Welcome to BCH and Boston | Overview
The Harvard Housing Office
Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, Room 807
1350 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday
The Harvard Housing Office is Harvard University's central resource for Harvard's Residential Housing. Harvard Housing Office offers "affordable" apartments at the Trilogy, 170 Brookline Avenue, Boston (across from Landmark Center), for Harvard graduate students, faculty and staff who work in the Longwood Medical Area. Visit Harvard @ Trilogy.
Other housing sites
BCH Lease Guaranty Program
Boston Children's Hospital has implemented a "Lease Guaranty Program" for all residents and fellows who are paid through Children's. The Lease Guaranty Program is intended to help ease the pressure of the high cost of housing in the Boston area. If a landlord requires advance payment of the last month's rent and/or a security deposit, Boston Children's Hospital will guarantee payment to the landlord according to the lease guaranty procedure. In return, the resident or fellow agrees to reimburse Boston Children's Hospital for any payment Boston Children's Hospital is required to make under this guaranty. This guaranty will be accepted by the landlords and rental agents on the attached list. Eligible residents and fellows may offer the Guaranty to any landlord that they wish; it is expected that the terms of this agreement will be acceptable to many landlords.
Transportation and parking
MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority) T-Pass Program
Benefits-eligible employees who enroll in the Hospital's T-Pass Program receive a 50% discount on monthly MBTA passes, up to $125. Payment is through payroll deduction and a portion of the cost is paid with pre-tax dollars. Employees who participate in the T-Pass Program cannot participate in the Monthly Parking Program at the same time. To enroll for the T pass program contact the Parking Office.
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: 617-355-6251
Free shuttle service is provided to and from the hospital's off-site parking lots from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. An evening shuttle is available from 8:30 p.m. to 1:40 a.m. Monday through Friday to the off-site lots and local MBTA stops. The Security Department provides an escort service when the shuttle services are not running.
- shuttle schedule (internal link)
MASCO runs free shuttles for Medical Area employees from Ruggles station (Orange Line and Commuter Rail), from JFK/UMass station (Red Line), from Fenway (Green Line-D), and to parking lots and garages. Schedules are available at the Parking Office. For further information, on commuting in Boston and in/to the Longwood Medical Area, visit the MASCO website.
M2 Harvard-Cambridge Shuttle: Harvard-affiliated staff of Boston Children's with a Harvard ID ride the M2 for free. BCH employees without a Harvard ID can purchase tickets to ride the M2 shuttle at the BCH Parking Office. These tickets are currently available at a 50 percent discount for any Children's employee.
The hospital provides a free bike cage for employees who cycle to work. The cage is located in the Patient/Family Garage basement level and is secured with a card reader that can be opened by using your hospital ID card.
Bicycle Reimbursement Program
The bicycle reimbursement is a $20 pretax reimbursement for bike-related products used toward bike commuting. To qualify for the reimbursement you must sign up as a Bike to Work Commuter, meaning that biking is your primary means of transportation used to commute to work. To sign up, please complete the Bicycle Subsidy Form and fax it to 617-730-0412.
- By enrolling in the program, you are eligible to be reimbursed for bike-related products that you purchase. Bike-related products include commuter bicycles, helmets, bicycle lights, bicycle jackets and gear, bicycle repairs, etc.
- If you enroll in this program, you are not eligible to receive any other parking/commuting subsidies including monthly parking or MBTA monthly passes during the months you are requesting reimbursement.
- Associated Personnel (AP Staff) are not eligible regardless of job code or status. You must be benefits eligible and paid directly by CHB as all reimbursements will be issued through Payroll using pre-tax dollars.
- The balance for The Bicycle Commuter Reimbursement Program is a $20 reimbursement program for employees who primarily use their bicycle to commute to work.
- The benefit is cumulative, so if you purchase a $60 helmet in January and bring in the receipt for reimbursement, you would only be reimbursed $20. However, if you brought the same receipt for reimbursement in March you would be reimbursed $60. The total balance you can incur for the year is $240 ($20 for each month you were actively enrolled).
- Although the cumulative balance can be carried over from month to month, it can not be carried over year to year. 2015 receipts must be received by December 31, 2015.
- Employees are allowed to bank non-consecutive months within the same calendar year, provided they are enrolled during those months in the Bike Commuter Reimbursement Program and are not simultaneously enrolled in any other subsidized monthly employee commuter program.
- This program has no cash value without reimbursement. No employee (including terminated employees) will be permitted to "cash out" their accrued benefit. Terminated employees have a maximum of 90 days to submit their receipts for reimbursement (but no later than December 31 regardless).
BCH has a business account with Zipcar that offers discounted rates. Simply go to the website and search for Boston Children's Hospital.
Monthly parking programs
Benefits eligible employees can sign up for parking at the Simmons or 375 Longwood garages on a first come, first-served basis. Payment is through payroll deduction and a portion of the cost is paid with pre-tax dollars. Employees who participate in the Parking Program cannot participate in the Monthly T Pass Program at the same time. Waiting lists are maintained for lots that are temporarily full and open spaces are filled from the lists.
To enroll for the parking program contact the Parking Office.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 617-355-6251
Night parking and weekend free parking
Free evening parking (5 p.m. to 10 a.m.), weekend parking (6 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Monday), and holiday parking are available in the Boston Children's Hospital Parking Garage, directly across from the Hospital drive-in circle (enter from Blackfan Street). To take advantage of the free parking, fellows and residents have to stop by the parking office to have their ID activated for night and weekend parking. Also, if they get a new ID the access does not transfer so they would have to stop by or give us a call to update their info.
- Free Taxi
- Clinical fellows who are post-call after a 24+ hour shift can take a free taxi. Contact your fellowship coordinator or Tery Noseworthy in the Graduate Medical Education (GME) Department for further details.
- CommuteWorks: CommuteWorks is a service provided by MASCO and Children's Hospital to provide free information about commuting alternatives to the Longwood Medical area. For more information call 617-632-2796 or visit the MASCO website.
- Met Life can be reached at: 800-438-6388
Childcare and children’s education
Boston Children's Hospital offers several services and programs to assist you with balancing your family and work responsibilities.Visit the HR website (internal link) for details.
The Employee Lactation Support Program is coordinated by the hospital lactation specialists help families ease the transition back to employment while continuing to breastfeed their young infants. The Lactation The program offers classes and individual consultation, as well as telephone and e-mail support. Breast pump and equipment are available to rent at a discount.
- Website (internal link)
- Telephone: 5-0005
Helpful links for education
- Public Schools: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: 2013 MCAS Report
- Private Schools: Association of Independent Schools of New England (AISNE) - this includes Montessori schools
- Charter Schools (through the Massachusetts Department of Education)
Boston on a budget
Some ways to manage on a budget in Boston:
- Selecting a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) in your Children's benefits selections can save you thousands of dollars annually.
- If you have a credit card, call the company to request a lower interest rate. Make sure to pay at least the minimum payment on time, or you will lose the lower rate. The more you can pay off each month, the better, because interest is compounded. That is, the balance unpaid accrues interest and the interest also accrues interest.
- You can review your own credit report (find out your credit rating) for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. Always be sure you have the correct URL before entering any personal information!
- Shop at a wholesale club, such as BJ's or Costco — discounts are often available through Children's at Open Enrollment each November.
- Trader Joe's offers delicious, nutritious, international, and gourmet fresh and packaged foods at a lower cost than many other retail supermarkets.
- Shop end-of-season sales for clothing for the following year, especially for children's clothes. A good place to do this for children's clothes is The Children's Place.
- Buy used from yard sales or Craigslist.
Helpful links for Boston on a budget
- Children's Employee Discounts and Services (internal link)
- Broke in Boston - book review - "A Guide to Living Cheap in the City”
- Arts Boston
Sports and fitness
Blue Cross Blue Shield Fitness Reimbursements
Blue Cross Blue Shield offers its members up to $150 in reimbursement for membership or exercise classes at a health club, including the YMCA or Curves. The facility you choose must have a vast array of cardiovascular and strength-training exercise equipment. Fees paid for attending aerobics/fitness classes at a qualified health club without an annual membership will also be covered, but make sure you get full documentation from the club. For more information, check out the Blue Cross Blue Shield website or call 1-800-241-1263.
Harvard Athletic Facilities
To join the Harvard athletic centers, you must have a Harvard ID. The rate is $480/year to be paid in full and is prorated. For more info visit: Vanderbilt Hall Athletic Facility and Macklin Athletic Facility.
Boston Children’s Hospital Postdoctoral Association
Harvard Medical School/Harvard School of Dental Medicine Postdoc Association
Postdoctoral Fellows at Children’s Hospital are also eligible for membership in the Harvard Medical School/Harvard School of Dental Medicine Postdoc Association.
National Postdoctoral Association
The OFT has joined the NPA at the sustaining membership level.
The main benefits for Children's postdocs are:
- access to members-only content on the NPA web site
- free subscription to NPA quarterly newsletter
- free subscription to NPA periodic e-mail alerts
- access to group health insurance policy thru NAGPS
- eligibility to serve on NPA committees and other member activities
The Work/Life Liaison on the Harvard University Longwood Campus
The Work/Life Liaison on the Harvard University Longwood Campus provides information, resources, referrals, educational programs and support related to managing your Work/Life Balance, and is open to fellows at BCH.
Harvard Neighbors is a volunteer and membership organization that for over 100 years has worked to create a sense of community.