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Unifying academic medical center departments is major step in harnessing collective expertise

Mass General Brigham clinicians, caregivers, and staff are coming together like never before to work to become the integrated academic healthcare system of the future with patients at the center. Building on the progress and learnings of the past three years, our system is now taking the next step in that journey, launching a process to combine clinical departments and academic programs across Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) as single departments. This transformation will also include the creation of interdepartmental disease-focused institutes that will multiply our ability to provide seamless, integrated care for our patients.

“This is an exciting step in our transformation journey. If we want to be the best, highest-quality, safest and most respected health system in the country in service of our patients, the great departments across our academic centers must plan and work together as one,” said Anne Klibanski, MD, president and CEO, Mass General Brigham, in an announcement today.

To support this new structure, senior leaders at our academic medical centers will take on expanded roles: David F. M. Brown, MD, has been named President, Academic Medical Centers, Mass General Brigham, a role in which he will provide leadership for both hospitals, including oversight of the clinical departments. Marcela del Carmen, MD, MPH, and Giles Boland, MD, will expand their roles to serve as presidents of MGH and BWH, respectively, while continuing their current roles as presidents of the physicians’ organizations (POs) at our academic medical centers.

“Mass General Brigham is home to the brightest minds in medicine, and these changes will allow us to harness the expertise across our two world-class academic medical centers to deliver the best care in the world and drive even more scientific breakthroughs,” said Scott Sperling, Chair of the Mass General Brigham Board. “This groundbreaking transformation has the unanimous support of the Mass General Brigham Board of Trustees.”

As part of this transformation, each new integrated clinical department will be led by a single chair. This is a critical step toward transforming patient experience, elevating quality and safety, clinical operations and better supporting our exceptional clinicians and researchers. The process will take place over the next several years. The timing for each department’s transformation will depend on many factors, including the size, complexity, and discipline of the Department.

The new disease-focused institutes will be designed around specific patient needs and conditions. These institutes will advance and facilitate interdisciplinary research and teaching by bringing together talented groups of physicians and scientists across Mass General Brigham to work together in service of patients. Department leadership, faculty and staff will have major voices in shaping these institutes.

The transformation will be guided by Dr. Brown in his newly created role providing leadership for our academic mission at both hospitals. Dr. Brown will work with O’Neil Britton, MD, Chief Integration Officer, Mass General Brigham to lead a multi-year transformation to single, unified departments across the two academic medical centers.

“Our two amazing academic medical centers are so similar - deeply committed to our four part mission – and bringing together the strengths of both will allow us to be much more impactful in service of our patients,” said Dr. Brown. “And we intend to do that with an eye toward making the delivery of care easier for our clinicians and staff.”

As PO presidents, Drs. Boland and del Carmen have spent the last several years working closely with faculty across our academic medical centers to improve the delivery of care and support our clinicians. These newly combined roles leading both the POs and hospitals will enable a strong focus on the health and wellness of our faculty, nurses, clinicians and staff. This combined role will elevate the voices of our faculty in shaping how we work and operate as a system.

“I believe with this new combined role, there is an even greater opportunity to engage with our physicians, helping them shape our future,” said Dr. Boland. “Our goal is to work collectively to bring seamless care to patients throughout our enterprise, such that we can deliver the best care, every time in every place, to every patient.”

“At the end of the day, our doctors and clinicians are here because they want to take care of patients. This new structure gives us the chance to harness our collective talent to build on our progress for the future,” said Dr. del Carmen. “At the center of all of this is the care that we give our patients, which guides all the work we do.”

This transformation will be guided by an inclusive process that is informed by the insights and perspectives of our people – physicians, nurses, advanced practice providers, researchers, educators, staff, and caregivers. It will adhere to the principles of the process that has guided the development of Mass General Brigham Cancer, elevating the voices of our people and encouraging collaboration and engagement.

Mass General Brigham leaders underscored that this step will help us build on our strengths and enhance our capacity to deliver on our four-part mission of excellent patient care, groundbreaking research, world-class education, and commitment to our community.

“This new chapter in the history of our renowned hospitals will combine the best of our great traditions with a dynamic new system that will enable us to continue to deliver on our mission for years to come,” said Dr. Brown.

“When we come together for our patients and each other, there is no limit to what we can achieve,” said Dr. Klibanski. 


About Mass General Brigham

Mass General Brigham is an integrated academic health care system, uniting great minds to solve the hardest problems in medicine for our communities and the world. Mass General Brigham connects a full continuum of care across a system of academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care, and long-term care services. Mass General Brigham is a nonprofit organization committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Mass General Brigham is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations with several Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals. For more information, please visit