Haitian American Public Health Initiatives


(617) 298-8076


(617) 296-1570


HAPHI is a minority run, non-profit agency dedicated to providing members of the Haitian-American community in Metro Boston with culturally and linguistically accessible information and services to improve their health and wellbeing. Located in Mattapan, HAPHI was founded in 1989 by a group of Haitian-American health care professionals to address pressing public health issues confronting Boston's Haitian community. HAPHI has grown tremendously and today provides a comprehensive range of prevention, education, and direct service programs to Haitian-Americans from the greater metropolitan area of Boston. Several of its programs serve Haitian Americans throughout New England.


1464 Blue Hill Ave
Mattapan, MA 02126
United States
Key Partners: 


New Routes/Twa Zanmi

The Twa Zanmi (Three Friends) Project brings together three partners to address stigma associated with mental illness in the Haitian community. The partners include the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), a joint program of the University of Massachusetts Boston and the world-renowned Children’s Hospital Boston, the Haitian American Public Health Initiative (HAPHI) and Camera Mosaique, a weekly educational TV Show produced by the Haitian Media Network. Twa Zanmi is conceived as a community-directed television program) that will follow the lives of three recent Haitian immigrants who experience depression and anxiety as a result of relocation and the accompanying social isolation, loss of identity, and separation from family and friends.

Mutual Assistance Association (MAA Coalition)
The MAA coalition is made up of over 12 Community Based Minority Organizations. The mission of the coalition is to promote solidarity and collaboration among grassroots Community Based Minority Organizations (Combs) serving refugees and immigrants to provide and strengthen a voice for these communities in Massachusetts.  The MAA Coalition is committed to advocating for their communities through capacity building,  leadership development, and addressing needs through the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

Key Programs Offered: 


English as a Second Language (ESL)
The adult Education Program currently serves 40 students in any given day through 2 classes from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The low intermediate level meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the intermediate level meets Tuesday and Thursday. The lack of available adult education classes is very obvious in Mattapan. The Adult Education Program emphasizes the establishment of linkages with local adult education and skills training programs, employers, colleges and universities, to ensure a continuum of services for learners and to facilitate "next steps" for program graduates. This includes developing referral relationships and formal collaborations.

Citizenship project
Currently HAPHI is providing citizenship classes on Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursdays 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The current citizenship class has a bilingual curriculum that includes a naturalization process overview and units on personal, application, and general questions; American History; Government; Elected Officials; how to fill out the N400 application form; the interview process; and civic participation. 

HAPHI assists students through the entire process providing class instruction,  advocacy with the INS or referral to legal services, and mock interview tutoring. Student materials include a bilingual textbook, N400 application forms, and an interview practice audiotape. We encourage students to be independent and take charge of their naturalization. In class, students are instructed on how to complete the N-400 application forms and then they fill out their own N-400's. Audiotapes make it possible for students to practice at home on their own.

Civic Engagement Initiative (CEI)
The goal of CEI is to integrate voter education into HAPHI’s current programs, register participants to vote; solicit volunteers to conduct Voter registration drives; design neighborhood campaign; hold workshops on voting and educate on why it is important to vote; conduct drives at supermarkets, stores, intersections and community events; and continue to recruit and train volunteers. The project also provides training for community residents, staff and volunteers on civic engagement during annual meeting.

Program to Enhance Elder Services (PEERS)

PEERS Program conducts community outreach, advocacy, referral and others education and support services for elders. The overall program objectives are to strengthen the existing coordination and collaboration between refugee and elder services providers in Boston to address unmet needs of refugees and asylees  60 years of age or older who have not yet attained citizenship status. 

Services Objectives:

  • To identify refugee elders who have lost, are at risk of losing, or are ineligible for SSI and/or other federal benefits;
  • To assess their service needs;
  • To develop individualized service plans in conjunction with these refugees;
  • To provide them with transitional social services including access to emergency food, shelter and medical care as needed;
  • To promote intergeneration  connection between refugee elders and their grandchildren;
  • To link the refugee elders to employment and volunteer opportunities that promote leadership and enhance independent living;
  • To refer them to other needed services; and,
  • To provide them with naturalization services in order to maintain their eligibility for benefits and address long-term self-sufficiency nee

MA Medicare/Medicaid Outreach and Education (MORE) Program 
The program is designed to improve access to quality health care services among limited English proficiency (LEP) Haitian elders by increasing knowledge, awareness among LEP Haitian elders. The general goal of the program is to make hard to reach LEP Haitian elders aware of their eligibility for benefits and provide them with information about Medicare and Medicaid: abuse, fraud and errors.

Neighborhood Walk Program
The Neighborhood Walk Program is designed to encourage community members to walk together to improve their health.

Food Distribution Services

HAPHI works with Greater Boston Food Bank and provides limited food distribution to its clients and the larger community.