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Record $25 Million Gift from Grayken Family Advances Boston Medical Center’s Leadership in Treating and Preventing Opioid Use Disorder

March 06, 2017

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Jenny Eriksen Leary
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Elissa Snook
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Record $25 Million Gift from Grayken Family Advances Boston Medical Center’s Leadership in Treating and Preventing Opioid Use Disorder

The Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine Aims to be World Leader in Battling Epidemic

(Boston) – March 6, 2017 – Boston Medical Center (BMC), already an international leader in research, teaching, and clinical programming on substance use disorders and their consequences, today announced a $25 million gift from Eilene and John Grayken to intensify BMC’s fight against the burgeoning opioid epidemic, the most pressing public health crisis of our time.

The generous gift, the largest donation in BMC’s history and the biggest private gift in the US in the last decade for addiction treatment and medicine, will create the BMC Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine. The gift was announced today at a ceremony at BMC’s Shapiro Building attended by CEO Kate Walsh, the Grayken family, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, among others.

“The bold goal of the BMC Grayken Center is to be the premier health institution transforming creative programs into groundbreaking clinical care innovations and prevention strategies, driving efforts to end the crisis,” said Kate Walsh. “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 proven approaches from these programs around the world.”

The new Grayken Center 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.

“The new Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine will further elevate Boston Medical Center as the national leader in community-based addiction medicine and harm reduction programs,” said Senator Markey. “If we are going to reduce the supply of the opioids devastating our communities in Massachusetts and beyond, we have to reduce the demand through treatment. This new center will make that possible by developing and disseminating the most effective new models of care. This donation from Eilene and John Grayken is helping shed light on a disease normally cloaked in the shadows, and I thank them for raising awareness of opioid abuse and addiction with this historic contribution.”

"Fighting the opioid epidemic is a top priority for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," said Governor Baker. "Our community is incredibly fortunate for this generous gift and I look forward to the future advancements in research, treatment, training, and prevention that Boston Medical Center will produce, just as they have consistently done throughout their history."

“Boston is well-established as the epicenter of medicine and healthcare, where groundbreaking research occurs and where the best and the brightest clinicians train and practice,” said Mayor Walsh. “In addictions and recovery medicine, Boston Medical Center provides international leadership, pioneering innovative and effective new treatments. This impressive gift will accelerate our battle against addiction, support recovery efforts, and allow BMC to keep doing what they do best."

The Grayken Center’s mission will focus on three aspects of addiction medicine:

  • Research – 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.
  • Treatment –The Grayken Center will increase BMC’s reach in developing and testing new care models, bringing together experts to establish metrics against which outcomes can be tracked and more advanced data and analytics infrastructure developed.
  • Training and Prevention –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. 

“Over the years, John and I have come to greatly respect and admire BMC's work and its positive impact on the Boston community,” said Mrs. Grayken. “We feel humbled by the opportunity to help BMC build upon its longstanding treatment for people suffering from addiction, and we hope that more people will come forward to help – whether in Boston or other communities – in the area of addiction, which too often carries a stigma that hinders people from getting the help they need.”

Over its 25-year history of leadership in addictions medicine, BMC created the first-in-the-nation program providing addiction care in the patient’s primary care office,  which has had a remarkable 67 percent success rate regionally and been replicated in 35 states. These programs have been further tailored for special populations including adolescents and pregnant women.  The hospital also created among the first ER-based and urgent care opioid treatment programs in the country. A program connecting hospital inpatients with addiction services has reduced ER visits for those patients by 30 percent. The hospital has also created groundbreaking addictions medicine residency and fellowship programs for doctors-in-training and provides extensive peer-to-peer training for clinicians around the country. It is the recipient of significant federal grant funding for its addictions research.

Michael Botticelli, former director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Obama administration, and former director of substance abuse services for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, said the gift from the Grayken family will allow BMC to share its innovation, research and compassionate models of addiction care more fully with the nation and even the world.

“BMC is a tremendous asset in our nation’s fight against one of the great challenges of our time – the addiction and opioid overdose epidemic. I’m enormously grateful to the Grayken family for bestowing this generous gift,” he said.

Cohasset native John Grayken is founder and chairman of Lone Star Funds, a global private equity firm. The couple, along with their four children, currently reside in Boston. Mrs. Grayken is a theater producer.

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