In honor of Ernesto Gonzalez-Martinez, MD, an award-winning dermatologist and social justice activist, Massachusetts General Hospital is establishing a new endowed fund: the Ernesto Gonzalez-Martinez, MD Endowed Advocacy Fund in Dermatology. Much of Dr. Gonzalez-Martinez’s work revolves around caring for the homeless population in Boston, which is why the fund will focus its efforts on advocacy for homeless people, social justice issues and the societal factors that directly impact dermatological health, such as environmental hazards and frequent exposure to harsh weather due to lack of housing.
“Ernesto’s legacy within the Dermatology Department is most inspiring,” says David Fisher, MD, PhD, Chair of Mass General’s Department of Dermatology. “Not only has he helped so many underserved people, but he has also encouraged the next generation of dermatologists to commit to this work and provide the best dermatological care to the homeless in Boston. Ernesto’s devotion to this cause and the clinicians he has mentored make me hopeful for a future where homelessness is a distant memory.”
“I’m very mindful of my social responsibility as a physician, and I’m working to encourage other people to feel the same way.”
Ernesto Gonzalez-Martinez, MD
In addition to seminars, lectures and other educational opportunities, the fund may also support dedicated fellows within the Dermatology Department, helping to cultivate and support the next generation of specialists as they embark on supporting underrepresented communities. Dr. Gonzalez-Martinez has been working in this arena for much of his life, most formally with the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program.
“I’m very mindful of my social responsibility as a physician, and I’m working to encourage other people to feel the same way,” Dr. Gonzalez-Martinez says. “If we elevate the discourse, we can eradicate homelessness here in Boston. We can make this world a better place for everyone.”
In the future, Dr. Gonzalez-Martinez hopes the fund will support an ambassador who can connect disparate local programs into a national movement of support and advocacy for people living without homes. With the integration of best practices and shared knowledge, Dr. Gonzalez-Martinez sees opportunities for action at a broad level across the U.S., where diverse communities can receive the best quality care.
To read a full Q&A with Dr. Gonzalez-Martinez — his childhood, his career, his advocacy and his vision — click here.