The OB/GYN Department at Massachusetts General Hospital began as the Vincent Memorial Hospital, a freestanding hospital dedicated to the care of women in Boston. Today it is known as the Vincent Memorial Hospital Foundation.

vincent memorial hospital
The Eaton Ward in the original Vincent Memorial Hospital.

The Vincent Memorial Hospital (VMH) was founded in 1891 by the friends of Mary Ann Vincent as a memorial to the generous Boston actress. This hospital, dedicated to the care of sick and impoverished women, was originally located at 44 Chambers Street in Boston. It quickly outgrew its initial 12-bed capacity and moved in 1908 to larger quarters on South Huntington Avenue.

Joining Forces

In 1941, chief of staff Joe Vincent Meigs, MD, and the Vincent Trustees recognized the tremendous potential of merging “The Vincent” with the broad resources available at Massachusetts General Hospital. As a result, VMH accepted Mass General’s invitation to become its gynecology service but retained its own hospital identity and staff.

In 1988, VMH and Mass General revised their agreement so that the latter assumed all responsibility for clinical care. The purpose of the Vincent was restated as: "The corporation is organized and shall be operated exclusively to support programs for the care and treatment of the diseases of women at Massachusetts General Hospital and other organizations…which have as their sole member Massachusetts General Hospital."

At that time VMH's independent hospital license was allowed to expire. Mass General formally designated the places and programs associated with and funded by the Vincent Memorial Hospital Corporation with the name "Vincent." The 18-member Vincent Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees also expanded to include two Mass General trustees.

In 2018, the VMH Board of Trustees voted to change the organization’s name. The nonprofit corporation formally became the Vincent Memorial Hospital Foundation (VMHF) to better reflect its role as a funding organization while recognizing its heritage as a hospital.

A Commitment to Partnership

The present agreement reaffirms the corporate independence of the Vincent Memorial Hospital Foundation and its endowment. It also cements a partnership of shared interests, efforts and accomplishments, which has yielded numerous advances in the research, diagnosis and treatment of diseases affecting women.

In addition to working closely with the Mass General Vincent Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology leadership, the VMHF Board of Trustees coordinates its efforts with those of the Vincent Board of Managers, an in-hospital auxiliary volunteer group.

What VMHF Means to Mass General OB/GYN Today

The support of the VMHF is a vital resource for the Vincent OB/GYN Department, supporting our missions of research and fellowship education. This allows our faculty and staff to innovate and lead in clinical care and discovery. VMHF funding has helped the Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology become a leading center for basic science research in obstetrics and gynecology by providing seed grants and ongoing funding to individuals, while also supporting the infrastructure of our shared laboratory.

In times of dwindling NIH dollars and challenging clinical finances, the support of the VMHF allows us to both recruit the best clinicians and sustain the careers of our faculty and their passions. The VMHF Board, which includes a collection of diverse and remarkable individuals, offers more than just financial support the present OB/GYN Department. It offers valuable wisdom and perspectives as we shape our path forward.

The hospital founded over a century ago, and the connection established over 70 years ago, each remain central to OB/GYN care at Mass General in so many ways. We value our shared history, celebrate our present collaboration and look forward to continuing our vibrant partnership into the future.