Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Place Boston Massachusetts, (US)
Care System Private
Hospital Type Teaching
Affiliated University Harvard University
Emergency Dept. Level I trauma center
Beds 585
Founded Deaconess - 1896, Beth Israel - 1916; Merged 1996
Website Homepage
See also Hospitals in Massachusetts

Both an international and regional referral center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, Massachusetts is a major teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. It was formed out of the 1996 merger of Beth Israel Hospital (founded in 1916) and New England Deaconess Hospital (founded in 1896). Among independent teaching hospitals, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is the third-largest recipient of biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health. Research funding totals nearly $150 million annually. BIDMC researchers run more than 1,000 active sponsored projects and 200 clinical trials. The Harvard-Thorndike General Clinical Research Center, the nation's oldest clinical research laboratory, has been located on this site since 1973. BIDMC is equally known for its outstanding, compassionate patient care, through a multidisciplinary effort from outstanding physicians, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists and social workers. It is considered a national leader in multiple clinical and research areas, including cardiovascular, renal, liver, pancreas, gastric motility, infectious disease, women's health, diabetes, cancer and minimally invasive surgery. The information technology services are among the best in the nation, from the cutting edge emergency room electronic dashboard to the integrated Web Online Medical Record. The surgical and procedural simulation center is a national model of excellence.

Located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, BIDMC is the flagship hospital of the Caregroup Healthcare System of Massachusetts and is consistently ranked as one of the best hospitals in the US in by U.S. News & World Report. It is one of the largest hospitals in New England, surpassed only by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, both also in Boston.

The President of BIDMC is Paul Levy, who assumed the role in late 2001.

Notable milestones in the history of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess include:

  • The first administration of insulin in New England occurred at Deaconess Hospital in 1922.
  • The first implantable cardiac pacemaker was developed at Beth Israel Hospital in 1960.
  • The first Rights of Patients statement in the nation implemented at Beth Israel Hospital in 1972 .
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), is discovered at Beth Israel Hospital in 1983.
  • The first successful liver transplant in New England was performed at the Deaconess Hospital in 1983.
  • The first baby conceived through in vitro fertilization in Massachusetts was delivered at Beth Israel Hospital in 1986.
  • The first evidence that abnormalities in the visual system of the brain could help explain problems of people with dyslexia was discovered by Beth Israel researchers in 1991.
  • New England's first minimally invasive coronary bypass surgery was performed at Deaconess Hospital in 1995.
  • The first deep brain stimulator implantation for the treatment of Parkinson's disease in New England was performed at Deaconess Hospital in 1995.
  • BIDMC performed the first adult live-donor liver transplant in New England in 1998.
  • A patent was issued in 1998 for the Cohn cardiac stabilizer, developed by BIDMC cardiothoracic surgeon William Cohn, M.D., allowing coronary artery bypass surgery to be performed without the use of a heart-lung machine.
  • BIDMC became the only clinical trial site in Boston to test a new therapeutic AIDS vaccine on normal, healthy adults in 2002.
  • In 2003, BIDMC joined a select list of hospitals nationally conducting the first clinical trial of the AbioCor® Implantable Replacement Heart.
  • In 2003, BIDMC researchers identified the source of preeclampsia , a life-threatening complication of pregnancy and one of the leading causes of maternal and infant mortality worldwide.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center sponsors numerous post-graduate medical residency programs in a variety of medical subspecialties including internal medicine, surgery, pathology, neurology and radiology.


Since the merger, the hospital consists of two campuses, the East (former Beth Israel) and the West (former Deaconess). The East Campus retained most primary care, inpatient, clinical and administrative functions, while the emergency department, inpatient care, the department of human resources, and many specialists are located on the West Campus.

The merger coincided with the completion of the ten-story Shapiro Clinical Center (at the corner of Brookline and Longwood Avenues, in space formerly occupied by the Massachusetts College of Art), which houses most of the hospital's outpatient services. The East Campus is located at 330 Brookline Avenue in the Longwood Medical Area.

The West Campus is nearly diagonally across the street, at 1 Deaconess Road. A number of other non-clinical, administrative offices (e.g. payroll, accounts payable, telecommunications) are located offsite in offices scattered throughout the area.


In addition to its clinical services, BIDMC supports a significant amount of clinical and bench research which takes place in labs throughout its two campuses, as well as research buildings of Harvard Medical School. Research investigators receive a substantial amount of funding from both NIH and private industry to support their work. The hospital ranks third in NIH funding in the United States for independent hospitals.

Senior Volunteer Workshop

The BIDMC Senior Volunteer Workshop is a weekly volunteer group of seniors who provide a variety of services to the Medical Center.The program began at Beth Israel Hospital many years ago. Started over 25 years ago by group supervisor Trudy Agress, the Workshop is an indispensable assett to a variety of departments, including Labor and Delivery, NICU, Anesthesia, Central Sterile Processing, Development, and Communications. Members of the Workshop enjoy monthly celebrations for a variety of occasions, such as Hanukkah/Christmas, Valentines Day, and annual recognitions by the hospital. Women over 55 who are interested in joining this Tuesday group should contact Volunteer Services at BIDMC. 617.667.3026

Notable Faculty and Alumni

  • Paul Zoll, first to describe technique of electrical cardioversion in humans. Namesake for the Zoll defibrillator.
  • William Silen, inspirational teacher and chairman of surgery
  • Herman Blumgart, former chairman of medicine, first to use nuclear tracer to image the heart
  • Roderick Mackinnon, Nobel prize in chemistry 2003
  • Stephen Bergman, aka Samuel Shem, author of The House of God
  • Robert C. Moellering, Jr, former chairman of medicine, influential figure in understanding mechanism of resistance to infectious diseases
  • Mark Josephson, chairman of cardiology, one of the most influential figures in the history of electrophysiology
  • Howard Hiatt, former chairman of medicine, one of the first to describe the role of messenger RNA
  • Jack Rowe, former chief of geriatrics, CEO of Aetna
  • Jerome Groopman, chief of experimental medicine, author of Anatomy of Hope


  • Beth Israel is the real name for the hospital called the "House of God" in Samuel Shem's novel House of God
  • Beth Israel was the first hospital to institute primary nursing
  • The Deaconess Hospital was founded by Methodist women full-time church workers, called deaconesses, who in 1896 erected a 15-bed hospital next to the home in which they lived.


External links

sr:Бет Исраел Диконес Медикал Центер