Time Honored

Nancy and Edward Roberts recognize their BIDMC primary care physician, Mark Aronson, M.D., with generous gift


Mark Aronson, M.D.For the majority of their lives, one man has managed Nancy and Edward Roberts’ every health care-related need. Four decades ago, they asked Mitchell Rabkin, M.D., former president of Beth Israel Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, for a primary care physician referral. Rabkin recommended they become patients of Mark Aronson, M.D.—and the rest is history.

In addition to being a world-renowned thought leader and researcher focused on quality improvement in hospitals, Aronson is a devoted primary care physician within the Division of General Medicine at BIDMC. “Dr. Aronson is extremely thoughtful, compassionate, and responsive,” says Ed. “Over the years, we developed deep admiration and respect for him.” As a globally respected investigator and trailblazer in the field of quality and safety, Aronson has published extensively and been integral to the development of new systems that prevent medical errors and ensure patients’ needs are met in an efficient manner. “Dr. Aronson is one in a million, and we feel very fortunate to have benefited from his care for so many years,” says Nancy, whose three children were born at Beth Israel Hospital. 

The Robertses are both pioneers in the field of education with long, distinguished professional careers. As a professor emerita at Lesley University, Nancy taught graduate professional education courses there and across the country for more than 40 years. She created the university’s graduate Technology in Education program—one of the nation’s first programs aimed at bringing computers into classroom use. Ed is the David Sarnoff Professor of Management of Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, teaching courses in technological innovation and entrepreneurship. Over the course of his career, he has co-founded numerous emerging technology companies, including Meditech, a leading global producer of health care information systems, which contributed substantially to the very beginnings of Beth Israel Hospital’s own health care computing. 

Upon Dr. Aronson’s retirement from clinical practice at BIDMC in late 2018, the Robertses decided to make a gift to BIDMC to honor his decades of service to their family and to so many others. “It was Nancy’s idea to thank our lifelong caregiver, and I agreed immediately,” says Ed. When deciding how to designate their gift to Aronson, it only made sense that the couple established an educational program in his honor. Their generous gift of $230,000 established an endowed fund to launch the Mark Aronson Rounds and Lectureship Series, which will begin in the fall of 2019. “Dr. Aronson is an extraordinarily caring physician, and this lectureship series will reflect his unique philosophy,” says Nancy. 

Through the rounds and lectureship series, Aronson will impart his knowledge, thoughts, and techniques to visiting physicians from around the country and across the world. Specifically, he will share his expertise around collaborating with multidisciplinary colleagues across the medical center (including nurses, social workers, and specialists, such as cardiologists, surgeons, and psychiatrists) to solve patient concerns. The ultimate goal is to enable all clinicians to experience this team-oriented approach.  “By teaching the principles of establishing a patient–physician relationship, enhancing caregiver communication, and advancing quality and safety, this program will benefit countless patients,” says Aronson, who, despite no longer seeing patients, remains active in research and educational efforts at BIDMC. “I am so deeply grateful to the Robertses for their longstanding friendship and generosity.” 


Dr. Aronson is one in a million, and we feel very fortunate to have benefited from his care for so many years.
Nancy Roberts
Grateful Patient