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The one hundred honoree: Kevin S. Emerick, MD

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The one hundred honoree: Kevin S. Emerick, MD

Mass General Giving

When Chuck Hurd met Kevin Emerick, MD, at Mass General, it was under stressful circumstances— he had a lump on the side of his neck that he was concerned about. Although Chuck was anxious, Dr. Emerick’s patience and understanding made him feel like he was the only patient Dr. Emerick was seeing that day. Chuck received a referral from Dr. Emerick to have a fine needle biopsy of the lump, and a week later, received a call from Dr. Emerick with his diagnosis: squamous cell carcinoma. Chuck was immediately reassured by Dr. Emerick’s calm but compassionate delivery of the diagnosis, sharing that they had caught the disease early, and that the course of action would be surgery, followed by a targeted treatment plan.

Following the successful surgery performed by Dr. Emerick, Chuck asked if another institution might be a better fit for his continuing care. He shares that Dr. Emerick told him, “Mr. Hurd, I want you to know this: whether you get treated here or at [another institution], you will be cured. I just want you to know that and I will be glad to be your surgeon either way.” Chuck reflects, “At that moment all my fear and anxiety melted away. I had my decision made: Dr. Emerick and the MGH team would be treating me — a decision that I look at as the best I’ve ever made, rivaled only by my decision to ask my wife, Karen, to marry me over 26 years ago.”

Today, Chuck is celebrating five years as a survivor with no trace of cancer, and credits his life and health to Dr. Emerick’s “calmness and candor” during his diagnosis and treatment.