On October 19, Board Chair George Thibault and I were pleased to welcome more than 150 guests to the grand opening of the IMPACT Practice Center (IPC) housed at 2 Constitution Center. This incredible learning space will provide important clinical care to clients and through that care, educate our students as collaborative- and team-focused health care providers.

We know that health care professionals have not traditionally been educated in teams to provide care. As a result, care has often been fragmented, sometimes duplicative, costly, and without optimal outcomes. The Institute is committed to transform health care through the education of expert clinicians who will practice in teams and improve patient care, and our graduates are poised to transform health care delivery.

The design of the IPC reflects our belief that clinicians must be able to function as members of interprofessional teams and that their education, in the context of collaborative practice, is essential to their developing a broad understanding of the health care team. The Center has already been called an exemplar for educating health care professionals. To our knowledge, there is no other center devoted to interprofessional education of health care professionals.

The IPC also will be a valuable community resource to clients in need of health and rehabilitative services, families in need of support in caring for individuals with chronic conditions, and groups who will use the Community Room for education or activities. Charlestown and Boston area residents, from two to over 90 years old, can receive screening, rehabilitation, and education and support from an interprofessional team, regardless of their ability to pay. We currently provide more than $1 million of service annually. This new space, with dedicated pediatric room and an adult rehabilitation therapy space, will allow us to double the amount of service provided to Boston area residents. 

That evening, we were honored to welcome Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. He toured the IPC, meeting a cadre of student ambassadors who volunteered their time to speak to our guests at rooms throughout the Center. We also unveiled our first donor wall with over 500 names, celebrating gifts received to date this calendar year. 

Sheeba Arnold then spoke. Her son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and, after a year at another program without progress, they were referred to our Speech, Language and Literacy Center where, as she described movingly, “miracles happen.” Following her remarks, Mayor Walsh gave heartfelt remarks about the excellent work of the IHP in improving care for the citizens of Boston. He then officially cut the ribbon to open the Center. 

Thanks to the exceptional work of the Development team and the Communications team, it was a remarkable evening of educating the community about the IHP and celebrating the wonderful new space. 

Through generous individual and corporate sponsorships as well as ticket sales, we raised almost $200,000 at the event, which replaced our annual gala this year. 

The Center is a fitting tribute to our founders, whose inspirational vision for an interprofessional graduate school resulted in the MGH Institute of Health Professions. I know our students and the community will reap the benefits of this learning space for many years to come.