Brigham and Women's Hospital

Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH, "The Brigham") is the second largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School and the largest hospital of the Longwood Medical and Academic Area in Boston, Massachusetts. Along with Massachusetts General Hospital, it is one of the two founding members of Partners HealthCare, the largest healthcare provider in Massachusetts. Brigham and Women's Hospital conducts the second largest hospital-based research program in the world, with an annual research budget of more than $630 million. Pioneering milestones at BWH include the world's first successful heart valve operation and the world's first solid organ transplant. Elizabeth Nabel is the current President of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Partners HealthCare
Location75 Francis Street
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Coordinates42°20′10″N 71°06′25″W
Hospital typeTeaching
Affiliated universityHarvard Medical School
Emergency departmentLevel I trauma center
HelipadFAA LID: MA39
ListsHospitals in Massachusetts

In 2019, Brigham and Women's ranked thirteenth in the annual U.S. News & World Report hospital rankings. Brigham was listed as the number two hospital in Massachusetts and Greater Boston. The hospital ranked in eleven adult specialties.[1]

Core service lines

  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center: The center brings together a cancer institute and a hospital, creating 13 specialized disease centers.
  • Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center.
  • Brigham and Women's Orthopedic and Arthritis Center: They specialize in research and therapies for bone and joint disease and injury.
  • Brigham and Women's Neurosciences Institute: The BWH Neurosciences Institute offers treatments for all diseases of the nervous system. The institute integrates neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry and neuroradiology, with advanced research and clinical trials.
  • Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women's Health: BWH specializes in high-risk obstetric care, newborn intensive care, infertility services, complex gynecologic surgery, and gender-specific care.[2]
  • Osher Center for Integrative Medicine including chiropractic care.

Quality and safety

In the early 1990s, BWH pioneered Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) to prevent medication errors. BWH has received patient safety awards for its electronic Medication Administration Record (eMAR) and bar-coding system, which places barcodes on patients' medications, name bands and nurses' badges. A nurse scans all three barcodes before administering a medication to ensure that each patient receives the correct medication and dosage at the correct time.[2][3]

The orthopedic surgery department focused on patients' satisfaction for those who received knee and hip replacements. Leaders in the department included John Wright, Mary Anne Kenyon, and Carolyn Beagan, but they gave little attention to holding costs down.[4]


In 2013 the BWH Biomedical Research Institute (BRI) received $630 million in research support from all sources. For over a decade, it has been one of the two hospitals receiving the most National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among independent hospitals in the United States. It employs over 3,300 researchers.

BRI has worked on regenerative medicine, designing nanoparticles to attack different types of cancer, and starting a clinical trial for a type of Alzheimer’s disease vaccine. BWH research also includes population studies including the Nurses’ Health Study and Physicians’ Health Study.[2]

The 21st century has seen dramatic shifts in the diagnostic and therapeutic approach to lung carcinomas, beginning with the discovery of EGFR mutations and their role in directing management with targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Since 2003 this has reshaped the approach at the molecular diagnostic testing center at the Brigham and Women's Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.[5]

In 2017, the hospital will host the first human clinical trials to reverse the ageing process using NAD+. The trials will be headed by biologist David Sinclair.[6]


Brigham and Women's represents the 1980 merger of three Harvard-affiliated Boston hospitals:

  • Peter Bent Brigham Hospital established in 1913
  • Robert Breck Brigham Hospital established in 1914
  • Boston Hospital for Women established in 1966 as a merger of:
    • Boston Lying-In Hospital established in 1832 as one of America’s first maternity hospitals
    • Free Hospital for Women established in 1875

In 1954, the Peter Bent Brigham hospital became the location for the first ever successful kidney transplant, performed by Joseph Murray, on Richard Herrick.

After a 10-year affiliation with Faulkner Hospital in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston, BWH merged with the community hospital in 2012 to form Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital.[7]

In April 2017, Brigham and Women’s announced they would be offering voluntary buyouts to 1,600 staff in an effort to control costs. The hospital is currently profitable, but this move was due to higher labor and other costs, while payments from insurance companies are projected to have little to no increase. The hospital also needs to pay for two large projects, a $550 million new outpatient and research building that opened last year and a $335 million new software system that launched in 2015.[8]

Also in April 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts announced that Brigham and Women’s Hospital and their non-profit hospital and physicians network, Partners HealthCare, agreed to pay a $10 million fine to resolve allegations that a stem cell research lab fraudulently obtained federal grant funding.[9]


  1. "Brigham and Women's Hospital". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved 2019-07-30.
  2. "Boston Hospital & Medical Center - Brigham and Women's Hospital". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  3. Thomas W. Cooley, et al. "Implementation of computerized prescriber order entry in four academic medical centers," American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (12/15/2012) 69#24 pp 2166-2173
  4. "Patients Come First at Brigham and Women's Department of Orthopedic Surgery," Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, American Volume (March 2013) Special Report, Jeffrey Shyu, p17-23.
  5. Neal Lindeman, "Molecular Diagnostics of Lung Cancers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Technology in Rapid Evolution," Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine (Oct 2012) 136#10 pp 1198-1200
  6. "Scientists unveil a giant leap for anti-aging". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  7. Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (18 December 2013). "Preliminary Review of PHS Proposed Acquisition" (pdf). pp. 1, 5. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  8. McCluskey, Priyanka Dayal (2017-04-27). "Brigham and Women's offers buyouts to 1,600 workers". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  9. Finucane, Martin (2017-04-27). "Partners, Brigham and Women's to pay $10m in research fraud case". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
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