Tufts Medical Center

Coordinates: 42°20′58″N 71°03′48″W / 42.34951°N 71.06331°W / 42.34951; -71.06331
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Tufts Medical Center
Tufts Medicine
LocationBoston, Massachusetts, United States
Coordinates42°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), a 15-building campus located in Boston, Massachusetts, is a downtown Boston hospital midway between Chinatown and the Boston Theater District.

The hospital is a community-based full service medical center. It is also the principal teaching hospital for Tufts University School of Medicine and the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where all full-time Tufts physicians hold faculty appointments. Tufts Medical Center is subdivided into a full-service adult hospital and the Tufts Children's Hospital, which closed in 2022[1] (formerly the Boston Floating Hospital for Children).

It is an integrated part of the TuftsMedicine Health System of which in addition to the Tufts Medical Center includes the hospitals Lowell General Hospital,Lawrence Memorial Hospital (Medford, MA) and MelroseWakefield Hospital, home health services, and physician networks.[2] [3][4]

It is also a major center for bio-medical research. Tufts Medical Center's Interim President is Phil Okala.[5][6][7] Tufts Medical Center is located within Boston, but also has satellite locations in the suburbs of Quincy, Chelmsford, Framingham, among others.


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. Modeled after a similar dispensary in London, the Boston Dispensary's mission was to provide subscription based, free medical care to the city's "worthy poor" in their homes. Early donors included Samuel Adams and Paul Revere.[8][9]

In 1894, the Boston Floating Hospital for Children was established by Rev. Rufus Tobey. The first ship, the Clifford, was lost in a fire on June 1, 1927.[10] After this, the floating hospital relocated to shore and became a permanent part of the Tufts Medical Center campus.[11]

At the time there was little medical help for the many, often fatal, childhood illness that befell infants and small children. Because many people believed in the cleansing and therapeutic qualities of sea air to improve health, Tobey thought that sending the sick children out onto Boston Harbor on a boat and having them be seen by a doctor would be very beneficial. The enterprise was successful from the start and 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 ship was destroyed in a fire, the hospital was relocated to two successive buildings onshore.[8]

The hospital's name has evolved over the years. The well known name of New England Medical Center was established in 1930 as a result of a union of the Boston Dispensary, the Boston Floating Hospital for Children and the Pratt Diagnostic Clinic. Tufts University School of Medicine joined as an affiliate. In 1968 it was renamed Tufts-New England Medical Center (Tufts-NEMC) to reflect the growing relationship between the hospital and the medical school. The affiliation agreement they adopted still stands.[12] The name was shortened to Tufts Medical Center on March 4, 2008.

Tufts Medical became a leader in heart transplants in 2016, and in December 2022 announced the relaunch of its liver transplant program which closed in 2007. The program is housed within the Abdominal Transplant Institute.[13]

In January 2022, it was announced that Tufts Medical Center closed the doors of its pediatric hospital after being open for 128 years.[14][15][16] The hospital's 41 pediatric beds were converted into adult ICU and medical/surgical beds and pediatric patients were sent to Boston Children's Hospital beginning in July.[16] Tufts nurses protested the closure.[17][18]

Numbers and revenue[edit]

In the fiscal year 2021, the hospital revenue was $1,371,166 million.[19]

As of 2021, the hospital had 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.[20]


Tufts MC has a history of achievement in scientific research and clinical advances. Of note was Tufts' research that led to the discovery of drugs that prevent the body's rejection of transplanted organs, coining the term "immunosuppression." Research 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.[20]


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.[21]
  • 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.[22]
  • In 2001, the first-in-the-nation transplant exchange program, "Hope Through Sharing" was established.[8]

Emergency medicine[edit]

The Emergency Department is equipped for the evaluation, resuscitation and stabilization of patients of all ages who present with acute illness or injury. The Tufts Children's Hospital 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).[23] The hospital has been verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level I trauma center since 2012,[23] 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.[24]


Tufts Medical Center is located in Boston's Chinatown, near many highways including Interstates 90 and 93. 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. ^ LeMoult, Craig (2022-01-20). "Tufts Medical Center plans to close its children's hospital". wgbh.org. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  2. ^ "About Tufts Medicine // Lowell General Hospital". www.lowellgeneral.org. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  3. ^ MelroseWakefield Healthcare
  4. ^ "Hallmark Health Joins Wellforce | Tufts Medical Center". www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  5. ^ www.bizjournals.com https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2024/03/29/two-top-executives-leave-tufts-medicine.html. Retrieved 2024-03-29. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "About Tufts Medical Center | Tufts Medicine". Retrieved 2024-03-20.
  7. ^ "6 things to know about Dr. Michael Wagner, CEO of Tufts". www.beckershospitalreview.com. 17 July 2017. Retrieved 2023-02-02.
  8. ^ a b c Revolutionary Care Then and Now: A History of Tufts-New England Medical Center Founded in 1796
  9. ^ Maron, Barry J. "Tufts Medical Center (Boston, MA)" (PDF). AHA Journals.
  10. ^ "12 Things You Didn't Know About The History Of Boston's Floating Hospital For Children". www.wbur.org. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 2023-02-17.
  11. ^ Ducharme, Jamie (2017-01-19). "TBT: When Tufts Floating Hospital Sailed the Boston Harbor". Boston Magazine. Retrieved 2023-02-17.
  12. ^ Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History. Ed. Anne Sauer
  13. ^ Phillips, Ariana (2022-12-06). "Tufts Medical Center relaunches liver transplant program after 15 years". The Tufts Daily. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  14. ^ Dayal McCluskey, Priyanka. "Tufts Medical Center will close its pediatric hospital after more than a century of treating sick kids - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  15. ^ Baumgaertner, Emily (2022-10-11). "As Hospitals Close Children's Units, Where Does That Leave Lachlan?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  16. ^ a b Cristantiello, Ross (2022-05-08). "What we know about the plans for patients and doctors as Tufts closes its children's hospital". www.boston.com. Retrieved 2023-02-24.
  17. ^ Sudborough, Susannah (2022-04-04). "'We're taking away 41 very essential beds': Nurses protest closure of Tufts Children's Hospital". www.boston.com. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  18. ^ Niezgoda, Abbey (2022-01-27). "Parents and Kids Push Back Against Plan to Close Tufts Children's Hospital". NBC Boston. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  19. ^ Dayal McCluskey, Priyanka (2017-07-13). "At Tufts Medical Center, pressure to cut costs in a city rich with hospitals". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  20. ^ a b "About Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA". www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org.
  21. ^ "The Unstoppable Frances Stern". Tufts Nutrition. 2019.
  22. ^ The Neely House, funded by the Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care Archived 2009-07-03 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ a b American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma
  24. ^ "Emergency Services in Boston | Tufts Medical Center". www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org.

External links[edit]