Thoughts on Outgoing Partners HealthCare President and CEO Dr. Gary Gottlieb’s Interest in the MGH Institute

Dec 8, 2014

As many of you are aware, Dr. Gary Gottlieb, president and CEO of Partners HealthCare, has decided to step down next July to become CEO of Partners in Health, a nationally recognized global health organization. For many of us, the news was a surprise, but we are grateful that Gary is not leaving the field of health care but instead has chosen to direct his passion and devote his talents to the compelling mission of Partners in Health: “to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need of them and to serve as an antidote to despair[for] the world’s poorest and sickest communities.”

Over the past 16 years, Dr. Gottlieb has fulfilled several leading roles in the Partners HealthCare system. A trained psychiatrist, he joined Partners in 1998 to lead Partners Psychiatry, and in 2000, was tapped to become president of North Shore Medical Center. He then went on to serve as president of McLean Hospital and later president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a position he held until 2010, when he was named president and CEO of Partners.

During his tenure at Partners, Dr. Gottlieb has been a tireless advocate for the highest quality of care for the people and communities that Partners serves. He also has been a strong supporter and advocate of the MGH Institute. Over the past five years, Dr. Gottlieb has personally ensured that the Institute is represented at the table on important and relevant issues affecting our future. His support, along with the support from the Partners Board and administrative leaders, has helped advance the Institute’s mission, growth, and impact as a vital member – and the only degree-granting entity – of the Partners network.

Dr. Gottlieb has personally taken a keen interest in our programs and students, and has been particularly pleased with the Institute’s many contributions to the community and those in need. He is always curious to hear details of our new initiatives, offering thoughtful advice and encouragement. This past spring, I was especially pleased when Dr. Gottlieb accepted my invitation to deliver the Institute’s Commencement address to our largest graduating class ever. He spoke eloquently, challenging the graduates to use their talents and skills to tackle critical issues in health care, while following their personal passions. Following his own personal passion is exactly what Dr. Gottlieb has chosen to do as he joins Partners in Health as its new leader. We are grateful for all Dr. Gottlieb has done for the Institute and wish him continued success as he embarks on his new direction in health care.

Excerpts from Dr. Gottlieb’s Commencement speech to the Class of 2014:

“Despite remarkable improvements in science and breathtaking advances in the care and rehabilitation of the very ill, we remain disturbed by the failures of our current system. We are appropriately concerned that health care costs will continue to crowd out our ability to support those who need us most today, while preventing critical investments in our future. Racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in health care outcomes and delivery continue to plague us and reflect perhaps the greatest failures of our system.

“However, since Massachusetts passed its health care bill in 2006, disparities in access to and use of care have significantly lessened, with 98 percent of the state’s adult and 99 percent of children now insured. This is clearly an important first step to real equity. And now that more than an additional 12 million Americans have health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, you will be the ones to deliver care to this growing insured population.

“You are our greatest opportunity to make good on the promise of humane, safe, and excellent health care that can and will be accountable to the demands and expectations of the people of the United States and other countries in which you choose to serve over the course of your magnificent careers. The opportunities for you in this environment are limitless.”


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