John Hancock and Mass General have strengthened their commitment to a partnership that supports child health, emergency preparedness and the MGH Boston Marathon Program.

A 21-year partnership between Massachusetts General Hospital and John Hancock grew stronger recently as the hospital named two important child health programs in honor of John Hancock’s forward-looking commitment to the Mass General Boston Marathon Team and the importance of wellness in early childhood to prevent disease.

Mass General Boston Marathon runners have raised $16.3 million for pediatric cancer and emergency response programs.

On July 25, 2018, a ceremony celebrating the partnership drew leaders from John Hancock and Mass General to the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation.

Peter L. Slavin, MD, president of Mass General expressed gratitude for the continuing support from John Hancock and conferred the new names to the two programs: the John Hancock Raising Healthy Hearts Program and the John Hancock Child Life and Wellness Program.

Going the Extra Mile

“This year, John Hancock has gone the extra mile and strengthened our partnership with its commitment to provide Mass General runners with marathon entries for three years,” Dr. Slavin told the audience of hospital and company leaders, runners and health professionals.

John Hancock has been the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon for 33 years. The company began providing Mass General runners with invitational entries to the race in 1998, when Mass General’s Pediatric Cancer team was formed. John Hancock also supports runners from Mass General’s Emergency Response Marathon Team, formed in 2014.  Since the Mass General Boston Marathon Program began, its runners have raised $16.3 million for the hospital’s pediatric cancer and emergency response programs. Thanks to John Hancock’s support, Mass General will receive 20 additional entries in 2019. The 20 new entries are designated to benefit Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Mass General program that helps veterans and their families deal with the invisible wounds of war.

In addition to its support for Mass General marathon runners, John Hancock bestowed a cash gift this year to support the newly named John Hancock Raising Healthy Hearts Program.

“Over the years, John Hancock has had no better marathon partner than MGH,” said Marianne Harrison, president and CEO of John Hancock, the US division of Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp. “The thoughtful programs we are here to celebrate will not only help improve health and wellness for many patients across Boston and the country but are important testaments to our collective commitment to healthier, more equitable communities in the long term.”

Protecting Children’s Hearts and Health

The John Hancock Child Life and Wellness program is dedicated to creating a comfortable, therapeutic and family-centered environment for children and adolescents coping with illness and medical treatment. Child life specialists work with children to help them gain a sense of mastery over their healthcare experience. Research has demonstrated that child life services improve quality and outcomes in pediatric care and help to contain costs by reducing the length of stay and decreasing the need for sedation and drugs.

Celebrating the naming of the new John Hancock Raising Healthy Hearts program, John Hancock leaders and program staff gather at the clinic. (The names of those photographed appear at the end of story.)
Celebrating the naming of the new John Hancock Raising Healthy Hearts program, John Hancock leaders and program staff gather at the clinic. (The names of those photographed appear at the end of story.)

The John Hancock Raising Healthy Hearts Program provides a holistic approach in children to prevent serious cardiac illness, such as heart attack and stroke. Cardiovascular disease and obesity are not only leading causes of disease in the adult population but also affect children who carry into adulthood risk factors such as high cholesterol, obesity and hypertension. To combat these factors, the John Hancock Raising Health Hearts team brings together pediatric cardiologists, gastroenterologists, a nutritionist, weight expert, psychologist, health coach and nurse practitioner to help manage and prevent serious cardiac illness in children.

“Medical care for children is chronically underfunded,” said Ronald Kleinman, MD, physician-in-chief at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. “Services that improve quality of life, including our child life specialists, art and music therapy and support groups are not covered by insurance, yet have an enormous impact on children and their families.” The Boston Marathon runners have been a steadfast source of support for these programs, he said, adding that the John Hancock Raising Healthy Hearts Program is another important example of a child-wellness program that will benefit.

Emergency Response Training

The visitors from John Hancock enjoyed a guided tour of hospital facilities including the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Clinic, the Raising Healthy Hearts Program, and the Emergency Department helipad.

In 2019, runners representing Mass General will carry on the tradition …

The Emergency Department formed a marathon team a year after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, when Mass General emergency responders mobilized to treat 39 injured runners and spectators. All survived.

“It wasn’t just a miracle that they survived,” David Brown, MD, chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine told the assembled guests, “Everyone knew what to do because of extensive training and preparation. The dollars raised from the marathon make that readiness possible.”

In 2019, runners representing Mass General are expected to carry on the tradition as part of the ongoing partnership between two of Boston’s flagship institutions, John Hancock and Mass General.

For more information about the Mass General partnership with John Hancock and the Boston Marathon, or to make a donation, please contact us.

Photo Captions

Top photo, from left: Ann Prestipino, senior vice president, Mass General Surgical and Anesthesia Services and Clinical Business Development; Dick DeWolfe, former chairman of John Hancock and Manulife Financial Services; Marianne Harrison, president and CEO, John Hancock; Diane Landers, COO, Manulife Asset Management; David Brown, MD, chief, Mass General Emergency Medicine; Britain W. Nicholson, MD, senior vice president, Mass General Development; Lori Pugsley, RN, nursing director, MHGfC Pediatrics; Tom Crohan, JD, AVP & counsel, John Hancock Corporate Responsibility & Government Relations; Anne Pizzano, MS, CCLS, MGHfC child life specialist.

Lower photo, back row, from left:  Oscar Benavidez, MD, MPP chief, MGHfC Division of Pediatric Cardiology; Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, chief, MGHfC General Academic Pediatrics, director, Pediatric Population Health Management; Tom Crohan, John Hancock; Eleanor (Ellie) Malloy, director, John Hancock Sponsorship Marketing; Dick DeWolfe; Rita German, community investment program manager, John Hancock Corporate Responsibility; Britain Nicholson MD; Jenna Harrison, daughter of Marianne Harrison; Marianne Harrison, John Hancock; Ashley Wheeler, program manager, John Hancock Corporate Responsibility; Diane Landers, Manulife Asset Management; Avinash Masih, staff assistant, MGHfC Pediatric Cardiology.

Lower photo, front row, from left: Manuella Lahoud-Rahme, MD, MGHfC Pediatric Cardiology; Puneeta Arya, MD, director, MGHfC Pediatric Preventive Cardiology and Metabolic Clinic; Yocelin Cordones, administrative coordinator, MGHfC Pediatric Cardiology; Angela West, medical assistant, phlebotomist, MGHfC Pediatric Cardiology; Joanna Neas, RN, MGHfC Pediatric Cardiology; Katia Canenguez, PhD, EdM, cardiac behavioral health specialist, MGHfC Pediatric Cardiology; Ines Castro, health coach, MGHfC Pediatric Cardiology; Avinash Masih, staff assistant, MGHfC Pediatric Cardiology.