About Us

The Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Inc. (CCHERS) is a community-based organization that is a community/academic partnership established in 1991 with a $6 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Partnerships in Health Professions Education initiative. The partnership is comprised of Boston Medical Center, the Boston Public Health Commission, Boston University School of Medicine, Northeastern University Bouvé College of Health Sciences and an established network of fifteen community health centers (FQHC) serving the racially and ethnically diverse populations of the City. Northeastern University serves as its host institution and sustaining partner.

Mission and Goals
To promote the development of “academic community health centers,” that integrate education, research, and service, to influence and change health professions education; improve health care delivery; and promote health systems change to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health.

Promote community based, primary care oriented education for a range of health professions students, from high school through graduate and professional school, to improve community health services provided to underserved populations. Promote community derived and directed health services and clinical research, in partnerships with academic medical center, government, and university researchers that focus on health problems that impact diverse urban populations.

Promote coordination of services and interagency collaboration among universities, health service providers, community-based organizations, and community residents to create healthier communities. Promote public policy and institutional change in health professions education, community health, and health care access to create an equitable health care system for all.

Fulfilling its mission to promote community-based health professions education, research, and service, through partnerships, CCHERS has:
Established a public charter high school, the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers for 220 students, grades 9-12 located on the campus of Northeastern University. Created the Community Health Service Corps, providing community based educational and clinical training experiences through service learning, problem based learning and other practice oriented education methods for over 500 NU and BUSM students.

Established Community Advocacy Program, an integrated and coordinated community health center response to domestic violence in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester in collaboration with the Boston Medical Center, Boston Public Health Commission, and Northeastern University School of Law.

Developed Boston Clinical Pharmacy Practice Network a HRSA funded demonstration project providing access to clinical pharmacy services and affordable prescription drugs to health center patients in partnership with the School of Pharmacy. Established the Community Health and Academic Medicine Partnership (CHAMP) with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical as a center for conducting community based research on health disparities among vulnerable populations served by community health centers specifically addressing better management of chronic diseases.


CCHERS Partnership between Boston University School of Medicine, Northeastern University College of Nursing, the Boston Department of Health and Hospitals is funded by W.K. Kellogg Foundation as a Community Partnership in Health Professionals Education, along with Codman Square, Dorchester House, East Boston, and Whittier Street health centers.


Six new health centers join CCHERS Partnership: Bowdoin Street, Dimock, Gieger-Gibson, Little House, Mattapan, and Neponset


Funding from the Corporation for National Service establishes Community Health Service Corps service learning program for students from BUSM and NU


CCHERS establishes Health Careers Academy as a pilot high school of Boston Public Schools for students interested in pursuing careers in the health professions. The Community Advocacy Program established as a response to domestic violence in Dorchester.


Funded by Kellogg as a Community Partnership in Graduate Medical and Nursing Education. Merger of BCH and BUMC creates Boston Medical Center and the Boston Public Health Commission as successor institutional partners in CCHERS.


CCHERS, Inc. established as an independent not-for-profit corporation with a board of directors composed of representatives of the partner organizations and communities they serve.


Health Careers Academy becomes a Horace Mann Charter School and relocates to Northeastern University Campus. Merger of Northeastern’s Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy and Allied Health. Three new health centers join CCHERS partnership: Harvard Street, Greater-Roslindale and Uphams Corner.


Northeastern University Institutional Grant for CCHERS to integrate other health professionals into model of community based education.


CCHERS establishes Boston Community Practice Research Collaborative as a primary care practice based research network recognized by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


CCHERS, NU School of Pharmacy and four community health centers funded for Boston Clinical Pharmacy Practice Network a HRSA demonstration project in clinical pharmacy and affordability of prescription drugs.