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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, Massachusetts is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. It was formed out of the 1996 merger of Beth Israel Hospital (founded in 1916) and New England Deaconess Hospital (founded in 1896). Among independent teaching hospitals, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center consistently ranks in the top three recipients of biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health.[3] Research funding totals nearly $200 million annually.[4] BIDMC researchers run more than 850 active sponsored projects and 200 clinical trials.[4] The Harvard-Thorndike General Clinical Research Center, the oldest clinical research laboratory in the United States, has been located on this site since 1973.[5]

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
CareGroup Healthcare System
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) logo.svg
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center East Campus.jpg
LocationBoston, Massachusetts, United States
Care systemPrivate
FundingNon-profit hospital
Hospital typeTeaching
Affiliated universityHarvard Medical School
Emergency departmentLevel I Trauma Center[1]
HelipadFAA LID 36MA
FoundedDeaconess – 1896, Beth Israel – 1916; Merged 1996
ListsHospitals in Massachusetts



Located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, BIDMC has consistently been ranked as one of the best hospitals in the US by U.S. News & World Report.[6] It is one of the largest hospitals in New England, is affiliated with Joslin Diabetes Center and is a research partner of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, the largest cancer institution in the country.[citation needed] The hospital is part of the Boston MedFlight consortium and supports a Level I trauma center through the use of its rooftop helipad.[3]

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has affiliates in the Boston-area towns of Needham, Milton, Plymouth, Chelsea and Lexington, as well as through numerous primary care practices and community health centers.

BIDMC is the official hospital of the Boston Red Sox[7] and under the 30+ year leadership of Mitchell T. Rabkin, M.D., was the first hospital in the nation to create and adopt a Patient Bill of Rights.[8]

The President and CEO of BIDMC is Kevin Tabb, M.D., who assumed the role in October 2011. Tabb came to BIDMC from Stanford Hospital & Clinics in Stanford, CA where he was the Chief Medical Officer (CMO).[citation needed]

CareGroup, Inc. is the parent non-profit holding company for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, Mount Auburn Hospital, and New England Baptist Hospital.[9]


New England Deaconess Hospital was founded In 1896 by Methodist deaconesses to care for Boston's residents.[10] The Methodist Deaconess movement, which started in Germany in 1836, was a group of women dedicating themselves to the care of the sick and the poor. The first 14-bed infirmary was opened in a converted five-story brownstone at 691 Massachusetts Avenue. Although the hospital was originally staffed by the Deaconesses, in 1922 it added a permanent medical and surgical staff. In 1927, the New England Deaconess Association opened the Palmer Memorial Hospital, a cancer treatment facility. During the 1960s, Deaconess' residency programs gained accreditation and it affiliated with Harvard Medical School. Deaconess had a leading role in the early studies of the cause, course and treatment of AIDS. Deaconess was also a pioneer in organ transplantation and immunological research.

During an era of religious separatism and anti-Semitism, Boston's Jewish community founded Beth Israel Hospital in 1916 to meet the needs of the growing Jewish immigrant population.[10] Its first hospital on Townsend Street in Roxbury held 45 beds. The new hospital addressed the needs of immigrants who spoke Yiddish without speaking English and for patients who kept a kosher diet. In 1928, Beth Israel established relationships with Tufts University and the Harvard Medical School and relocated to a new facility in the Longwood area of Boston. During the Depression, Beth Israel was one of only two hospitals in Boston that treated welfare recipients. Researchers at Beth Israel discovered vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in 1983.

The two neighboring hospitals merged in 1996, continuing the patient care, educational and research components of both predecessors.[4] In 2003, BIDMC researchers identified the source of preeclampsia, a life-threatening complication of pregnancy.

In January 2014, Jordan Hospital joined the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center family of hospitals and became Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth. It was founded in 1899 when a group of leading citizens from Plymouth saw a need to build a hospital to serve residents and pursued the idea of "a hospital on the hill". They approached retail tycoon, philanthropist, and summer resident Eben Jordan of the Jordan Marsh & Company who donated $20,000 to build was to become Jordan Hospital. In December 1903, Jordan Hospital opened its doors to the first patients and has remained a community hospital ever since. It remains a private, not-for-profit hospital serving the communities of Bourne, Carver, Duxbury, Halifax, Kingston, Lakeville, Pembroke, Plympton, Plymouth, Marshfield, Middleboro, Sandwich and Wareham.[11]

Boston Marathon BombingEdit

BIDMC received and cared for 21 victims from the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as receiving Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after he was arrested by police.[12][13] Of the 21 victims received, 17 had serious injuries and 7 required emergency surgery.[12] Tamerlan Tsarnaev was also brought to BIDMC where attempts were made to resuscitate him, and where he was ultimately pronounced dead.[14]

Possible merger with Lahey Hospital & Medical CenterEdit

In January 2017, The Boston Globe reported of a letter of intent for a merger between Beth Israel Deaconess and Lahey Hospital & Medical Center with this partnership creating the largest hospital merger in more than 20 years.[15] The combined system would be counteraction to Partners HealthCare, Massachusetts' largest network of hospitals and doctors with a market share of 22% in the eastern part of the state.[16]

In December 2017, a group called the Make Healthcare Affordable Coalition came out in opposition to the proposed merger of Lahey Health and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center stating that the “mega merger” would lead to higher costs and the closing of health clinics serving minority communities.[17]


Since the merger, the hospital has consisted of two campuses, the East (former Beth Israel) and the West (former Deaconess). The East Campus retained most primary care, outpatient, clinical and administrative functions, while the emergency department, inpatient care, the department of human resources, and many specialists are located on the West Campus. The medical center has more than 6,000 full-time employees.[18]

The merger coincided with the completion of the ten-story Clinical Center, located at the corner of Brookline and Longwood Avenues, in space formerly occupied by the Massachusetts College of Art. The Clinical Center houses most of the hospital's outpatient services. The East Campus is located at 330 Brookline Avenue in the Longwood Medical Area.

The nation's oldest clinical research laboratory, the Harvard–Thorndike Laboratory, has been at this site since 1973.[19]

The West Campus is nearly diagonally across the street, at 1 Deaconess Road. A number of other non-clinical, administrative offices (e.g. payroll, accounts payable, telecommunications) are located offsite in offices scattered throughout the area.

Major affiliatesEdit

In popular cultureEdit

A stylized version of Beth Israel Hospital serves as the setting for the novel The House of God, a satirical account of one physician's training in the Harvard medical system in the 1970s.[24]

Notable faculty and alumniEdit


  1. ^ "Trauma Centers". American College of Surgeons. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  2. ^ "Massachusetts Licensed Health Care Facility/Agency Listing". Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  3. ^ a b Stats and Facts - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  4. ^ a b c "Merger - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center". Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  5. ^ "Stats and Facts - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center". Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  6. ^ "Awards and Honors - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center". Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  7. ^ "Red Sox & BIDMC - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center". Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "CareGroup: Parent Company". Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  10. ^ a b "How it All Began - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center". Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  11. ^ Beth Israel Hospital Plymouth web site, 2014, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-09-28. Retrieved 2014-07-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ a b Gawande, Atul. "Why Boston's Hospitals Were Ready". Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  13. ^ Schwartzapfel, Beth. "Tending to Tsarnaev". Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Beth Israel Deaconess medical staff tried to revive suspect killed in shoot-out". Boston Globe. April 19, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  15. ^ McCluskey, Priyanka Dayal (2017-01-30). "Beth Israel, Lahey health systems agree to pursue merger". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  16. ^ "Newsflash: The Market Is Working". 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  17. ^ Leighton, Paul (2017-12-17). "Group opposes hospital merger". The Eagle-Tribune. Retrieved 2017-12-19.
  18. ^ "Stats and Facts | Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center". 2017-01-30. Archived from the original on 2017-01-30. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  19. ^ "Harvard Transfers Medical Research From Thorndike | News | The Harvard Crimson". 2017-02-14. Archived from the original on 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  20. ^ "Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | HMS". 2016-10-18. Archived from the original on 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  21. ^ "American College of Surgeons: Trauma Programs: Consultations/Verification Programs: Verified Trauma Centers". Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  22. ^ "Critical Care Transport Service". Boston MedFlight. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  23. ^ "About Our Affiliation - Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center". Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  24. ^ Markel, Howard (August 18, 2009). "A Book Doctors Can't Close". New York Times.
  25. ^ "Paul Maurice Zoll: Faculty of Medicine - Memorial Minute". Harvard Gazette. Archived from the original on 16 May 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  26. ^ "Roderick MacKinnon, M.D." The Rockefeller University. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  27. ^ "Dr. Jerome Groopman, 'Anatomy of Hope'". NPR. February 3, 2004. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  28. ^ "Dr. Jerome Groopman". Jerome Groopman. Archived from the original on 29 May 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.

External linksEdit