A $25 million gift from the Grayken family, the largest donation in BMC’s history and the largest private gift in the US in the last decade for addiction treatment and medicine, creates the BMC Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine.
This generous contribution will galvanize BMC’s efforts to combat the scourge of the nation’s addiction epidemic and make the center’s integrated research, training, prevention and treatment programs the standard by which all other such endeavors are measured.
The bold goal of the BMC Grayken Center is to become the premier health institution transforming creative programs into groundbreaking clinical care innovations and prevention strategies, driving efforts to end the crisis. As a leading academic institution shaping public policy on addiction disease treatment, the BMC Grayken Center team will train leaders in the field to disseminate best practices from these programs around the world. The work builds on BMC’s long history as one of the most comprehensive and influential treatment centers for addictions in the country, with tailored programs for the spectrum of types of patient and care settings.
This gift also represents a turning point in addiction funding. Despite the growing national crisis, raising significant money from individuals for addiction treatment was considered impossible. The Graykens have demonstrated tremendous leadership by donating substantially to a cause in desperate need of funding.
The timing could not be more critical. As addiction experts make progress, new threats emerge in real time –as they have achieved success in beginning to curb prescription opioids, heroin use has soared, quickly followed by heroin cut with fentanyl which began causing alarming numbers of deaths. More recently comes a threat of local emergence of carfentanil, a deadly elephant tranquilizer that may be too strong for naloxone, which is used to reverse opioid overdose in emergency situations. There is a need to make dramatic progress quickly, to build expertise and share it, and develop new approaches as deaths from the disease continue to rise.
Addiction Medicine Areas of Focus
BMC’s innovative and highly successful approaches are a result of hard earned experience, understanding what works and what doesn’t over the course of many years, and building on that knowledge, developing and testing new care models. As a result, many of these models are used in hospitals and community-based programs throughout the country. The Grayken Center will increase this reach, focusing on evidence-based care models, and bringing together the experts to establish metrics against which outcomes can be tracked and more advanced data and analytics infrastructure developed. The Center will enable BMC to scale these programs, export them to partners nationally and internationally, and in the process expand access to treatment and reduce the significant cost of the disease to the health care system.
Training and Prevention
Addiction experts at BMC work regularly with government officials and other partners to advise on how government could best address the rapidly increasing crisis. They have developed curriculum for physicians on safe prescribing, have worked with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to develop effective overdose prevention programs and been leaders in the work to expand access to naloxone to reverse opioid overdose. The Grayken Center will join with key government agencies and lawmakers to reduce barriers to addiction treatment. It will expand existing training programs for doctors, nurses and other clinicians on addiction medicine, and will develop educational materials for prescribers and other providers.
The Grayken Center will increase the pace of innovative research at BMC, already one of the most highly respected addictions research programs in the country, with a body of published work that has transformed addiction care. It will enable further multi-disciplinary research on new approaches examining innovative care models. The Center will serve as a clearing house, bringing together leading researchers to share their findings, the trends they are observing and their work. Given the swiftness with which addiction is growing and the rapidly escalating number of deaths, the pace of research breakthroughs must increase.
Boston is already established as the epicenter of medicine and healthcare. It’s where groundbreaking medical research is conducted, where cures are found, where innovative treatments are developed, and where the best clinicians are trained and engaged. The city’s academic medical centers enjoy international renown—as do the specialty hospitals in cancer, chronic diseases such as diabetes, and specific ailments such as blindness and deafness.
In turn, BMC’s leadership is central to the increasingly critical field of addiction medicine. For decades, it has led research, teaching, and clinical programming on substance-use disorders and their consequences. The hospital has become a national and international leader in addiction medicine, developing and replicating models for care with tailored treatment programs across the spectrum of patients and care settings. It is also one of the busiest, most comprehensive centers for addiction treatment in the country.
The Grayken Center will allow BMC to build on its 25-year history of developing groundbreaking models and replicating them to enhance patient care, and expand provider education and an unparalleled commitment to research, innovation and overcoming addiction.