On Wednesday, October 11, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) hosted its first annual BWH Leadership Summit at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA. Attended by nearly 300 of BWH’s volunteer leadership and advisory board members, the event included remarks from BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD, followed by keynote dinner presentations from Maura Healey, attorney general of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Jeff Leiden, MD, PhD, CEO and president of Vertex.
Nabel opened by thanking guests for their generosity, guidance, and commitment to BWH’s mission. “Leadership is about social influence and we, all of us in this room, are using our collective influence to improve patient care, ignite discovery and innovation, educate the next generation of physicians and scientists, and improve the lives of our fellow citizens.”
Healey discussed the power of partnership and the bipartisan approach that sets Massachusetts apart. “I think about our legacy of leading when it comes to healthcare, and we are so lucky to be here in Massachusetts with the best providers in the world like the Brigham. We’ve got a real opportunity in this state when you think about the amazing assortment of intellect, of human capital, of innovation. I’m thrilled to be your partner in any way possible to further that work and continue doing everything we can to ensure everybody in the state has access to the care they need for themselves and their families.”
And Leiden, who trained at BWH, reflected on BWH’s unique approach to training physician-scientists and preparing future leaders, including Craig Thompson, MD, president of Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Rick Lifton, MD, PhD, president of Rockefeller University.
“It’s not a coincidence that people who have literally made breakthroughs across diseases from cancer to immunology to cardiology all trained in one place together over a similar period of time. The Brigham is one of the very, very few, maybe two or three places in the world, that do this training as well.”
Leiden concluded with a plea and a promise. “We need to support the Brigham, because we need that next generation of people. If we can support them, we will cure a number of cancers in the next 10 years. We will cure at least one neurodegenerative disease, I promise you, and we will cure multiple genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and sickle cell disease. But we’ll only do it if we have those unique physician-scientists, and they don’t come from many places. This is the one.”