Massachusetts General Hospital has reached a momentous milestone through the establishment of 100 endowed chairs and scholars.

A recent gift, honoring the work of Isaac Schiff, MD, established the Minehan-Schiff Endowed Scholar in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Under the leadership of Jeffrey Ecker, MD, chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, this scholar provides funding to advance the highest quality patient care, research and education in the field of obstetrics and gynecology.

“We have opportunities that almost no one else ever gets and I am very grateful for that.”

“In addition to serving as one of the MGH’s highest honors, an endowed chair or scholar provides the recipient and his or her department with valuable resources to sustain innovative teaching and groundbreaking research for years to come,” said W. Gerald Austen, MD, chairman of the MGH Chiefs’ Council and co-chair of the hospital’s Philanthropy Program.

Honoring Outstanding Contributions

The MGH Endowed Chair and Scholar Program was founded in 2011 by Dr. Austen in collaboration with Development Office leadership. It honors and funds the work of the hospital’s outstanding researchers and clinicians. In 2014, the program was expanded to create the first MGH Endowed Chair in Nursing, and again in 2015 to create the first MGH Endowed Research Institute Chair.

Jeremy Ruskin, MD, founder and director emeritus of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service, was honored last year as the inaugural incumbent of the Omran Alomran Endowed Chair in Cardiology. “What this chair means to me is an opportunity to focus on two things: physiology and mentoring,” he said. “It’s pretty extraordinary to be doing what we are doing and where we are doing it. We have opportunities that almost no one else ever gets and I am very grateful for that.”

A Reservoir of Support

By supporting the MGH Endowed Chair and Scholar Program, donors become part of the permanent fabric of this institution.

By supporting the MGH Endowed Chair and Scholar Program, donors become part of the permanent fabric of this institution, providing our most gifted and prolific faculty and staff with a reservoir of support during the most productive period of their distinguished careers. Ultimately, chairs and scholars keep the hospital at the cutting-edge of research, teaching and care, and help to ensure that the department benefiting from such a gift is able to attract and retain the finest specialists.

In the past three years alone, one donor family has established four separate chairs. Four other donor families have each established two endowed chairs or scholars. These chairs or scholars support incumbents across the hospital.

Carlos Fernández-del Castillo, MD, director of the Pancreas and Biliary Surgery Program at Mass General, and inaugural incumbent of the Jorge and Darlene Pérez Endowed Chair in Surgery, shared how the chair holds great promise for the future of surgery. “I know now that because of this extraordinary gift, this combination of activities, the patient care, the teaching, and the research, will continue even if outside pressures are against it,” Dr. Fernández-del Castillo said.

To learn more about the MGH Endowed Chair and Scholar Program, please contact us

A version of this story first appeared in MGH Hotline.