The Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation

The Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation

Melinda Eddie, Grace Chen, Tim Altendorf, Crissy Cambino, Molly Zuccaro, Audrey Epstein Reny, and Justin Berneburg were among 48 Stepping Strong runners who raised more than $550K on Marathon Monday

The Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation


After the Reny family established the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center in February 2014, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, its physicians, and community leaders have hosted many meaningful events that helped establish the Center as a major presence in the hospital and beyond. Learn more about hosting a third-party event to benefit the Stepping Strong Center.

Stepping Strong by the Year

2017 Events

Winter 2017

  • On Wednesday, January 25, more than 180 people gathered in BWH’s new Building for Transformative Medicine (BTM) to celebrate the official opening of The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation. Read more

2016 Events

Fall 2016

  • More than 2,600 people from all 50 states and 56 countries cast their votes to chart the course of trauma research in the third annual Stepping Strong Innovator Awards competition. Congratulations to Mike Weaver, MD, for winning $100,000 for a project entitled, “21st Century Tools to Measure Bone Healing.”
  • The second of two $100,000 Stepping Strong Innovator Awards grants was awarded on November 2 to Abdi Reza, MD, for developing an innovative approach to managing wounds for burn patients. Reza collaborated with Stepping Strong Research Scholar Dennis Orgill, MD, PhD.

Summer 2016

  • After six months of exploring challenges in trauma care and developing solutions to those challenges, three project teams were selected to compete in the 2017 Stepping Strong Innovator Awards public voting competition. Thanks to BWH’s iHub for their collaboration in this special series.
  • On August 21, 22 members of the Stepping Strong Falmouth Road Race Team raised $16,000. Sincere thanks to runners for their participation and support, which is turning tragedy into hope worldwide.
  • Giorgio Giatsidis, MD, was appointed as the Stepping Strong Plastic Surgery Fellow in July. Giatsidis is collaborating with Dennis P. Orgill, MD, PhD, Indranil Sinha, MD, and other physicians and scientists at the Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation.
  • On June 26, 22 Stepping Strong runners joined a field of more than 9,000 participants in the B.A.A. 10K race, raising more than $10,000 to advance trauma research and care.

Spring 2016

  • Mitchel B. Harris, MD, chief of orthopedic trauma at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a Stepping Strong Research Scholar, was honored as the inaugural incumbent of the Stepping Strong Distinguished Chair in Orthopedic Surgery on June 13.
  • Audrey Epstein Reny was honored with the 2016 Jack Connors Jr. Volunteer Award for Excellence in Philanthropy on April 19. Audrey was cited for her tireless commitment and leadership on behalf of Stepping Strong.

Winter 2016

  • On January 7, during the second annual Stepping Strong Innovator Awards Council meeting, BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD, announced the establishment of the Stepping Strong Trauma Center. The center will be located in the new Brigham Building for the Future, which is expected to open in September 2016.
  • Stepping Strong Research Scholar Mitchel B. Harris, MD, was named as the inaugural Stepping Strong Distinguished Chair in Orthopedic Surgery. In his new role, Dr. Harris will direct the Stepping Strong Trauma Center.
  • On January 13, the 2014 Stepping Strong Innovator Awards recipients updated colleagues and the public on their progress during a Grand Rounds event. Drs. Matthew Carty, George Dyer, and Indranil Sinha described their winning projects and outlined plans to seek government funding that will allow them to continue their research.

2015 Events

Fall 2015

  • More than 80 donors and medical leaders, including BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD, attended the Stepping Strong Innovator Awards Meet the Finalists event on September 21.
  • On October 7, after a rigorous four-month process that drew votes from all 50 states and 74 countries, Bohdan Pomahac, MD, was declared the winner of the first of two 2015 Stepping Strong Innovator Awards. There was also a surprise announcement that day— Read more
  • Twenty-five cycling enthusiasts, including two of Gillian’s doctors and one ER nurse, raised nearly $3,500 to advance trauma research and care at a Cyc Boston spin class.

Summer 2015

  • On Sunday, August 16, 30 Stepping Strong runners braved the heat and crossed the finish line at the 43rd annual New Balance Falmouth Road Race, raising $17,000.

Spring 2015

  • The newly-formed Stepping Strong Innovator Awards Council met for the first time on June 2 to discuss the Stepping Strong Innovator Awards competition and ways to ensure the program’s long-term sustainability. BWH President Dr. Betsy Nabel welcomed the 23 participants and the inaugural Innovator Awards winners presented updates on their research projects.
  • Thanks to an online auction that raised $10,000 for Stepping Strong, a lucky winner will  host a dinner for 20, featuring six of Boston’s top celebrity chefs. Special thanks to the Beehive and Chef Marc Orfaly for helping to organize the auction.
  • The sixth grade class at Spofford Pond Elementary School raised $838 through fundraising activities on Spirit Day.
  • For the second consecutive year, Stepping Strong benefitted from a 50-50 raffle at a Boston Celtics game, raising $5,000 with the help 50 volunteers and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation.
  • Singer/songwriter Carol Hamblet Adams is donating 100 percent of proceeds from her CD, “Boston Strong, Boston Proud,” to Stepping Strong. The CD release party in April yielded $1,300, and the song is available for 99 cents on iTunes.
  • Harpoon Brewery and New Balance teamed up to produce a small-batch offering for marathon weekend. A dollar from every pint purchased was donated to Stepping Strong
  • The Beehive Restaurant donated 100 percent of their proceeds to the center on Marathon Monday.
  • Marathon Sports held a Stepping Strong raffle on One Boston Day, raising more than $2,000.

Winter 2015

  • Students at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School raised $340 through the Lower School Book Bonanza in February.
  • Fifty-five biking enthusiasts raised $10,000 at a SoulCycle event in Chestnut Hill in February.
  • The Stepping Strong team received the Partners in Excellence (PIE) award on January 12 in a ceremony at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The award honors excellence in teamwork, leadership, quality, and  efficiency.

2014 Events

Fall 2014

  • Matthew Carty, MD, received the the first of two inaugural $100,000 Stepping Strong Innovator Awards grants on November 20. 4,100 people from 36 countries and 50 states voted in the competition. Read about Dr. Carty’s research project.
  • George Dyer, MD, received the second of the two Stepping Strong Innovator Awards grants in a closed-door presentation on December 1. Read about Dr. Dyer’s research project.
  • Stepping Strong donors and medical leaders, including finalists of the Stepping Strong Innovator Awards, gathered at Lafayette City Center on October 20.
  • Starwood Hotel held a Stepping Strong charity golf tournament on September 18.

Summer 2014

  • Twenty-three (23) runners ran for Stepping Strong at the Chilmark Road Race on Martha’s Vineyard.
  • Donors and members of the Stepping Strong medical team gathered to celebrate the early success of the Stepping Strong Center at BWH President Betsy Nabel’s home on September 15.
  • On July 16, Steven Reny and Audrey Epstein Reny joined academic and medical leaders at a Stepping Strong Grand Rounds meeting to discuss challenges and solutions for limb salvage, reconstruction, and regeneration.

Winter – Spring 2014

  • During the last home game of the season, the Boston Celtics honored Gillian’s doctors and nurses and held a record-breaking onsite raffle, raising more than $9,000.
  • More than 60 Stepping Strong runners participated in the Boston Athletic Association’s 5K race on April 19.
  • Fourteen (14) passionate Stepping Strong Boston Marathon team members—including two Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeons—ran their hearts out on April 21 in support of the center.
  • Buckingham Browne & Nichols students raised an impressive $10,000 at a school dance-a-thon.
  • The Harvard College women’s softball team sold Stepping Strong baseball hats, raising more than $1,400.
  • Lynnfield High School hosted a basketball tournament, raising $700.
  • A fraternity at the University of Pennsylvania raised $800 at their annual band party this past spring.
  • Harpoon Brewery hosted a public fundraiser, raising $25,000 in a gift-matching program.
  • Sweet Cupcakes baked limited-edition Stepping Strong cupcakes.
  • The Beehive hosted a Marathon Day fundraiser, contributing 100 percent of their profits to the Center.
  • Boston Ballet sold Stepping Strong merchandise and promoted the center to more than 70,000 patrons.

For information on making a leadership gift to The Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation, please contact Catherine J. Young at or 617-424-4316.