Arvin Garg, MD and colleagues published the first validated tool to screen for Social Determinants of Health for Pediatrics.


1848 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.
1850 Samuel Shattuck, known as the Father of Public Health, is the primary author of the “Report of the Sanitary Commission of Massachusetts.”
1873 Boston University merges with the New England Female Medical College to establish the Boston University School of Medicine.
1897  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 the recruitment of students from minoritized and underrepresented groups.
1946  Dr. Sydney Gellis becomes Chief of Pediatrics at Boston City Hospital. Dr. Gellis was the 1959 President of the Society for Pediatric Research and would late become Dean of the medical school in 1962.
1970  Under the direction of Dr. Robert Klein, the Department of Pediatrics developed one of the first childhood lead poisoning programs in the nation.
1972  Dr. Joel Alpert becomes Chief of Pediatrics. In 1973 he is awarded funding from RWJ and the federal government to develop the nation’s first Primary Care Residency Training Program along with Dr. Alan Cohen. The Department develops a national reputation for residency training in primary care and community-based pediatrics.
1974  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.
1982  Barry Zuckerman MD received one of the eleven first funded Fellowship Training Program in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Funding continues 40 years later and has produced over 45 leaders in DBP.
1989  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.
1989  Barry Zuckerman MD was appointed to National Commission on Children by Senator Ted Kennedy; one of 36 members and the only pediatrician. Their report, two years later served as the basis for national policies to help children thrive.
1989  The Pediatric HIV program joins the NIH network to develop new approaches to the treatment and prevention of HIV. Under the leadership of Drs. 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.
1990  Dr. Hortensia Amaro establishes the MOM’s Project, a community-based intervention program aimed at improving birth outcomes and reducing substance use among pregnant women by linking them with health-care services, social service supports, counseling and peer support.
1990  The Child Witness to Violence project is launched by Betsy Groves, MSW and Barry Zuckerman, MD. In addition to counseling affected children, the program trains frontline professionals, police, and family court officials to recognize symptoms of trauma exposure amongst children.
1993  Barry Zuckerman becomes Chief of Pediatrics and establishes the Family Advocacy Program. This unique collaboration between lawyers and pediatricians, later called the Medical-Legal Partnership Boston (MLPB), provides direct legal assistance in clinical settings to families at Boston Medical Center. In the current era, the MLPB also educates health care professionals on how to identify non-medical barriers to a patient’s health and 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 the MLP to disseminate the model nationally. Presently there are over 220 MLP Programs.
1994 With $40 million in support from the Commonwealth and other funds, Drs. Barry Zuckerman, Steven Parker, Marilyn Augustyn and Margot Kaplan-Sanoff develop and implement Healthy Steps at 12 sites nationally.
1996  As BMC- and BCH-based residency program directors, respectively, Drs. Bob Vinci and Fred Lovejoy partner to form the Boston Combined Residency Program (BCRP)
1996 Boston Medical Center (BMC) is created by the merger of Boston City Hospital and University Hospital. Dr. Barry Zuckerman is appointed first Medical Director of BMC in addition to Department Chair to help implement the merger for the first two years.
1996 Rebecca Onie, a Harvard undergraduate, and Barry Zuckerman, MD start Project Health later renamed HealthLeads to help inner city families connect to needed resources through college volunteers. For leading a successful national dissemination, Rebecca won the prestigious MacArthur Genius Award.
1997 The Children’s Sentinel Nutritional Assessment Program led by Debbie Frank, MD, is formed. CSNAP (now 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.
1998 Xiaobin Wang, MD, MPH, PhD and Barry Zuckerman, MD received an initial grant to start the Boston Birth Cohort to study gene-environment interactions on preterm birth. With grants totaling more than $40M, Dr. Wang continues follow-up with expanded goals to include later health outcomes resulting in the largest and longest (ongoing) longitudinal follow up birth cohort of black mothers in the US resulting in over 170 publications.
1999 Under the direction of Dr. Bobbi Philipp, BMC becomes the first hospital in New England to achieve Baby-Friendly status, fully implementing the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
2003 BMC Pediatrics opens the first hospital-based preventive-care food pantry, now called the Nutrition Resource Center.
2004 Drs. Chi Huang and CC Lee establish the Global Child Health Initiative at Boston Medical Center and the BCRP.
2004 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.
2004 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.
2006  During the first 10 years of its formal organization, 15 members of the Division of General Pediatrics receive 18 career development awards from the NIH and various foundations.
2008  Boston University School of Medicine is awarded a $7M NIH Clinical and Translational Science Institute named the BU-BRIDGE to increase the amount of translational research done at BUSM/BMC.
2009  Project HEALTH (HealthLeads) receives a $2M grant from RWJ to support dissemination of the Family Help Desk model nationally. Today, HealthLeads’ 600 college volunteers staff Family Help Desks in 6 cities that assist over 4,500 patient families annually in securing health related community resources.
2011  Department faculty member, Dr. Howard Bauchner, is named the 16th Editor in Chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
2013 Dr. Bob Vinci becomes the Chief of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center.
2013 Dr. Debra Frank is the recipient of the AMA 2013 Excellence in Medicine Award.
2014 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 the national level.
2015 Dr. Barry Zuckerman was awarded the prestigious Joseph St. Geme Award given by all major Pediatric organizations for outstanding leadership in Academic Pediatrics.
2015 Arvin Garg, MD and colleagues published the first validated tool to screen for Social Determinants of Health for Pediatrics.
2015 Lucy Marcil and Michael Hole begin StreetCred, a program that co-locates free tax services in the BMC pediatric outpatient clinic with the goal of ensuring all eligible families receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the proven anti-poverty measures in the US. Since 2016, StreetCred has returned more than $1.6 million to Boston families.
2016 Michael Silverstein, MD was appointed to US Preventive Health Services Task force and later became its Chair.
2017 The Urban Health and Advocacy Track (now LEAD) 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.
2017 Eileen Costello leads the development of the SOFAR clinic, an interdisciplinary and multi-generational clinic dedicated to caring for parents with substance use disorder and their infants affected by neonatal abstinence syndrome.
2017 With a $25 million donation, the Grayken Center for Addiction is established at BMC and Michael Botticelli named its executive director.
2018 The Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family is founded by Megan Bair-Merritt, MD and colleagues within the Department of Pediatrics to achieve dramatic improvements in outcomes for children and families facing adversity. The Center lays out a plan to achieve having all children seen at BMC be “healthy and ready to learn by 5” by 2028. The Center works towards this goal through its novel “Practice of the Future,” which leverages fundamental system change, new and scaled health delivery approaches, and collaboration with families, interdisciplinary colleagues, communities and other family-serving sectors.
2019 BMC is one of four institutions selected nationally to receive nearly $90M in federal funding to substantially reduce opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts.
2021 BUSM ranks #30 in research and #41 in primary care in the 2021 US News and World Report rankings of the nation’s best graduate schools with the Department of Pediatrics ranked #26 in 2020.
2021 BMC launches city-wide vaccination effort in collaboration with local organizations, local faith-based organizations, community organizations and health centers (see videoto address vaccine distrust, inequitable distribution of vaccine sites, and vaccination rates in Black and Latinx communities. Through this work, BMC vaccinated 4x the number Black community members as compared to the state, and 2X as many Latinx members.
2021 The Department of Pediatrics Mobile Vaccine Unit, created in the pandemic to deliver vaccines to patients who were no longer able to come into the hospital, has grown and transformed this year, now additionally operating in partnership with our colleagues from the Department of OBGYN to deliver multi-generational newborn visits for infants, mothers, and parents
2022 BMC launches the Health Equity Accelerator with the intention of partnering with the broader community to transform healthcare and eliminate disparities for Black and Latino/a patients. In its first year, Accelerator teams engaged more than 15,000 patients in health equity projects, participated in more than a dozen community events, held over 400 COVID vaccine popups in the community, created over 600 jobs for the community, invested $1M in local businesses, launched programs to support Black pregnant patients, launched efforts to address inequities in diabetes and cancer care, and invested in health equity research and medical education.
2022 Long-time BMC CEO, Kate Walsh, is appointed as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services for Massachusetts. BMC faculty member, Dr. Eileen Costello is selected to serve as the Medical Director for the state’s Department of Children and Families.
2023 BMC noted to be the #4 most racially inclusive and #4 most socially responsible hospital in the U.S. (and #1 in Massachusetts for both) by the Lown Institute and an LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader by the Human Rights Campaign. BMC also earns a Leapfrog Patient Safety A-grade, one of few peer safety net hospitals nationwide to do so.
2023 Drs. Barry Zuckerman and Cyndie Hatcher develop and disseminate nationally an innovative digital tool to help implement new AAP policy of Early Relational Health for primary care.
2023 Elijah Paintsil, MD is appointed as Chief of Pediatrics.