Delivering on the Promise of the Millennium- BWH Bulletin - For and about the People of Brigham and Women's Hospital
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December 26, 2000
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In This Issue:
Delivering on the Promise of the Millennium
One year ago, the world was riveted. The dawning of a new Millennium had elevated subconscious fears and concerns about the future to the spotlight of mass media consciousness. Hospital staff and employees worked feverishly to prepare the hospital for any contingency. Yet, as the year 2000 was ushered in, the greatest non-event in history took place. Computers continued to function, machines continued their grinding pace and patient care at BWH was assured. Meanwhile, somewhere in a quiet corner of the Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health, little Janessa Rodrigues reminded us what it was all about. At five seconds after midnight, she became our first baby born in the new Millennium. Yet, as the clouds of fear dissipated and the new century dawned, a new storm appeared on the horizon. Only five days into the New Year, one of the state’s largest insurers, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HPHC) tumbled into state receivership, placing more than one million patients in limbo and bringing the immediate attention of public policy makers to the issues impacting health care. No where was this news felt more directly than at BWH. In the wake of the HPHC announcement, BWH was negotiating tirelessly to preserve its decades long relationship with Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and impending contract talks with Blue Cross and Tufts darkened the atmosphere. In a matter of weeks, it became clear that 2000 would become a watershed for BWH and Partners HealthCare. But clearly the hospital was prepared. The merger with Faulkner Hospital, the relationship to Partners and the development of a new physicians organization became pivotal in the hospital’s ability to navigate the stirred up tides. A new agreement with HVMA brought renewed promise. The evolution of Partners became clear as the system came together to challenge managed care companies and secure appropriate levels of reimbursement. Everywhere the impact BWH was having on research, teaching, patient care and the community became clear. The year 2000 saw BWH patient Danalyn Adams Scharff burst across the finish line of the Boston Marathon, the first heart transplant recipient to run the grueling race. In August, the hospital completed the first known quadruple transplant that involved two lungs, a kidney and a heart. And, in September, the promise of the future was displayed when BWH’s first robotic surgery was performed. Vast amounts of new information came streaming from BWH researchers that helped define the new health care frontier. The hospital hit record levels of research funding and led the nation, along with its sister hospital MGH, in securing NIH support. Findings from the Nurses’ Health Study continued to impact the health and well being of women throughout the world. Over the past twelve months, BWH extended its legacy of teaching the next generation of caregivers. Mentors were honored and contributions affirmed. Through it all, BWH continued to attract the most exceptional new nurses and physicians in the nation. And close to home, BWH solidified its longstanding commitment to the community. This was the year 2000. Born of turbulence, tempered through strength, and culminating in exceptional success and promise. There will be more storms ahead. But BWH, buoyed by its collective accomplishments, stands well positioned to thrive as it greets the challenges of the future.