Michael Zinner and his grandchildren at the dedication event

Michael Zinner and his grandchildren at the dedication event

On Feb. 29, members of the BWH community gathered for a special event in honor of Michael Zinner, MD, chair of the Department of Surgery, who is moving on after a luminous 22-year career at BWH to become the chief executive officer at Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida.

In honor of his many contributions to BWH, the Shapiro Conference Center has been renamed and dedicated as the Michael J. Zinner, MD, Conference Center, which includes the Zinner Boardroom and Zinner Breakout Room. Zinner is the son-in-law of Carl Shapiro and the late Ruth Shapiro, for whom the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center is named, in honor of the family’s generosity to BWH.

“The Shapiro and Zinner families are longtime leaders in our Brigham community, supporting our precious mission and advancing our life-changing work,” said BWHC President Betsy Nabel, MD. “Their exceptional vision, compassion and generosity are an inspiration to us all.”

Under Zinner’s leadership, the BWH Department of Surgery achieved many firsts in transplantation, pioneered minimally invasive cardiac surgery and bariatric surgery techniques and established the Advanced Multimodality Image Guided Operating (AMIGO) suite to redefine the future of surgery.

Of Zinner’s many successes, one of the most enduring was his vision in founding the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, which, in close partnership with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, enables BWH to bring its expertise to cancer patients. This collaboration became very personal to him when his late wife, Rhonda S. (Ronny) Zinner, was diagnosed with cancer. She passed away in 2014.

Prior to her passing, Mrs. Zinner was a dedicated supporter of BWH who served as a longtime member of the Board of Trustees and President’s Advisory Council. In her role as president of the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, she oversaw many transformative gifts to BWH, including the naming of the Carl J. and Ruth Shapiro Cardiovascular Center.


BWHC President Betsy Nabel addresses attendees at the Zinner Conference Center renaming and dedication. Inset: Ronny Zinner

In honor and memory of Mrs. Zinner, the Shapiro Bridge has been renamed and dedicated the Rhonda S. Zinner Bridge. Together, the Zinners have left an indelible mark at BWH.

“Mike and Ronny’s tremendous contributions and legacies will continue to thrive within the walls of our institution,” said Nabel.

Reserving the Center for Meetings

Booking instructions for the center remain unchanged and can be completed online through A/V’s Resource Scheduler. The two rooms, the Zinner Boardroom and Zinner Breakout Room, can be used separately or together as a main conference space or as overflow space for a larger event.

The Zinner Boardroom, in particular, is intended for high-level meetings that include in-room technology requiring an A/V technician to be on hand to control the systems from a booth. The Zinner Breakout Room was designed to be a self-service meeting space. The equipment inside the room, such as the Partners PC, laptop connection and LCD projection screens, can be operated after a brief training by A/V. Users can sign up for training or request A/V services by emailing bwhaudiovisual@partners.org.