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Food is Medicine Gala 2017

Fifth Annual Food is Medicine Event Breaks Million-Meal Mark to Benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank

More than 250 people attended the fifth annual “Food is Medicine” gala in September, with proceeds benefitting The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). The gala raised $116,000 through sponsorships, donations, and a silent auction, providing the equivalent of 348,000 meals for hungry families in eastern Massachusetts. Since its inception, Food is Medicine has raised $445,000 for the GBFB, the equivalent of 1.3 million meals.

The gala is organized by the Department of Surgery Committee on Social Responsibility, in partnership with other BIDMC departments, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at BIDMC, and other organizations and individuals.

Food is Medicine 2017At the Food is Medicine gala (from left) Allen Hamdan, MD, Vice Chair of Surgery and Co-Chair of the department’s Committee on Social Responsibility, joins Catherine D’Amato, GBFB President and CEO; Kathryn Brodowski, MD, GBFB Director of Public Health and Research; and U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern. Dr. Hamdan founded the event five years ago and now serves as Chair of The Greater Boston Food Bank Board of Advisors.

Jean Cast, of Brockton, spoke eloquently about why supporting the GBFB is so important. “I am a senior on social security, and I could not afford the food I need to stay healthy without The Greater Boston Food Bank,” she said and described how her financial situation worsened in  the past year.

“My gout medication went from $8 a month to $120 a month,” she said, “Another medication went from $2 a month to $140 a month.” Unable to pay for food on top of rent, she began going to Catholic Charities, which partners with GBFB to distribute food. “The first time I got food from the food pantry I said to myself, ‘OK, I don’t have to go hungry today or tomorrow,’” Mrs. Cast said. “I take home meats, vegetables, fruits, and other healthy food.”

In keynote remarks, Congressman McGovern, a longstanding advocate for ending hunger in America, lauded GBFB. “You are a leader not only in Massachusetts, but for the rest of the country,” he said. He also praised BIDMC for its commitment to the cause. “The connection between food banks and hospitals is so important,” he said. “This type of partnership will eventually help us end hunger in this country.”

Donations of any amount are always welcome. To make a donation, visit Food Is Medicine.

2017 Co-Chairs

  • Carol and Howard Anderson
  • Elliot Chaikof, MD, PhD, Chair, BIDMC Department of Surgery
  • Allen Hamdan, MD, Vice Chair, BIDMC Department of Surgery
  • Peter Healy, President, BIDMC
  • Alexa B. Kimball, MD, President and CEO, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at BIDMC
  • Kevin Tabb, MD, CEO at BIDMC

Major Donors

Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians at BIDMC ($30,000)

  • Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine (Daniel Talmor, MD, Chief) *
  • Department of Surgery (Elliot Chaikof, MD, PhD, Chair) *
  • Department of Dermatology (Suzanne Olbricht, MD, Chair)
  • Department of Emergency Medicine (Richard Wolfe, MD, Chief)
  • Department of Medicine (Mark Zeidel, MD, Chair)
  • Department of Neonatology (DeWayne Pursley, MD, MPH, Chief)
  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Hope Ricciotti, MD, Chair)
  • Department of Orthopaedics (Mark Gebhardt, MD, Chief)
  • Department of Pathology (Jeffrey Saffitz, MD, PhD, Chair)
  • Department of Psychiatry (William Greenberg, MD, Chief)
  • Department of Radiation Oncology (Mary Ann Stevenson, MD, PhD, Chief)
  • Department of Radiology (Jonathan Kruskal, MD, PhD, Chair)

* Community Health Partners ($5,000)

30,000 Healthy Meals: Community Health Leaders ($10,000)

  • Carol and Howard Anderson
  • Robert and Cynthia Lepofsky

15,000 Healthy Meals: Community Health Partner ($5,000)

  • Stephen Kay and Lisbeth Tarlow                                                 

6,000 Healthy Meals: Community Health Sponsors ($2,000)

  • Boston Medical Center
  • CardioVascular Institute, BIDMC (Cynthia Phelan, RN, Executive Director)
  • CareGroup, Inc. (John Szum, Executive VP and CFO)
  • The Hamdan family
  • Daniel and Elizabeth Jick                              
  • Massachusetts Medical Society
  • Mount Auburn Hospital (Jeanette Clough, President and CEO)
  • Patient Care Services, BIDMC (Marsha Maurer, RN, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President)
  • Martha Pavlakis

Silent Auction Donors

  • Acquitaine Boston
  • ArtsEmerson
  • Boston Bruins
  • Boston Celtics
  • Boston Harbor Cruises
  • Boston Harbor Hotel
  • Boston Red Sox
  • Cafeteria Boston
  • Carlos Alvarez Floral
  • Celebrity Series Boston
  • The Charles Hotel
  • Eric Draeger and Beth Johnson
  • Flour Bakery
  • Grill 23
  • Allen Hamdan, MD
  • Sophia Hamdan
  • Hotel Commonwealth
  • ICA
  • David Liu, MD
  • Novara Restaurant
  • Charles Parsons, MD
  • Tasty Burger
  • Wachusett Mountain Ski Area
  • The Wang Center
  • XV Beacon Hotel