A City United, A System Prepared

Marc Fucarile and David Crandell (Photo: J. Kiely)

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital patient Marc Fucarile and Dr. David Crandell

On April 15, 2013, Dr. David King finished running the Boston Marathon – and then rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital to operate on 15 people over the following 30 hours. The trauma surgeon’s story is just one of many others like it: doctors and nurses who heard news of the bombs at the marathon and hurried to their hospitals to treat the wounded.

MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospital each treated 39 patients injured at the marathon, and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital treated 17.  Across the city, paramedics, firefighters, police, doctors, nurses and countless others worked as one to make sure that every patient who arrived at a hospital survived.

Adam Barrett, RN, was in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at MGH on April 15. “It became very clear to me that day that a major part of our role in all areas of care delivery is to always expect the unexpected and to not allow those situations to rattle you,” he said. “There were many staff who were off that day who did not even call to see if we needed extra staff – they just came in.”

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Tags: community, coordinated care

South Shore Hospital: What We Can Learn from the Closure of North Adams Regional Hospital

It has been exactly two years since South Shore Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Partners HealthCare made public their collective vision for a more coordinated, more accessible and cost-effective health care system for patients in southeastern Massachusetts.

Today, The Boston Globe published this opinion piece by South Shore Hospital’s president, Richard Aubut, RN, which highlights the recent closing of North Adams Regional Hospital as a reminder that community hospitals must adapt to the new era of health reform or they may not survive.

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Tags: community, industry interactions

Workforce Wednesdays: Henock Celestin



In 2011, Henock Celestin decided that he wanted to jumpstart his educational pursuits. He learned about the pre-college preparatory classes offered through Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital where he has worked for 8 years. In July of 2012, Henock completed the pre-college classes, which taught him skills in math, reading/writing and communication, teamwork and conflict resolution.

Today, Henock is a Technician in Central Sterile Processing at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and is enrolled part-time in a surgical technician program. Ultimately, his goal is to continue his education to become an OR nurse. “The work I am putting in now is extremely challenging, but it will lead me to many successes in my life, and that is the greatest legacy I can leave for my children.”

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Tags: creating jobs

Profiles in Compassion: Maggie Beiser

Maggie Beiser

The Kraft Practitioner Program

The Kraft Practitioner Program is a two-year program aimed at better enabling community health centers to recruit and retain talented physicians and masters-prepared nurses by providing leadership development, mentorship and structured learning opportunities for top-performing community health center clinicians.

A highlight of the Kraft Practitioner experience is the independent project that each clinician pursues over the program’s two years. Support from the Kraft Center enables Kraft Practitioners to step away from their clinical responsibilities for one day each week to dig into projects that both interest the Kraft Practitioner and address the health needs of the community.

The latest in our series of Kraft Practitioner Spotlights features Marguerite (Maggie) Beiser, NP and her work at the Boston HealthCare for the Homeless Program.

Meet Maggie Beiser

When Maggie Beiser got her first job as a nurse practitioner at the Boston HealthCare for the Homeless Program (BHCHP), she had a hunch she would stick around for awhile. What she didn’t quite realize when she started, however, was the tremendous opportunities that this very unique community health center, which holds as its singular mission ensuring access to high quality health care for those experiencing homelessness in greater Boston, would offer her to keep learning and growing.

“Our patients are complex,” she explained, adding: “Doing primary care is hard wherever you are. It’s the patients that make it exciting.”

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Tags: community, community partnerships

A Patient’s Transformation Through Population Health Management

Dr. Nadaa Ali and Normie AllenDr. Nadaa Ali and patient Normie Allen

In the fall of 2012, Normie Allen of Roxbury wasn’t doing well. She was nearly 70 years old, and it seemed as though a combination of chronic ailments was going to overwhelm her.

First, there were her main conditions: diabetes and congestive heart failure. On top of that, she suffered from osteoarthritis in her knees. Combined with obesity, this was causing excruciating pain. She could barely walk, and often used a wheelchair.

Bill Theisen was getting concerned. Theisen is a nurse care manager who oversees Mrs. Allen’s treatment as part of the Integrated Care Management Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He noticed that she was showing up frequently at the Brigham emergency room for pain in her knees and injuries from falls. Those visits didn’t help treat the underlying causes of symptoms and injuries – and they were adding untold costs to her care.

“Mrs. Allen was probably one of the most complicated patients in my panel,” said Dr. Nadaa Ali, a third-year resident who is Mrs. Allen’s primary care physician. “She was frequently seen in the emergency room and admitted to the hospital for pain control due to her severe osteoarthritis. Often, she would call me in pain that was caused from coughing from too much fluid accumulating in her lungs due to congestive heart failure.”

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Tags: coordinated care, redesigning care

Workforce Wednesdays: Nicole Connelly



A mother of three young children, Nicole Connelly decided in 2008 to switch careers, go back to school and pursue her goal of becoming a registered nurse (RN). She took her prerequisite courses part-time in the evening, and then enrolled in a full-time nursing program where she received her associate’s degree and subsequently obtained her RN licensure. After becoming an RN, she was accepted into the New Graduate Nursing Program at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.

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Tags: creating jobs

Dr. Timothy Ferris on the Success of Population Health Management for ACOs

Tim Ferris: Accountable Care Organisations in practice from Nuffield Trust on Vimeo.

Our population health management initiatives promote better coordinated, more accessible patient care while also helping to control costs over the long-term. Earlier this month, Partners Vice President of Population Health Management Dr. Timothy Ferris discussed our approach with Dr. Rebecca Rosen, senior fellow at Nuffield Trust in the UK, during the Trust’s annual Health Policy Summit.

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Tags: affordability, coordinated care

Patriot Ledger Endorses South Shore Hospital Partnership

In an editorial published today, The Patriot Ledger wrote that our proposed merger with South Shore Hospital in Weymouth would enable the hospital to serve a broader population in the region.

The Quincy-based newspaper noted that existing clinical and development partnerships have already bolstered the ability of South Shore Hospital to address a wide range of community health needs.

In addition to further raising the quality of care provided at South Shore Hospital, we also project significant cost savings for patients.

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Tags: community partnerships

Partners HealthCare Celebrates 20 Years

H. Richard Nesson and J. Robert Buchanan

H. Richard Nesson, then-president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and J. Robert Buchanan, then-general director of Massachusetts General Hospital, shake hands to mark the founding of Partners HealthCare.

On March 18, 1994, Partners HealthCare was born, the realization of an agreement between Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The vision of those hospitals’ leaders was to build an integrated health care system that would excel in patient care, teaching, research and community service. At a December 8, 1993, press conference announcing the plan, then-BWH President Richard Nesson, MD, said the merger is about “how we can better serve the community and serve our mission.”

Since then the system has expanded and now includes more than a dozen acute, non-acute and specialty hospitals, community physicians, partnerships with dozens of community health centers, and a managed care organization offering affordable care to the underserved.

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Tags: industry interactions

Workforce Wednesdays: The Cox Brothers



Karen Jones had been working in Information Systems at Partners HealthCare for a few years when she saw a system-wide email about the Partners in Career and Workforce Development program (PCWD) – a free job training and internship program – and she immediately thought of her son Zachary Cox and forwarded it to him.

Not only did that email engage Zachary in PCWD, but it eventually hooked his brother Kyle, too. Three years later, the Jones/Cox trio is keeping Partners HealthCare in their family: Karen and Zachary work in Partners Information Systems, and Kyle is a patient services coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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Tags: creating jobs

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