Betsy Nabel speaks to BWHers at Town Meeting.

Betsy Nabel speaks to BWHers at Town Meeting.

The Nov. 22 Town Meeting covered a number of questions on a wide range of topics submitted by BWHers.

One BWHer expressed concern that the current political climate in the U.S. may pose a risk to civil liberties and asked BWHC President Betsy Nabel, MD, how the hospital will respond. Nabel stressed that the Brigham will keep its doors open to all and maintain a culture of respect.

“I can assure you, as your leader, that I will not tolerate discrimination, bias or disrespectful behavior – it’s not who we are,” Nabel said to those gathered in Bornstein Amphitheater and more than 250 employees who watched via webcast.

“We are a diverse community, and our diversity makes us richer,” she continued. “We can’t provide exceptional care to our patients unless we, as care providers, are diverse. That means being tolerant, open and accepting of one another. Those have been our values since our hospital opened, and they will continue to be our values for years to come.”

Other topics that Nabel addressed during the meeting included updates about the budget, benefits and Partners 2.0.

Reflecting on the past year, Nabel said she’s proud of how BWHers have worked together to overcome challenges the hospital has faced, all with an unwavering commitment to our mission. These accomplishments resulted in the Brigham ending fiscal year 2016 ahead of budget, and Nabel announced a one-time employee appreciation award to staff who met certain requirements.

“As a result of your hard work, the Brigham continued to make great strides in delivering the highest-quality patient care, advancing discovery and innovation in research, training the next generation of health care professionals and improving the health of the communities we serve,” she said.

Nabel also shared a brief update about Partners 2.0, an initiative that will help BWHC and other Partners institutions respond to changes in the industry and maintain a strong financial foundation. She outlined the three phases of Partners 2.0: diagnosis, design and implementation. Partners is currently in the diagnosis phase, which involves assessing needs, challenges, strengths and areas for improvement. Nabel said there would be more updates to come about the process, but noted that the key to its success is a willingness among staff to embrace change.

Other questions from the audience concerned recent changes to BWHC’s retirement program. Paul Cheney, director of Benefits at Partners, detailed the updates, which include a new employer match in the pretax retirement savings plan.

Also during the meeting, Nabel introduced Dave Corbin, CPP, CHPA, BWH’s new director of Security, and thanked outgoing director Robert “Chico” Chicarello for his 42 years of service. The audience erupted in applause and gave a standing ovation to Chicarello, who retired last week.

“It’s my honor and privilege to take the reins from Chico. I know I have very big shoes to fill,” Corbin said. “My goal is to make sure that when our employees and patients come to the Brigham, they feel safe and know that Security is a resource for them.”

Click here to view a recording of the webcast.