Journal Archive > 2002 > February

Interlocking strengths

A name change for New England Medical Center

Signaling a deepening relationship between Tufts University and the primary teaching hospital for its School of Medicine, Tufts has been added to the New England Medical Center's formal name. The downtown Boston teaching hospital, which includes the Floating Hospital for Children, will now be known as Tufts-New England Medical Center.

"Tufts University and New England Medical Center (NEMC) have enjoyed a long and uniquely close relationship," said NEMC Board Chairman Malcolm Sherman. "Together we have made important contributions to medical research and patient care. By more closely interlocking our strengths, we will create a powerful research engine that we hope will benefit medical advances for generations of patients to come."

Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow underscored the strong historical ties with the hospital. "Tufts has a longstanding and proud affiliation with the New England Medical Center," he said. "We look forward to exploring new ways in which our shared teaching and research enterprise could address some of today's most challenging health issues that are being aggressively addressed by our schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Nutrition Science and Policy."

NEMC was known as Tufts-New England Medical Center until the 1980s, when the names were separated. However, the relationship between NEMC, the Floating Hospital for Children and Tufts School of Medicine dates back to 1929. The confederation was formally approved by the Massachusetts legislature in February 1930.

Tufts' health sciences campus in Boston is adjacent to NEMC. Virtually all the chiefs of service at NEMC hold dual appointments at Tufts School of Medicine and chair the school's respective departments. It is a relationship that facilitates access to extensive educational opportunities in clinical care and research.

"I'm delighted that the Tufts name will once again appear alongside New England Medical Center," said Dr. John T. Harrington, dean of the School of Medicine. "When I arrived at Tufts in the mid-60s, that was the name of the hospital. I am glad to see the relationship reinvigorated, and I anticipate many benefits for both institutions."

New England Medical Center celebrated its bicentennial in 1996 and is the oldest permanent medical facility in New England. Its founding benefactors included Paul Revere and Sam Adams. The hospital has a history of pioneering medical advances, including the first demonstration of immunosuppression that paved the way for organ transplantation and the first preparation of the human growth hormone. The popular infant formula Similac was developed at the Floating Hospital in 1919 and is still used today to nourish babies worldwide. The Floating Hospital is home to the world's first pediatric trauma center, which pioneered the then-unconventional concept of allowing parents to stay overnight in the hospital with their sick children.

In 1997, NEMC merged with Lifespan, a five-member hospital network based in Rhode Island.