Leaders from hospitals and emergency medicine departments from coast to coast will convene in Boston today to attend the first ever Leaders of Essential Emergency Departments Conference, envisioned and led by Boston Medical Center (BMC). The conference will serve as a bold opportunity for emergency medicine leaders to reshape emergency care and provide innovative and equitable care for all.

On the heels of a three-year global pandemic, U.S. health systems are facing a shortage of healthcare workers, while treating a higher volume of patients in crisis. While these challenges hit all communities, they are felt the deepest by the historically underserved, urban populations and the hospitals that care for these communities. BMC imagined the Leaders of Essential Emergency Departments conference as a way to unite these healthcare providers and create an opportunity for them to share collective learnings that will empower all patients to thrive.

Following three days of discussion, the conferees from 15 essential hospitals will collaborate on forward-looking recommendations to improve patient care and contribute to vibrant communities, as they face growing crises in mental health, substance use disorder, and homelessness in their emergency departments.

“This is a critical time for emergency medicine in our country,” said Christian Arbelaez, MD, MPH, the Chief of Emergency Medicine at BMC and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine. “Emergency departments are the frontline for many of the most urgent issues facing healthcare and society. We saw emergency medicine meet the global pandemic with grit, resilience and innovation – qualities that will help us meet new health challenges through shared best practices, policy and innovation.”

As the convener and host of the conference, BMC has long been a thought leader in emergency medicine. Inspired by work in emergency medicine, BMC was one of the first hospitals in the nation to put wide-ranging supports in place for victims of violence through the Violence Intervention Advocacy Program, which provides counseling, job training and other wraparound care so patients can escape the cycle of violence. Recently, BMC redefined patient care in the Emergency Department by creating a multi-disciplinary Rapid Assessment Zone to improve patient flow and reduce crowding.

“The challenges we face at Boston Medical Center are shared by many other hospitals, and while difficult, they have led us to think differently about how we deliver healthcare to our patients,” said Alastair Bell, MD, MBA, President and Interim CEO of Boston Medical Center Health System. “As an innovator in emergency medicine and a national leader in health equity, BMC is honored to convene this conference. Through collaboration and shared experiences, we can identify solutions that will enhance the lives of all of our patients and help communities throughout the country thrive.”

Conference attendees includes: Boston Medical Center; Denver Health Medical Center; Grady Memorial Hospital; Ben Taub General Hospital; Hennepin Healthcare; Jackson Memorial Hospital; MetroHealth Medical Center; Jacobi Medical Center; Bellevue; Parkland Hospital; University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital; Zuckerberg San Francisco General; University of New Mexico Health; UMass Memorial Medical Center; and University of Washington Medical Center.

Speakers at the three-day conference will include: U.S. Senator Edward Markey; keynote speaker Purva Rawal, PhD, Chief Strategy Officer of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Center; Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, President and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals; John McDonough, DrPH, Professor of Health Policy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Vikas Saini, MD, President of the Lown Institute; and Alastair Bell, MD, MBA, President and Interim CEO of Boston Medical Center Health System.



About Boston Medical Center

Boston Medical Center models a new kind of excellence in healthcare, where innovative and equitable care empowers all patients to thrive. We combine world-class clinicians and cutting-edge treatments with compassionate, quality care, that extends beyond our walls. As an award-winning health equity leader, our diverse clinicians and staff interrogate racial disparities in care and partner with our community to dismantle systemic inequities. And as a national leader in research and the teaching affiliate for Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, we’re driving the future of care.

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