Members of the SJPHC Dream Team, one of 37 teams supporting the Brigham in the B.A.A. 10K, gather for a photo at the race.

United by stories of hope, healing and healthier tomorrows, more than 450 people participated in the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) 10K on June 25 to raise critical funds for Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The annual event — which draws thousands of athletes from around the world to Boston’s Back Bay — is presented by the Brigham, the race’s exclusive fundraising partner.

Athletes, including 172 hospital employees, from across 37 Brigham teams took part in the race either in person or virtually, raising more than $200,000 to fuel work that holds special meaning for them. While each had their own unique story, all were unified by a single goal: to support the Brigham’s mission.

For Martha Hernandez and Pivel Morton, MBA, their inspiration stems from their work at Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center (SJPHC), one of Brigham’s two community health centers. Hernandez, supervisor for Managed Care at SJPHC, and Morton, the center’s executive director, co-captained the SJPHC Dream Team, raising money and awareness for the center’s work to improve social determinants of health for patients and families.

“With the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, many families lost insurance and supplemental nutrition assistance benefits, and we are now seeing high cases of eviction,” Hernandez said. “Knowing that I have helped a family gain access to food, referred a patient to housing because they just lost their apartment or even assisted in enrolling them in a health plan brings me so much joy.”

Morton, whose participation this year marked her seventh B.A.A. 10K race, said the event continues to hold a special place in her heart.

“I run in recognition of SJPHC’s mission and commitment to racial justice and health equity, and to ensure we have the needed resources and organizing pathways to combat food insecurity, the housing crisis, transportation barriers and other social drivers of health,” she said. “This is true liberation, one race at a time!”

While each runner had their own unique story, all were unified by a single goal: to support the Brigham’s mission.

Brian McIntosh, RT(R), CRA, director of Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, was also a return runner, continuing his tradition of raising money for the comprehensive breast fund for the Breast Imaging and Diagnostic Center at BWFH.  This year, McIntosh joined forces with Andrea Baxter, a young mom undergoing breast cancer treatment at the Brigham. Baxter was seeking to raise funds for the Breast Imaging and Diagnostic Center as well as awareness about the importance of routine mammograms in early detection. McIntosh was so inspired by Baxter’s story and courage, that he renamed his team Andrea Baxter’s Runners for Life. The team emerged as this year’s top fundraiser, raising more than $15,000.

“Meeting Andrea has given new meaning to the run,” said McIntosh, who captains the team. “I am very inspired by her courage to share her story, get her name out there and put a face to cancer.”

Also no stranger to the B.A.A. 10K is Elizabeth Matzkin, MD, a women’s sports medicine surgeon at the Brigham. Matzkin has led the Bone to Run team since 2016, when the Brigham first partnered with the B.A.A. on the popular race. Starting out small, Bone to Run has now grown to more the 30 teammates and is among the top fundraising teams—raising funds for research to help patients get back to doing what they love.

“I am a runner and love that I can participate in this event with family, friends, colleagues and patients to raise money for our sports medicine research,” said Matzkin, who is also co-leader of Women’s Sports Medicine for Mass General Brigham. “Our research focuses on mitigating injuries in our runners and athletes, and advancing surgical innovation and improvements in post-operative outcomes to keep our patients in motion. The donations not only support this research but also indirectly support our student researchers to gain experience and mentorship.”

Interested in starting a team, joining an existing one or getting more involved in next year’s race? Sign up for email reminders here.