Friday, March 20, 2009

The doctors pitch in, too!

Jeff Krasner at the Boston Globe writes about the generosity of our doctors. Here's the note from Dr. Stuart Rosenberg, head of our 800-doctor faculty practice (HMFP), sent to the BIDMC community last evening:

By now, we all know about the enormous stresses on the world economy and the inevitable negative impact on the healthcare system including BIDMC. In the past week it has been announced that economies and cost savings will be necessary in order to continue the critical responsibilities BIDMC has to our community.

Yesterday evening, the BIDMC Department Chiefs of Service and HMFP took steps to demonstrate our support of the outstanding and loyal staff of the medical center. We created the "Physicians Support BIDMC Fund" to complement job preservation and budget efforts at the hospital. As a start, each of the 12 Chiefs and I have agreed to make a significant voluntary contribution to BIDMC for this purpose, the total of which is over $350,000.

We are also sending a letter to the entire BIDMC physician community, inviting them to make as generous a contribution as possible to this same effort. Although physicians are not employed by the hospital, our commitment to patients, teaching, and research are inextricably linked to BIDMC. Thus, just as medical center staff and colleagues are asked to make sacrifices, so shall we.

It is a privilege to be associated with so many fine individuals whose daily hard work and commitment add so much value to our community. Together we will come through this challenge stronger and better positioned to continue our important work.

7 comments:

Paul Levy said...

I have seen some emails already received in response to Dr. Rosenberg's note. I'll share a few here:

"I work in the emergency room at BIDMC and just wanted to take a moment to express my sincere thanks for the donation made by the BIDMC Department Chiefs of Service. I have always felt that the physicians I am fortunate enough to work with completely dispel the notion that doctors are discourteous to the support staff they work with.

"Whether I am laid off or not I will always be thankful for my time at BIDMC. My entire family obtains their medical care through BIDMC and this is in no small part due to the many talented physicians we have been fortunate enough to receive care from. The fact that people are willing to donate such a large sum of money just to help their coworkers is truly amazing, especially in an economy such as this. Thank you very much."
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"The dedication, commitment, and generosity of this staff has amazed me for the 19 years I've worked for BI and BIDMC. It's one of the reasons I would not even consider working elsewhere. Thank you to all!"
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"The email that just went out is a wonderful gesture by the faculty."

Anonymous said...

Is this salary dollars being paid back into BIDMC or operational funds/budget dollars rerouted into the hospital?

Paul Levy said...

The salary money being given up by the chiefs would otherwise have been paid by the hospital.

Anonymous said...

Paul,
A fine job. Truly honorable. Too bad the ego driven at MGH would not do the same.
Ashby C. Moncure M.D.

Anonymous said...

A creative and innovative approach. Not sure that the doctors/employees giving back is a sustainable long-term solution. How will this gesture impact the board of directors and other area philanthropists giving though? Best of luck to you.

Keith said...

Paul:
Don't want to make a big deal over a small point, but you said above that these dollars would have otherwise been paid by the hospital, but your blog post (and Globe article) read like its a fund that's donated into. Further in your blog you state "although physicians are not employed by the hospital..."
Can you just clarify a bit?
Congrats on getting your MDs on board.

Paul Levy said...

Thanks, Keith. For the chiefs of service, one-half of their salaries are reimbursed by the hospital to the faculty practice corporation. By foregoing a portion of their salaries, the hospital saves those funds.

In contrast, funds donated by the other MDs will go into a philanthropic fund at the hospital.

Hope this clarifies.