Translations on this website are prepared by a third-party provider. Some portions may be incorrect. Some items—including downloadable files or images—cannot be translated at all. No liability is assumed by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for any errors or omissions. Any user who relies on translated content does so at his/her own risk.
The Al and Trudy Agress Summer Health Corps Program is an educational hands-on program that gives high school students ages 14-17 an opportunity to explore various careers while gaining experience in a hospital setting. The programs runs for six weeks, Monday through Thursday, 9-2. The dates for the 2019 Program are July 9 to August 15. We are no longer accepting applications for 2019.
Thanks to a very generous donation from the Agress family, as of the summer of 2019, The Summer Health Corps has become the Al and Trudy Agress Summer Health Corps. Mr. and Mrs. Agress each broke the BIDMC record for longest-serving volunteers, contributing over a century of combined service – 55+ years each. After enduring a paralyzing stroke, Mr. Agress finally “retired” from volunteering at 99 years-old, while Mrs. Agress soon followed with her own “retirement” at age 95.
Mrs. Agress began volunteering at just 12-years-old, following in her mother’s footsteps, who helped raise money when Beth Israel first opened. Mrs. Agress later founded and supervised the Volunteer Workshop, supported vigorously by her husband; her workshop served a variety of functions for the medical center for over half a century. These roles, among other things, included preparing surgical kits, coordinating “mailings” (before e-mail), and hand-making “baby hats” that all newborns wore once delivered, in the nursery, and on their way home. All babies born at the hospital from 1960 to 2015 wore hats hand-made by the Agress’ and their group. At the height of the Volunteer Workshop, more than 40 volunteers gathered every Tuesday at BIDMC for an eight-hour labor of love.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Agress took great pride in the fact that their grandchildren starting volunteering at just 5 years old, experiencing firsthand the “spirit of volunteering” that meant so much to their family.
By choosing to fund the long-established Summer Health Corps, Mr. and Mrs. Agress’ family members look forward to fostering continuing generations of young volunteers at the medical center. This is a cause close to their hearts and is a meaningful way to commemorate their dedication to service, healthcare, and BIDMC.
As a member of the Agress Summer Health Corps Program, the student may work in departments such as admitting, outpatient clinics, inpatient units, Post Anesthesia Care, the Emergency Department, Food Services, and other areas.
In addition to learning from the actual volunteer experience, volunteers will attend tours of specific departments. These tours provide information on the functions of various medical center staff and their departments. Some of the departments may include the Neonatal Unit (premature babies), the Emergency Department, and Radiology. Students also attend orientation and training sessions. Students will learn about routine medical center policies and procedures such as fire safety and infection control precautions. They will also take a tour of the Medical Center.
Students must be between the ages of 14 and 17 and have a signed parental permission to participate. Applications must include two letters of reference on letterhead from persons who know you well and are not related to you. Candidates should have a commitment to people and to a personal goal. After receiving the application, Volunteer Services will arrange an interview, during which time the required health screening will be discussed.
BIDMC offers after-school volunteer opportunities for high school students during the academic year. The requirement is a total of 40 hours and we ask for a minimum of a one year commitment. For more information, call Shannon Lawson, Program Manager, at 617-667-3026.
Please join us in supporting our teenage volunteers by donating any amount to the Al and Trudy Agress Fund for Volunteer Services, all of which will directly benefit the Agress Summer Health Corps Program and help to both memorialize and continue Al and Trudy Agress’ devotion to BIDMC and the “Spirit of Volunteering."