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2005 at BWH–when the hospital celebrated its 25th birthday–was filled with milestones, accolades and accomplishments.
BWH began 2005 by accepting its largest philanthropic gift ever – a $25 million donation from Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro. Thanks to the generosity of the Shapiro family, BWH broke ground on what promises to be the most advanced patient-centered cardiovascular center in the world when it opens in 2008. Earlier this year – thanks to benefactors Gretchen and Edward Fish - BWH continued to set the pace in direct care for women with the May opening of the Fish Center for Women’s Health at 850 Boylston St. This new center brings comprehensive and integrated treatment to the whole person with the newest information and research on sex- and gender-based differences.
BWH researchers had a big year with many articles in prestigious publications like the Journal of the American Medical Association, New England Journal of Medicine and several others, as their findings touched on women's health, cardiovascular disease and cancer. BWH research revealed new information on several topics, including C-reactive protein, low-dose aspirin, vitamin E, folate, vitamin B and many others. In addition to turning out groundbreaking findings, BWH in October strengthened its research capabilities with the launch of the Biomedical Research Institute, a move that brings the combined strength of all BWH research to individual departments and projects.
Clinicians and patients also saw many advances. The BICS modernization process was completed in February, bringing greater reliability, stability and streamlined navigation. The eMAR rollout continued on floors eight through 10 in the Connors Center and Tower 14 and 15 as BWH physicians, nurses, pharmacists and computer programmers in IS continued this effort to reduce medication errors. Also in 2005, the new family center on Tower 14 opened, both the Medical ICU and Neuro ICU doubled in size and the Emergency Department was renovated.
Clinically, BWH recorded a number of achievements. In March, the Emergency Department and Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory posted their fastest “door-to-balloon” time of 27 minutes, a significant accomplishment for emergency angioplasty. The Cardiac Cath Lab achieved a regional first with a non-invasive mitral valve repair in August, and Thoracic Surgery achieved a world first in using new technology to shrink a lung cancer tumor in October. The Division of Emergency Radiology launched Night-Watch, a program that connects BWH’s emergency radiologists with community hospitals around the clock.
Beyond Francis Street, BWH last year advanced existing partnerships. The Bridge of Hope beautification project completion marked a new chapter in the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, and the hospital finalized a formal clinical agreement with South Shore Hospital in South Weymouth. The hospital’s relationship with the local neighborhood, too, was strengthened as BWH President Gary Gottlieb presented $15,000 to Mission Hill Main Streets partnership in February.
And BWH continued bringing improved health care to those who need it most in Boston and throughout the world. Gottlieb co-chaired the Mayor’s Task Force on Racial and Ethnic Disparities, which released a blueprint to reduce those very real disparities in Boston. In addition, BWH’s Department of Emergency Medicine sent physicians and nurses with public health mass casualty backgrounds to the Gulf of Mexico region following Hurricane Katrina. ED physicians traveled to Mexico following Hurricane Stan and to Pakistan after the massive earthquake. Emergency Medicine also hosted Palestinian and Israeli nurses for two weeks of trauma training in April.
BWHers walked and ran for their causes, too. Team Brigham 2005 boasted 125 Boston Marathon runners – including 15 from BWH – and raised $410,000 for community health programs. Also, hundreds of BWHers, friends and family turned out for the Boston Heart Walk in September and raised more than $160,000 for the American Heart Association.
BWH was recognized for all its accomplishments last year. US News & World Report placed BWH on its honor roll of “America’s Top Hospitals” for the 13th straight year. An October report by the University HealthSystem Consortium gave BWH a five-star rating and a top three score among academic medical centers in an intense evaluation of performance in clinical quality and safety. In addition to dozens of awards to individual BWHers, departments and the hospital, BWH was co-recipient of the first ever Betsy Lehman Patient Safety Recognition Award for organizational excellence.