Patient Care

“I want to thank the extraordinary medical team here at the MGH, who helped not only make this possible, but quite literally saved my life. I would also like to sincerely thank the family of the donor, whose wonderful gift has truly given me the second chance I never thought possible. In sharing this success, it’s my hope we can usher in a bright future for this type of transplantation.” — patient Thomas Manning

Thomas Manning, 64, received the nation’s first penis transplant at the MGH. The genitourinary vascularized composite allograft transplant surgery was performed by a team of more than 30 staff across multiple departments and divisions within the MGH.

The MGH welcomed the final phase of Partners eCare. The entire hospital community had a role in the implementation of the new electronic health record. Partners eCare improves patient care by offering a more integrated health record across all of the hospitals in the Partners HealthCare network and helps teams better coordinate and manage care. In addition, Partners eCare helps make registration, scheduling and billing more efficient and enables information to securely flow throughout the Partners network.

The MGH launched the Clinical Data Science Center, paving the way for a new approach to detecting, diagnosing and treating disease using cognitive computational algorithms such as machine learning and artificial neural networks. The center will use artificial intelligence to build systems and tools that enhance outcomes and improve efficiency. 

The Boston Police Department honored the MGH trauma team for providing exceptional care to two police officers who were wounded in an East Boston shooting in November. Police Commissioner William Evans presented the MGH with a special “Commissioner’s Commendation” recognizing the dedication and skill of the many staff members who cared for the officers. 


“I feel deeply honored and enormously pleased to receive this honor. This is beyond any expectation I ever had. This really honors my entire team – my colleagues, my collaborators and my students. It is their collective work and a journey that I have not been alone in.” — Rakesh Jain, PhD

Rakesh Jain, PhD, director of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratory for Tumor Biology in the Department of Radiation Oncology, was honored at the White House with the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest honor for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology.

A study led by MGH investigators has found that, even among those at high genetic risk, following a healthy lifestyle can cut in half the probability of a heart attack or similar event. “The basic message of our study is that DNA is not destiny,” says Sekar Kathiresan, MD, director of the Center for Human Genetic Research at the MGH, senior author of the New England Journal of Medicine report.

A non-invasive protocol testing the ability to recognize, remember and distinguish between odors was able to identify older individuals who – according to genetic, imaging and more detailed memory tests – were at increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. “There is increasing evidence that the neurodegeneration behind Alzheimer’s disease starts at least 10 years before the onset of memory symptoms,” says Mark Albers, MD, PhD, of the MGH Department of Neurology, the principal investigator and corresponding author of the Annals of Neurology report.

Repeat intravenous treatment with low doses of the anesthetic drug ketamine quickly reduced suicidal thoughts in a small group of patients with treatment-resistant depression. A team of MGH investigators – including Dawn Ionescu, MD, of the Depression Clinical and Research Program in the MGH Department of Psychiatry, lead and corresponding author of the paper – reported in theJournal of Clinical Psychiatry the results of their study in depressed outpatients who had been experiencing suicidal thoughts for three months or longer. 


“The most valuable advice I received from MGH that helped me to stay in college and graduate was, ‘Never be afraid to ask for help.’ For four years, I was surrounded by great people – my parents, advisors on campus, the MGH Youth Programs staff – who all were ready to listen whenever I was unsure of myself and my ability.” — Stephanie Urvaez Mejia, Bicentennial Scholar and 2016 college graduate

Thirteen members of the inaugural class of Bicentennial Scholars graduated from college. Created by MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD, and the MGH Board of Trustees in 2011, the initiative aims to support college completion for youth interested in health and science careers. The students – from Boston, Chelsea and Revere, most of whom were the first in their families to attend college – received up to $5,000 in annual scholarships, as well as support in the form of SAT prep courses, college visits and summer internships.

The first MGH chair to advance the field of nursing was established, with Jeanette Ives Erickson, RN, DNP, senior vice president for Patient Care Services and chief nurse, honored as the inaugural incumbent. The Paul M. Erickson Endowed Chair in Nursing was created in memory and in tribute to Ives Erickson’s late husband – an avid volunteer at the MGH and champion of nursing.

The MGH Center for Disaster Medicine hosted Biothreat Care Unit Planning and Training exercises, as part of the federal government’s Ebola Preparedness Grant oversight efforts. The MGH is one of nine designated centers in the nation for treating Ebola. As part of the training, staff outlined a number of potential scenarios that could occur when encountering a patient confirmed with the Ebola virus disease, reviewed processes to ensure proper procedures were followed and studied how they could be improved.

When Anelsa Beqo participated in the MGH’s annual Job Shadow Day in 2010 – working alongside Firdosh Pathan, RPh, on his rounds – she realized the impact he was making was one she wanted to mirror in her work. Beqo is completing her final year at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and recently rotated through the MGH Cardiology Division where she reconnected with Pathan. 


“Community health is in the DNA of Mass General. We were founded more than 200 years ago to care for the sick poor. Today we carry out that commitment with community partners to address social and economic determinants of health.” — Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president

The MGH received the Foster G. McGaw Prize for Excellence in Community Service, one of the most prestigious community service honors in health care. The MGH was honored for its longstanding commitment to addressing issues such as the obesity epidemic and opioid crisis, and its dedication to reducing barriers to health care, providing youth with health and science opportunities, and reducing social and economic barriers to care for vulnerable patients.

An MGH/MGPO Opioid Task Force was formed to better respond to the state’s opioid epidemic and improve patient care. The group – made up of clinicians and nonclinicians from a number of departments – created a set of institutional best practice guidelines focused on the safe and thoughtful prescribing of opioids in the setting of acute pain, and for medications issued to patients with chronic pain.

Hurricane Matthew devastated areas of the Caribbean and southern United States. MGHers were deployed to Haiti with the International Medical Corps and Project Hope, and in the U.S. as part of the federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team for Massachusetts. In continued response, numerous departments teamed up with Buildings and Grounds to host supply drives for basic necessities that were shipped to The Aquin Hospital in Haiti.

Bethany Groleau, RN, of Lunder 9, was the first MGH nurse to receive the Global Nursing Fellowship, and traveled to Uganda to teach a group of six nurses basic oncology nursing skills and practices, and safe chemotherapy administration. The fellowship sponsors nurses to serve in low-resource settings to promote professional nursing through education and clinical practice.