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In This Issue:
BWH President Elizabeth Nabel, MD, greets Marilyn Dockery, unit coordinator for the Neuroscience ICU.
BWH President Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD, sat down for her first BWH Bulletin interview and discussed the year ahead and why she is excited to return to the hospital and to Boston. Nabel joins BWH from the NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) where she served as director. She is a cardiologist who completed her internship, residency and fellowship at BWH, and her research focus has been in vascular biology and molecular cardiology. Nabel, who hopes you will call her Betsy, spoke with great enthusiasm about the hospital's mission, its 15,000 dedicated employees and its steadfast commitment to the community it serves.
Q: Your Jan. 4 message to the Brigham community spoke about how much you are looking forward to being at the Brigham. Can you share with us what makes this position so special to you?A: Brigham and Women's is one of the truly outstanding academic medical centers in the country. In many ways, this is a dream come true to return to this very special place where world-class care for patients is married with world-class research, world-class education and a deep and abiding commitment to the community. The brightest and the best and the most committed employees in health care work to advance our three-part mission. Together, we will continue to lead the nation and take BWH to the next level of excellence, especially in an era of health care reform.Q: What are your thoughts on transitioning to the administration of a hospital from a national institute that focused on basic research and its translation to clinical medicine? A: A major driving force for me as the NHLBI director was to ensure that research advances were translated in ways that positively affected people's lives. We achieved this through education and advocacy programs, development of clinical guidelines for medical practice and patient care activities, and communication to many sectors of our society, particularly Congress. Joining the Brigham affords me the opportunity to further those efforts in an outstanding academic medical center with renowned physicians, scientists, health care providers and staff who are committed to excellence and to carrying their collective wisdom forward to the next generation of providers.As a nation, we are in the midst of health care reform. Massachusetts is on the leading edge of reform having already expanded coverage to its citizens. Our pending health care legislation will likely do the same at the national level. This represents a remarkable and historic opportunity for BWH, MGH and Partners HealthCare to be leaders, showing the nation how outstanding academic medical centers will continue to excel in our mission of clinical care, research and education while leading the changes that will be required in reforming health care. Q: What changes do you see over the next several years in terms of reform?A: We will all be challenged to be even more creative and innovative in making our care more efficient and effective. We must continue to be on the leading edge by embracing new approaches and technologies, and even though change will not always be easy, we must not be afraid to critically examine our traditional approaches. We will need to be smarter and wiser in terms of teamwork and efficiency, open to integration across disciplines, while always maintaining a keen focus on our patients and their families. We will need to be even more mindful about ways to actively engage our patients and their families in decision-making because patient care will become more transparent. This will require us to be more reflective and purposeful in everything that we do.
See photos of BWH staff greeting Dr. Nabel to our community here.