Tufts Medical Center

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Tufts Medical Center
Tufts Medicine
Tufts Medical Center logo.jpg
Tufts Medical Center in Boston Massachusetts.jpg
LocationBoston, Massachusetts, United States
Coordinates42°20′58″N 71°03′48″W / 42.34951°N 71.06331°W / 42.34951; -71.06331Coordinates: 42°20′58″N 71°03′48″W / 42.34951°N 71.06331°W / 42.34951; -71.06331
Care systemPrivate
FundingNon-profit hospital
Affiliated universityTufts University School of Medicine
Emergency departmentLevel I trauma center
Opened1796 (as Boston Dispensary)
ListsHospitals in Massachusetts

Tufts Medical Center (until 2008 Tufts-New England Medical Center) in Boston, Massachusetts is a downtown Boston hospital occupying space between Chinatown and the Boston Theater District.

The hospital is a center for biomedical research and is the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine where all full-time Tufts MC physicians hold faculty appointments; the center is connected to Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Tufts Medical Center is subdivided into a full-service adult hospital and the Tufts Children's Hospital (originally a floating ship but presently on shore). Tufts Medical Center's president and CEO is Michael Tarnoff, MD.[1] Tufts Medical Center is based in Boston, MA but also has satellite locations in areas including Quincy, Chelmsford, Framingham, and others. The hospital also has partnerships with Lawrence General Hospital and Lowell General Hospital and MelroseWakefield Hospital.[2][3]


Tufts Medical Center's origins date back to 1796 when the Boston Dispensary was established as the first permanent medical facility in New England, and one of the first in the United States. Early donors included Paul Revere.[4]

In 1894, the Boston Floating Hospital was established by a Congregational minister, the Rev. Rufus Tobey. At the time, many believed in the cleansing and therapeutic qualities of sea air to improve health, and Tobey had heard of a hospital ship for children in New York. For the next 33 years, two successive ships were home to the hospital for children in Boston Harbor. In 1931, after the second Floating Hospital for Children ship was destroyed in a fire, the hospital was relocated to a permanent building onshore.[4]

New England Medical Center was established in 1930 as a union of the Boston Dispensary, the Boston Floating Hospital for Children, and the Trustees of Tufts College. The Pratt Diagnostic Clinic was added in 1946, and in 1950 when Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts University School of Dental Medicine relocated to Chinatown the name was expanded to New England Medical Center Hospital.[5]

In 1968 it was renamed Tufts-New England Medical Center (Tufts-NEMC) to reflect the growing relationship between the hospital and the university. In 1970, the NEMC board met with the Tufts Trustees to outline a cooperative agreement which remained in effect until the late 1970s when tensions between the organizations resulted in "Tufts" being dropped from the name.[5]

After a tense period of competition between the organizations during the 1980s, the NEMC board reached an agreement with the Tufts Trustees in 1991 and the name was changed back to Tufts-New England Medical Center. The affiliation agreement they adopted still stands.[5] The children's hospital still reflects its legacy in its name: Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.[6]

The name was shortened to Tufts Medical Center on March 4, 2008. A press release regarding the rebranding said:

The relationship between the hospital and the university is uniquely close given that both institutions operate independently and will continue to do so. Tufts University School of Medicine’s campus is located steps from the Medical Center in downtown Boston, as is the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences and the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Seventeen of the 18 Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) physician faculty chairs reside at Tufts Medical Center.[7]

Former Tufts Medical Center President and CEO Ellen Zane said the "added benefit of our new name is that it is shorter and easier to say and remember." The tag line for the advertising of the new name was "We've done a little surgery on our name."[7]

Tufts University's president, Anthony P. Monaco, M.D., Ph.D., and TUSM Dean Harris M. Berman, M.D. serve on the Medical Center's Board, with Dr. Wagner serving on TUSM's Board of Advisors.

Tufts Medical Center is a partner with Tufts University in the Clinical and Translational Research Institute, funded by a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.


On July 12, 2017, approximately 1,200 nurses, who were members of the Massachusetts Nurses Association, went on a one-day strike to protest staffing levels, wages, and retirement benefits.[8] The action became a lockout when some of the striking nurses were told they could not return to work for a period of four days.[9]


Tufts MC has a history of achievement in scientific research and clinical advances. Tufts research led to the discovery of drugs that prevent the body's rejection of transplanted organs, coining the term "immunosuppression," and also brought to light the link between obesity and heart disease. Tufts ranks among the top 5 percent of the nation's institutions that receive federal research funds.[10]


Tufts Medical Center and its predecessor institutions are responsible for numerous medical innovations, including:

  • In 1899, the Boston Dispensary established the first U.S. lung clinic.
  • In 1918, the Boston Dispensary established a food clinic which was the first of its kind; it is now the Frances Stern Nutrition Center.[11]
  • Around 1919, Dr. Alfred Bosworth invented a synthetic milk product for infants, known and sold today as Similac brand of infant formula.
  • In 1927, Dr. William Hinton perfected the diagnostic test for syphilis, which is still used today.
  • In 1952, the first preparation of human growth hormone was developed.
  • In 1958, the suppression of the body's immune system to avoid the rejection of transplanted tissue was demonstrated and the term "Immunosuppression" was coined.
  • In 1963, the Family Participation Unit was established, allowing parents to stay in the hospital overnight with their children.
  • In 1981, the world's first pediatric trauma center was established.
  • In 1997, the Neely House was established as a first-of-its-kind bed and breakfast-style home within the walls of the hospital. The facility hosts the families of adult and pediatric cancer patients.[12]
  • In 2001, the first-in-the-nation transplant exchange program, "Hope Through Sharing" was established.[4]
  • Ranked #6 among top Boston hospitals and #8 in Massachusetts in 2014 by US News


Tufts Medical Center has a total of 415 licensed beds: 206 medical/surgical beds, 48 adult intensive care beds, 57 pediatric beds, 50 pediatric and neonatal intensive care beds, 34 post-partum beds, 20 adult psychiatric beds, and 24 infant bassinets.[10]


In the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, the hospital had $974.5 million in revenue, with an operating loss of $2.6 million.[8]

Emergency medicine[edit]

The Emergency Department (ED) is equipped for the evaluation, resuscitation and stabilization of patients of all ages who present with acute illness or injury. The Floating Hospital for Children is the home of the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute and is a Level I Pediatric Trauma Center (the oldest pediatric trauma center in the country).[13] The hospital is now an adult trauma center as well, verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I trauma center in 2012,[13] one of 5 Boston adult trauma centers. Tufts Medical Center is part of the consortium of hospitals which operates Boston MedFlight, and is equipped with a rooftop helipad.[14]


The Tufts Medical Center MBTA Station is on the MBTA Orange Line and there is a connecting Silver Line stop beneath the overpass connecting the main atrium with Floating Hospital for Children.

Also within a short walking distance is Boylston station on the Green Line and South Station, a major transportation hub serving the MBTA Commuter Rail, MBTA Red Line, Greyhound Lines, Amtrak, and several Chinatown buses with links to New York City.


  1. ^ "Leadership at Tufts Medical Center". www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  2. ^ MelroseWakefield Healthcare
  3. ^ "Hallmark Health Joins Wellforce | Tufts Medical Center". www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  4. ^ a b c Revolutionary Care Then and Now: A History of Tufts-New England Medical Center Founded in 1796
  5. ^ a b c Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History. Ed. Anne Sauer
  6. ^ h"Floating Hospital for Children". Retrieved 2012-10-02.
  7. ^ a b Press Release
  8. ^ a b McCluskey, Priyanka Dayal (2017-07-13). "At Tufts Medical Center, pressure to cut costs in a city rich with hospitals". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  9. ^ Salinas, Sara; Sweeney, Emily (2017-07-13). "'We want to work': Nurses locked out at Tufts Medical Center". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  10. ^ a b "About Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA". www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org.
  11. ^ "The Unstoppable Frances Stern". Tufts Nutrition. 2019.
  12. ^ The Neely House, funded by the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care Archived 2009-07-03 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma
  14. ^ "Emergency Services in Boston | Tufts Medical Center". www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org.

External links[edit]