Mass General Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Because of diversity we will excel. We think broadly about diversity and everything that makes us unique. It is core to our mission. Our differences make the MGH a more interesting and distinctive environment in which to work and are an important means of providing the very best care to every one of our patients, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, religion, age, sexual orientation, disabilities, life experiences, geographic backgrounds, skills and talents among others. We will not excel without recognizing and appreciating everyone’s perspectives.

Through inclusion we will respect. Together we work hard to make this hospital a diverse and inclusive place of healing. Encouraging a broad range of opinions, ideas and perspectives drives creativity, innovation and excellence. Our continued engagement in our nationally recognized initiatives and programs highlights our commitment to diversity and inclusion. But this ongoing work will not be complete until every employee, every patient, every family member, every visitor feels safe, respected, welcome, comfortable, supported and accepted within our walls.

Focused on equity we will serve, heal, educate and innovate. Our job is to improve health and save lives, regardless of what our patients or colleagues look like, where they come from, what they believe, or who they love. Issues of equity and justice are not separate but rather intertwined with patient care, education, research, and community health. Targeting inequality enhances the quality of care for all. We believe in treating our patients and each other with the dignity that every human being deserves.



Message from Peter L. Slavin, MD, and Timothy G. Ferris, MD, in response to events in Virginia

Monday, Aug. 14, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

Like you, we are horrified by the violence and senseless loss of life that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend. This disturbing display of hatred and bigotry by white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups is truly unthinkable – far beyond the realm of what should ever be tolerated in a country that draws its strength from its rich diversity of people, ideas and cultures. Indeed, the rally in Charlottesville takes direct aim at the basic core values and morals of our nation. We will not and cannot let hate win.

Virginia’s governor, public officials from across the nation and many organizations – from civil rights groups to churches to professional sports teams – have called for our country to unite against hatred, racism and violence. The MGH joins with them in standing up – and speaking out – against all forms of bigotry and intolerance.

 Peter L. Slavin, MD
MGH President

Timothy G. Ferris, MD
MGPO Chairman and CEO


Message from Peter L. Slavin, MD, about the announcement of a Transgender Military Ban


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

This morning as I read the breaking news reports of President Trump’s announcement that our country will not accept or allow transgender people to serve their country in the military, I was both saddened and angered. I felt moved to reach out to our MGH family, especially our transgender members, and reinforce the message that this hospital embraces inclusion and equity, and this organization remains deeply committed to fighting the kind of intolerance, discrimination and inequality that has too long divided our nation. The MGH steadfastly believes that no person or group of people should ever be discriminated against for any reason, including gender identity or gender expression. Indeed, it is the differences of the people who make up an organization – be it a hospital, a factory, an office or a military unit – that make it stronger, richer and better able to deliver the best care, produce the best products, make the best decisions and provide the greatest protection and defense of our nation. 

This morning’s short-sighted action is truly a step backwards for human rights, human dignity and social justice.

I hope that you will take a moment to read the MGH’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement. Thank you for the actions – large or small – that you take every day to make our hospital and our country a more peaceful, welcoming and supportive place.   

Peter L. Slavin, MD
MGH President


Message from Peter L. Slavin, MD, and Thomas J. Lynch, MD, Jeff Davis, senior vice president of Human Resources:
Updated information on executive order regarding immigration 

January 30, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Our hospital was founded with the philosophy that when in distress, every man becomes our neighbor. For more than 200 years, we have stood by that statement and have provided compassionate care and support to all who need it. Today, we are proud to say our commitment has not – and will not – waiver.

Members of the MGH Diversity and Inclusion Committee and other leaders from across the institution met this morning to discuss the executive order signed by President Donald Trump on Friday and how it may impact all the members of our MGH family. The work of this committee will reinforce our commitment to support all in our hospital community who are affected by these restrictions.

We understand there are many questions and concerns and we have created a page on to keep you informed. This site will continue to be updated as more information is available. Staff also are encouraged to take advantage of the following hospital resources which are available to provide assistance:

Individuals who may be affected by these immigration restrictions can contact the Partners Office for International Professionals and Students. For guidance regarding specific circumstances, email

The Employee Assistance Program can offer a variety of services for employees, including counseling, referrals and stress management. Call 866-724-4EAP or email Andrea Stidsen.

Those seeking spiritual guidance may contact MGH Chaplaincy. Call 617-726-2220 or email Imam Elsir Sanousi, MGH chaplain.

Human Resources can assist employees as needed. Email Steve Taranto, director.

Staff who have personal safety concerns or need conflict consultation can contact MGH Police and Security at 617-726-2121 or email Bonnie Michelman, director.

As a reminder, staff who plan to travel outside the U.S. for hospital business should enroll in Partners TravelSafe, a travel information and emergency assistance program for employees. TravelSafe offers travel information, active alerts, emergency assistance and a single point of contact should you encounter trouble while traveling domestically or internationally. TravelSafe’s global hotline is +1 443-965-9242. Questions can be directed to

Please know that we are continuing to monitor this situation closely and will communicate as new information is available. In the meantime, we encourage all members of our community to watch this video and remember the words of our Diversity and Inclusion Statement:

Diversity is the richness of human differences. Inclusion is when everyone feels connected, valued and engaged. At Massachusetts General Hospital, we believe that because of diversity we excel; through inclusion we respect; focused on equity we serve, heal, educate and innovate.

Peter L. Slavin, MD
MGH President

Thomas J. Lynch, MD
MGPO Chairman and CEO

Jeff Davis
Senior Vice President of Human Resources

Message from Peter L. Slavin, MD, and Thomas J. Lynch, MD: Information about the Immigration Ban

January 28, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

As you likely have heard, President Donald Trump Friday signed an executive order placing a temporary ban on immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.  As an academic medical center that draws scientists, staff, trainees and patients from around the globe, the MGH will undoubtedly feel the effects of this significant action in the days and weeks to come.  We are committed to supporting those members of the MGH family who are directly affected by these new restrictions or who have family and friends who are feeling the impact of the ban.

We recognize that department heads, managers, PIs, supervisors and others will have questions and concerns about specific individuals in their areas who may be affected by these immigration restrictions. The Partners Office for International Professionals and Students is monitoring the situation closely and is available to provide information and guidance.

The hospital has received inquiries this weekend from news outlets seeking information about MGH staff members who may be affected by this situation. Anyone who receives a media call asking about the hospital’s actions and response to the ban should refer reporters to the MGH News and Public Affairs Office, which has a staff member on call 24 hours a day and can be contacted through the hospital operator at 617-726-2000.

This situation is evolving rapidly, and there continues to be great uncertainty about the enforcement and extent of this executive order. A federal judge, in fact, tonight halted the deportation of those individuals who had been detained in airports.  We will continue to follow this situation closely and work with Partners, Harvard and other organizations to do what we can to help and support those members of our community who are understandably anxious and concerned in this unsettling time. 

Peter L. Slavin, MD
MGH President

Thomas J. Lynch, MD
MGPO Chairman and CEO

 Helpful resources and articles:

Two Things with Tom Lynch, MD: Why Immigration Is Essential for Medicine in the U.S.


I spoke with Katrina Armstrong, MD, chief of Medicine and the Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine, about her fantastic article in February 1, 2017 NEJM, “International Exchange and American Medicine.” It talks about the contribution that immigrants have made to medical education and the medical system in the United States. Given how topical and important this is to our country, I asked Katrina about her thoughts on where we stand; how as a medical community and as a hospital do we need to respond and think about these issues? She agreed that this is incredibly important, and we at MGH and MGPO believe that immigrants are fundamental to how we deliver medicine here at the MGH and how medicine is delivered across the country; it’s also important to biomedical research, medical education, and how we lead across the globe and think about improving health in many communities.

Katrina told the story of her first day her at MGH, which was also the Boston Marathon bombing. She said it was an incredible to enter the community at that time, and she saw what hospitals could do for the community, saving lives. The leader of our Trauma Service, George Velmahos, MD, was really widely recognized for the impact that he had during that time. George was born in Greece and came to our country to pursue his belief that he could contribute to making medicine better here. And so if you just think about that individual story, it’s such a great example of what it means to bring the best talent to our country, to take care of patients, and to move forward in research.

What she really wanted to do with the article was to bring together a group of leaders from across academic medicine. She emphasized the importance of reaching out to other institutions that share our values and who are leaders in biomedical research and in medical education to show why this is so important. Other academic medical centers involved in the article were: Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Johns Hopkins Medicine; University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor; University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine; and the University of California, San Francisco. It’s this diversity across the country of leading academic institutions that can stand together right now.

MGH Core Principles: Relieve Suffering and Care for All
Katrina acknowledged that messaging about this topic can move toward a political statement, but she emphasized that we are really only standing up and affirming our MGH principles – that we are here to relieve suffering and take care of everyone, no matter where they came from or who they are. That we believe in the truth and the pursuit of scientific truth. And we respect fundamental human dignity. We’re here to take care of all individuals. Katrina added that at this time it couldn’t be more important to identify those principles as essentially apolitical. This is what it means to be a provider at MGH. She also said at the same time we have to be open-minded. We have to listen and understand why people have the beliefs they have. So it’s a balance between being even clearer about what we stand for, and also actively listening and learning about what these issues are.
I couldn’t imagine Dr. Armstrong being any clearer and articulating any better what the MGH is all about.

Until next time,

Thomas J. Lynch, MD
MGPO Chairman and CEO


Boston Office for Immigration Advancement can be reached by visiting

Nurse Leaders Must Advocate to Support International Collaboration and Patient Care - Journal of Nursing Administration
Guest editorial by Jeanette Ives Erickson, DNP, RN, FAAN, chief Nurse and senior vice president for Patient Care

International Exchange and American Medicine - New England Journal of Medicine
A perspective by Katrina Armstrong, MD, chief of the Mass General Department of Medicine


Trump’s immigration policies make me fear for my patients – Washington Post

Article by Mass General resident Dhruv Khullar

How to Talk to Kids About the Executive Order on Immigration - Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds
Blog by Mass General psychiatrist Steven Scholzman, MD