BOSTON – With one of the largest philanthropic gifts in Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) more than 200-year history, philanthropists James S. and Carol J. Herscot have committed $50 million to support a variety of capital projects, initiatives, and the Center for Children and Adults with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC) that bears their name. In honor of their generous and historic support, the MGH will name the building that houses the Herscot Center – the Carol and James Herscot Building. The outpatient facility is located at 175 Cambridge St. in Boston’s Charles River Plaza.  

“Jim and Carol have been among the hospital’s strongest supporters and champions for more than 50 years,” says Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. “Through founding the Herscot Center and providing vital support for other hospital-wide efforts, their vision, friendship and generosity has been enormously helpful to advancing the MGH mission.”

The gift was announced last night during a reception at the Palm Beach home of longtime hospital benefactors Gerald R. Jordan, Jr., director of MGH President’s Council, and Darlene Jordan, a member of the MGH Fund Leadership Council. The dinner featured remarks from Slavin and Merit Cudkowicz, MD, MSc, chief of Neurology at MGH.

The Herscot family legacy is one of steadfast commitment to supporting the very best in patient care, advancing the latest science and educating the next generation of caregivers. Thanks to a $10 million gift in 2005, the hospital established the Herscot Center for Children and Adults with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Another gift of $17.5 million gift followed in 2017.

TSC is a rare genetic disorder that affects 40,000 to 80,000 people in the United States and as many as 2 million people worldwide. The disease alters fundamental cellular signals and can affect every organ in the body, including the brain, skin, kidneys, heart, liver and lungs.  One of the most frequently affected organs is the brain, where it causes a wide variety of symptoms such as seizures, autism, cognitive impairment, and mental health disorders.  Because of the wide variation and range of symptoms, the disease is often misdiagnosed. In TSC patients, tumors grow throughout the body, causing a wide variety of symptoms such as seizures, developmental delays, skin abnormalities and others.

For the Herscots, the center’s mission and work is personal. Their son Brad was diagnosed with TSC nearly 50 years ago and since that time, the Herscots have devoted themselves to helping other patients and families affected by the disease.

Led by Elizabeth Thiele, MD, PhD, a world expert in TSC and epilepsy, the Herscot Center seeks to improve diagnosis, treatment and research of TSC. It has become one of the largest centers of its kind, providing comprehensive clinical care to hundreds of patients annually.  The Herscot Center also performs and publishes important clinical research that improves understanding of TSC and helps to educate physicians worldwide about its diagnosis and treatment.

About the Massachusetts General Hospital

Founded in 1811, theMassachusetts General Hospitalis the oldest and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The 1,011-bed medical center each year admits more than 50,000 inpatients, handles more than 1.5 million visits to its extensive outpatient programs at the main campus and four health centers, and records nearly 109,000 emergency visits. The surgical staff perform more than 42,000 operations annually, and the MGH Vincent Obstetrics Service delivers nearly 3,900 babies a year. The largest nongovernment employer in the city of Boston, the MGH has more than 25,600 employees, including more than 5,000 registered nurses.  MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $900 million.  MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital are founding members of Partners HealthCare System, a Boston-based integrated health care delivery system.  In 2003, MGH became the first hospital in the state to be awarded Magnet designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.  In August 2018, the MGH was once again named to the Honor Roll in the U.S. News & World Report list of "America's Best Hospitals."