Edward P. Lawrence and Joseph Gold, MD, both important influencers of the mental health care landscape, were lauded at a July event for their significant contributions to McLean Hospital, Partners HealthCare (now Mass General Brigham), and the greater field of behavioral and mental health.
The two organizations established the Edward Peabody Lawrence Endowed Chair in Psychiatry to honor Lawrence’s longtime service, which culminated with his role as Partners Board Chair ending in 2017. The chair endows the chief medical officer position at McLean, a role currently held by Gold.
Lawrence served on the McLean Board from 1998 to 2011, on the Partners Board for 16 years, and as chair of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Board for nine years. In 2007, MGH established the Edward P. Lawrence Center for Quality and Safety in his honor. Lawrence continues to support all three organizations as an honorary trustee.
Lawrence’s particular passion is quality of care, and he brought this focus to bear on improving the way McLean serves patients and families. This interest inspired Lawrence to establish the McLean Board of Trustees Quality of Care Committee, where he worked closely with Gold and McLean’s Chief Quality and Risk Management Officer Gail Tsimprea, PhD, to develop an all-inclusive approach to patient care assessment and quality improvement.
“Ed has been a remarkable champion for McLean, its patients, and families. His clear vision, exemplary leadership, and relentless pursuit of care quality are appropriately honored through this chair,” said McLean President and Psychiatrist in Chief Scott L. Rauch, MD. Partners HealthCare CEO Anne Klibanski, MD, praised Lawrence’s major contributions to the field. “Ed was ahead of his time in recognizing the special and vitally important role that McLean would play in our local and national health care landscape,” said Klibanski.
The other half of the celebrated duo is Joseph Gold, MD, McLean’s chief medical officer and chief of the Simches Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Gold is also clinical co-lead of the Partners Center for Population Health Pediatric Behavioral Health Primary Care Integration Work Group and associate medical director of the Massachusetts Child Psychiatry Access Project (MCPAP). And now, he is the inaugural incumbent of the Edward Peabody Lawrence Endowed Chair in Psychiatry.
In recognizing Gold on his appointment, Rauch said, “I have never known any other physician or care provider of any kind who more embodies the ideals of compassionate, evidence-based care.”
The evening included a surprise video message from media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who has known Gold for years. “From the moment I met you, you offered such a calmness … an aura of spirit, compassion, kindness, and understanding,” said Winfrey in her message. “Around the world [McLean] is revered for that compassion and understanding. That is, to a great extent, because of the heart, the soul, and the understanding that you bring to your work every day.” Winfrey thanked Gold for being available to those who needed him in times of crisis.