Giving Back to the Community
Department of Surgery's Committee on Social Responsibility
The Department of Surgery's Committee on Social
Responsibility, comprised of faculty, trainees, and staff, focuses on several
important areas of social responsibility: hunger, homelessness, human
trafficking, health equality, childhood education, and medical missions. The
committee is co-led by Surgery Vice Chairs Allen Hamdan, MD, Vascular Surgery,
and Ted James, MD, MS, FACS, Surgical Oncology, Emily Utaski, Surgery
Administration, and Jeffrey Dawson, Peri-Operative Services. The Harvard
Medical School Dean’s Community Service Award was presented to the Committee on
Social Responsibility in 2016 in recognition of the committee’s contributions.
The committee’s priorities are established through
discussion and consensus. You can learn more about our activities and partners
If you would like to learn more about the Committee on
Social Responsibility, please contact Jeffrey Dawson or Emily Utaski.
Food is Medicine
Founded, organized, and lead by the Department of Surgery,
Food is Medicine is a program focused on food insecurity, which culminates in
an annual event held at the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), in partnership
with BIDMC.The hospital’s sixth annual Food is Medicine gala raised more than $90,000 for the GBFB. The funds provide the equivalent of 270,000 meals for hungry families in eastern Massachusetts. Since its inception, Food is Medicine has raised $535,000 for the GBFB, the equivalent of 1.6 million meals.
More than 200 people attended this year’s event, which raises money through sponsorships, donations, and a silent auction. Donations of any amount are always welcome.
My Life My Choice
My Life My Choice, a program of the Justice Resource
Institute in Boston, provides mentoring, community education, and skills
training for vulnerable teenage girls in an effort to end commercial sexual
exploitation. The Committee on Social Responsibility partners with My Life My
Choice through volunteer efforts directed at providing vulnerable teenagers
with additional support as they return to high school, including the provision
of school supplies, backpacks, notebooks, binders, and calculators.
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless
The Committee on Social Responsibility has partnered with
the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless in Coat Drives to stock “Teen
Closets” in area public schools. The Teen Closet Initiative provides free
clothing and personal hygiene products in schools, so that students who are poor
or homeless can easily obtain what they need.
We also partner with the BIDMC Department of Social Work in a winter
coat drive for patients in need.
Richard J. Murphy School in Dorchester
Mary Lyons School in Brighton
The committee partners with two local schools with a very
diverse student population. Both schools are committed to transforming the
lives of all children. The committee has organized volunteer efforts across the
department and medical center, among faculty, staff, and residents, to provide
holiday gifts for over 90 children at the Murphy School and the Mary Lyons
Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
The committee has partnered with the Boston Healthcare for
the Homeless and the Red Sox in the annual Sox for Socks campaign. This seasonal
drive collects new socks for men and women who are homeless and in need.
Approximately 12,000 pairs of socks have been contributed since the inception
of our partnership with BHCHP.