Boston Medical Center Milestones


The Boston Female Medical College is established as the first medical school created for educating women physicians. It later became the New England Female Medical College.


Samuel Shattuck, known as the Father of Public Health, is the primary author of the "Report of the Sanitary Commission of Massachusetts."


Boston University merges with the New England Female Medical College to establish the Boston University School of Medicine.


Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller, who would become the nation's first black psychiatrist, graduates from the BUSM. A pioneer in Alzheimer's research, Dr. Fuller was an early proponent of minority recruitment. 


Dr. Sydney Gellis becomes Chief of the Department of Pediatrics at Boston City Hospital. Dr. Gellis was the 1959 President of the Society for Pediatric Research and would late become Dean of BUSM in 1962.


Under the direction of Dr. Robert Klein, the Dept of Pediatrics at Boston City Hospital developed one of the first childhood lead poisoning programs in the nation. 


Dr. Joel Alpert becomes Chief of Pediatrics and in 1973 was awarded funding from RWJ to develop primary care residency training. Dr. Alpert and Dr. Alan Cohen then received the first Federal Funding for the first Primary Care Residency Training Program in the nation, and the Pediatrics Dept at Boston City Hospital developed a national reputation for residency training in primary care and community based pediatrics. 


Dr. Jerome Klein describes his work on occult bacteremia in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Klein was the 2002 recipient of the prestigious Maxwell Finland Award for Lifetime Achievement in Pediatric Infectious Disease. 


Dr. Barry Zuckerman establishes a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatric Fellowship Program that has subsequently trained over 35 leaders in DBP across the nation. 


Drs. Robert Needleman and Barry Zuckerman, with colleague Kathleen Fitzgerald Rice, begin Reach out and Read (ROR). In 1998, ROR received federal funding to establish a national model of literacy education promoted by pediatricians. Currently there are more than 4500 sites, serving more than 5 million children nationally. 28,000 pediatricians, nurses and other clinicians have been trained in the ROR strategy of early literacy. 


The Pediatric HIV program joins the NIH network to develop new approaches to the treatment and prevention of HIV. Under the leadership of Jerome Klein and Steve Pelton, the division participates in landmark studies of AZT in the newborn infant and helps to establish the Women and Infants study of vertical transmission. 


Hortensia Amaro establishes the MOM's Project, a community-based intervention program aimed at improving birth outcomes and reducing drug use among pregnant women by linking them with health-care services, social service supports, counseling and peer support.


Barry Zuckerman becomes Chief of Pediatrics and establishes the Family Advocacy Program. This unique collaboration between lawyers and pediatricians, now called the Medical-Legal Partnership for Children (MLPC), provides direct, proactive legal assistance in the clinical setting to families at Boston Medical Center. The MLPC also educates health care professionals to identify non-medical barriers to a patient's health and to incorporate advocacy as part of their treatment plan. In 2007 the Robert Wood Johnson and Kellogg Foundations provided support to establish the National Center of MLP to disseminate the model nationally. Presently there are over 220 MLP Programs. 

1994 With $40 million support from the Commonwealth Fund and other funds, Drs. Barry Zuckerman, Steven Parker, Marilyn Augustyn and Margot Kaplan-Sanoff developed and implemented Healthy Steps at 12 sites nationally.


Boston Combined Residency Program (BCRP) formed. 

1996 Boston Medical Center (BMC) is created by the merger of Boston City Hospital and University Hospital.


Project HEALTH (Helping Empower, Advocate and Lead through Health), currently called Health Leads was founded by Rebecca Onie as a collaboration of Harvard undergraduates and Boston Medical Center's Department of Pediatrics. It has grown to a network of college volunteers and health care mentors that aid urban children and families. 


Children's Sentinel Nutritional Assessment Program formed. CSNAP (currently renamed Children's Healthwatch) is a multisite surveillance program of children birth to 3 years of age that monitors the impact of economic conditions and public policies on the health and well-being of very young children.


Under the direction of Dr. Bobbi Philipp, BMC became the first hospital in New England to achieve Baby-Friendly status, fully implementing the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. 


Drs. Chi Huang and CC Lee establish the Global Child Health Initiative at Boston Medical Center and the BCRP. 


The Department of Pediatrics establishes the SPARK Center. The Spark Center (a merger of two innovative programs: the Children's AIDS Program and the Family Development Center) is a model childcare program offering comprehensive, integrated services for children and families whose lives are affected by medical, emotional and/or behavioral challenges. 


Boston University School of Medicine is designated as the new site for the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL). This is one of only four non-governmental Biosafety level 4 laboratories in North America. Designed to anticipate the research needs of investigators over the next 20 years, the lab engages in cutting-edge research into diagnostic tests, treatments and vaccines for emerging infectious diseases. 


During the first 10 years of its formal organization, 15 members of the Division of General Pediatrics received 18 career development awards from the NIH and various foundations. 


Boston University School of Medicine is awarded a Clinical and Translational Science Institute named the BU-BRIDGE from the NIH. The focus of this 7 million dollar award is to increase the amount of translational research done at BUSM/BMC.   

2009  Project HEALTH received a $2M grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support substantial growth of the Family Help Desk model in other institutions. Today, Project HEALTH's 600 college volunteers staff Family Help Desks in 6 cities that assist over 4,500 patients and their families annually in securing health related community resources. 


Drs. Julie Herlihy and Bob Vinci establish a 4-yr Child Global Health Residency in collaboration with the Center for Global Health and Development at the BU School of Public Health. 


Howard Bauchner, MD, is named the 16th Editor in Chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association.


Dr. Bob Vinci becomes the Chief of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and the Boston Univ School of Medicine.


Dr. Debra Frank is the recipient of the AMA 2013 Excellence in Medicine Award.


The Department of Pediatrics received the 2014 APA Health Care Delivery Award.

2015 Dr. Bob Vinci receives the Association of Pediatric Program Director’s Robert S. Holm Award, honoring an APPD member for extraordinary contributions in pediatric program director leadership and/or support of other directors as a mentor, advisor or role model at a national level through APPD.
2017 The Urban Health and Advocacy Track receives the Academic Pediatric Association’s Teaching Program Award, recognizing an outstanding general pediatric program. Programs must demonstrate excellence in educational teaching methods, acceptance by students and/or residents, acceptance by the community and the institution innovations and adaptability, or outstanding quality of the individuals trained in the program.