The sense of pride was palpable beneath the Bulfinch Tent July 17 as hospital employees, affiliates, public officials and media crews gathered for a celebration of the news that the MGH ranked No. 1 in the nation on the U.S. News & World Report 2012-13 “Best Hospitals” list. After ranking second last year, the MGH now takes the place previously held by Johns Hopkins Hospital, which had been at the top of the list for 21 consecutive years.
In honor of the occasion, MGH Nutrition and Food Services baked more than 14,000 “#1 Thanks to You” cookies, which were handed out to staff along with commemorative pins and bracelets. Banners thanking and congratulating employees were hung throughout campus.
Despite record-breaking heat, hundreds of MGHers gathered under the Bulfinch Tent to formally celebrate the announcement. Speaking at the standing-room-only event were Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president; David F. Torchiana, MD, chairman and CEO of the MGPO; Jeffrey Flier, MD, dean of Harvard Medical School; Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, president and CEO of Partners HealthCare; and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
“In my opinion, we are number one because of the great work and the dedication to excellence of the clinical staff and people of this organization,” said Slavin, who welcomed the crowd. “On behalf of the institution, it’s my pleasure to thank you for the great work you do every day and every night to make a difference in the health and well-being of our patients and their loved ones.”
Read more about the rankings here.
Slavin also thanked Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, which are counted together with the MGH on the U.S. News survey in ear, nose and throat, ophthalmology, and rehabilitation.
Torchiana shared excerpts of a citation from Gov. Deval Patrick and a message from Sen. John Kerry, which will be entered into the Congressional Record along with a message from Sen. Scott Brown. Wrote Kerry: “Today’s public announcement confirms what all of us in Massachusetts have always known – that if you need to find first-rate care for a loved one with a serious and complicated condition, then you go to the Massachusetts General Hospital.”
Menino announced that July 17, 2012, would be known as “MGH is #1 Day” in the city of Boston. “We know a little bit about celebrating,” he added. “When Boston is the best in something, we bring out the duck boats!”
As one of the amphibious landing vehicles pulled into the Wang Ambulatory Care Center, honking its horn and spraying confetti into the air, cheers erupted from the crowd, thrilled with the surprise arranged by Menino.
Slavin closed the celebration by highlighting a sample of exemplary employees who make the MGH a top hospital – from Larry “Tree” Washington, of Police and Security, who just received the Ricardo Diaz Award; to Roman DeSanctis, MD, a legendary MGH cardiologist; to soon-to-be college freshmen Stephanie Mejia and Lee Jeanty, two of the 26 MGH Bicentennial Scholars. He invited the group to join him on the duck boat for a mini rolling rally around the hospital campus.
“As we look around this tent and look around this hospital, we see the employees who give diligently, tirelessly and with all their hearts to make a difference in the lives of other human beings,” said Slavin. “We are so grateful to them for making this institution what it is.”