other health care professionals outside the confines of our daily work lives. Existing groups targeted only specific niches, not the broader health care field. We decided it was time to change all of that that, and to start a bigger conversation.

BYHP was founded with the goal of connecting emerging innovators as well as health care leaders in the Greater Boston area to foster strong relationships and build a greater base of knowledge. Healthcare isn’t a textbook topic. Continue reading