Friday, November 19, 2010

MGH museum of medical innovation

MGH 2011: An architect's rendering of the museum of medical innovation, scheduled to open in late 2011

As the MGH prepares to mark its bicentennial in 2011,  plans are focusing not only on the hospital's historic milestones in patient care, research, medical education and in the community but also on its current and future contributions as well.  As part of this all-inclusive commemoration, the MGH has begun construction of a landmark museum of medical innovation, scheduled to be completed in late 2011.

Following several years of planning and coordination led by the MGH History Committee, the hospital has designated the area adjacent to the Resident Physician's House at the corner of North Grove and Cambridge streets as the site for the new, two-story building. The museum will serve as a gateway to the hospital campus - a modern and engaging attraction for hospital staff, patients, visitors and passersby.

The ground-floor gallery will showcase several permanent exhibits that will display compelling visuals, artifacts, and current and historical stories illustrating  the hospital's ongoing innovation and achievements that have changed the practice of medicine throughout the world.

The second-floor gallery will feature changing exhibits and lectures that will highlight evolutionary themes of medicine, such as the progression from hand-drawn medical illustration to modern-day interventional and diagnostic radiology.

If sufficient funding can be raised, plans for the museum also include a roof deck, where a garden and seating will allow for guests to enjoy the view of Cambridge Street.

"We are excited about this new project currently underway at the MGH," says Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. "The museum will truly reflect in tangible ways the hospital's longstanding commitment to innovation, education, learning and excellence in caring for its patients who are always at the heart of all of our work."

Adds Paul S. Russell, MD, chair of the MGH History Committee, MGH senior surgeon and John Homans Distinguished Professor of Surgery at HMS: "To date, there has yet to be a formal name for the museum. We are considering several names that may not include the word 'museum' but instead would feature a name that would convey the active and exciting nature of the exhibits and the inclusion of a forward-looking theme. We are looking forward to its completion, however, as a vibrant community resource that will allow medicine to take its place with the great science and art museums in the Boston area.  As much as it is about the MGH and the history of medicine and innovation, it also is about the exciting ongoing work in medicine today and the immense possibilities and milestones in its future."

Funding for the museum will come from donations, with more than half of funds for the project raised so far. To learn more about the museum, contact Peter Johnson, director of the MGH museum, at or 617-726-3182.


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