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BWH Breaks Ground on the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center
In what many are calling “one of the most significant chapters in the history” of Brigham and Women's Hospital, hundreds of people gathered Wednesday for the official groundbreaking of the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center and to celebrate the future of patient-centered care.
“This new building is an extension of our vision to learn the best approaches in health care as we build on the excellent work we do here every day in every corner of our hospital,” BWH President Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA, said in welcoming Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, BWH Board of Trustees Chairman Marshall Moriarty, the family of philanthropists Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro and other guests.
The celebration was held on the fifth floor of the Service Center garage overlooking the construction at 70 Francis St. The inaugural shoveling by Gottlieb, Mayor Menino and members of the Shapiro family was met with strong applause and horns sounding from tractors and trucks below.
“As I peer into our promising future, savor our accomplishments of today and embrace our past, I know we would not be here today without philanthropy and the invaluable gifts dedicated to our mission of care,” Gottlieb said.
Long-time BWH benefactors Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro donated $25 million to the construction of this state-of-the-art center, marking the hospital's largest gift ever. On Wednesday, the Shapiros' eldest daughter, Ronny Zinner, said they feel honored to take part in this project.
“When you give someone a gift, and you really feel good about it, you just know it's right,” Carl Shapiro told his daughter moments before the groundbreaking. “Tell them Mother and I are thrilled with this gift.”
Andy Whittemore, MD, chief medical officer, detailed the central mission of the new cardiovascular center. “This building will have a collocation of specialists able to further place the patient in the center of care delivery when we open in 2008,” he said.
Kenneth Baughman, MD, director of Advanced Heart Disease, spoke on behalf of Cardiovascular Medicine Chief Peter Libby. “The Shapiro Cardiovascular Center brings together Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Radiology, Pathology and Emergency Medicine for the best in research, education and patient care, which is paramount in our prioritization,” he said.
Mayor Menino commended Gottlieb and BWH for its “sensitivity and commitment” to the neighborhood of Mission Hill and city of Boston. “When people think of health care, they think of our city, and BWH is the reason why,” he said.