Friday, November 18, 2011

A legacy of caring

MGH receives national community service award


COMMUNITY COMMITMENT: From left, Slavin; Valerie Stone, MD, director of the Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program and associate chief of the General Medicine Division; Quinlan; David Bangsberg, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Global Health; and Gottlieb at the Nov. 10 event.

In a year full of bicentennial festivities, the MGH has one more reason to celebrate: the hospital is the 2011 recipient of the Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Presented annually, the award recognizes an AAMC member institution that demonstrates an exceptional commitment to serving its community. The award is one of the AAMC’s most prestigious honors.

A finalist for the award in 2010, the MGH was selected as this year’s winner following a nationwide competition and site visit. While at the hospital, the AAMC review team learned about the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement’s (CCHI) 35 programs and collaborations in Chelsea, Revere and Charlestown – communities where the MGH has maintained health care centers for as many as 40 years – and in Boston, where it conducts programs in support of youth, the homeless, seniors and other vulnerable populations. The team also learned about the work of the MGH Center for Global Health and several community-focused medical education programs. Nearly 100 employees and community partners participated in the daylong site visit, including Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach.

MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD, formally accepted the award on behalf of the hospital at the AAMC annual meeting earlier this month, and the recognition was celebrated Nov. 10 during an on-campus event hosted by the MGH and CCHI. Approximately 150 guests attended, including employees, community members and the MGH Bicentennial Scholars – 26 area youths selected to receive financial aid and mentorship to help ensure their success in college. Providing remarks were Slavin, Joan Quinlan, executive director of the MGH CCHI, and Gary L. Gottlieb, MD, MBA, Partners HealthCare president and CEO.

“The award underscores that, while MGH is well-known for its outstanding clinical care and scientific inquiry, its legacy of caring for and about the underserved locally and globally is equally strong,” said Slavin.

Quinlan credited Slavin’s commitment to the community as the reason the MGH received the AAMC award. “Under Peter’s leadership, we have changed the mission of the institution to include community service; every clinical department is being asked to participate in carrying out that component of mission. This is a first in the nation and extraordinary,” she said.

The MGH formally incorporated community service into its mission statement in 2007, but serving neighbors in need has been at the heart of the institution since it was established in 1811. View a retrospective video about the MGH’s 200-year legacy of community involvement.

Read more articles from the 11/18/11 Hotline issue.

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