Catalog 2013-2014

Mission and History

Who We Are

MGH Institute of Health Professions is an innovative not-for-profit, interprofessional graduate school that prepares skilled health care specialists in:

Integrating classroom learning with research and clinical experience, the Institute grants doctoral degrees, master's degrees, awards certificates of advanced study, and offers continuing education to practicing professionals, as well as to baccalaureate-educated individuals entering health care from another field.

In addition, the Institute has created the Center for Interprofessional Studies and Innovation in which leaders in the health professions can collaborate with peers in other disciplines and forge a new model of health sciences education for the 21st century.

A graduate school founded by the world-renowned Massachusetts General Hospital, the Institute operates within Partners HealthCare, offering unparalleled opportunities for students to learn and work alongside expert practitioners in a variety of hospital, clinical, and community settings.

With the majority of faculty working as practicing clinicians, our curriculum provides a powerful integration of clinical and academic learning, aiding in the development of both critical thinking and leadership skills.

As our Current Fact Book notes, currently, more than 1,100 full-and part-time students are enrolled onsite and online. All of our programs promote interprofessional teamwork and offer personalized attention in a rigorous, collaborative learning environment that is driven by our faculty's professional expertise and scholarly accomplishments. The academic experience is further enriched by the diversity of our students' backgrounds and life experiences.

Whether you're just out of college, changing careers, or are a practicing clinician looking to advance in your career, MGH Institute has a degree or certificate program that’s right for you.

Where We Are

MGH Institute is located in and around the historic Charlestown Navy Yard, overlooking downtown Boston. Its first, fully renovated, state-of-the-art teaching facility is in the Catherine Filene Shouse Building.

The Shouse Building houses classrooms, study areas, the School of Nursing, the departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Physical Therapy, the Speech-Language Literacy Center, the Aphasia Center, the Physical Therapy Center for Clinical Education and Health Promotion, the Center for Interprofessional Studies and Innovation, the Office of Information Technology, the Office of Facilities, and MGH Institute Security.

Originally built as the joiner's shop in 1866, the Shouse Building also houses The Children's Quarters, which offers kindergarten and preschool daycare to staff and students of the Institute, as well as to the Charlestown community. The Shouse Building is Building 36 on First Avenue in the Navy Yard.

In 2008 the Institute expanded its campus to two other buildings. The Office of Student Affairs, and departmental offices for the School of Nursing are located on the ground floor of Building 39 on First Avenue. The President's Office, the Provost’s Office, the Office of Communications and Marketing, the Office of Development, and other administrative offices are located on the second and third floors of Building 34.

In January 2012 the Institute expanded by 21,000 square feet taking over the top floor of 2 Constitution Center (2CC), located just outside the Navy Yard and directly overlooking the USS Constitution, more commonly known as “Old Ironsides.” The addition includes new and expanded physical therapy labs, a 102-seat active learning classroom with state-of-the-art technology, the school's first dedicated research space, and lounge and study areas that students from nursing, physical therapy, and speech-language pathology share.

The Institute's space now exceeds 100,000 square feet – a 50% increase in the past decade.

MGH Institute is readily accessible by car, harbor ferry and public transportation, making it convenient to points of interest throughout the Boston area.

View the Interactive Map of MGH Institute and the Charlestown Navy Yard.

Mission Statement

As an independent graduate school of health sciences, the MGH Institute of Health Professions prepares health professionals and advances care for a diverse society through leadership in education, clinical practice, research and scholarship, professional service, and community engagement.

Vision Statement

The MGH Institute of Health Professions aspires to be:

  • A preeminent leader in health professions education, where scholar-practitioners prepare graduates to be exemplary leaders in health care delivery for a diverse society,
  • An innovator in advancing interprofessional models of health professions education and health care delivery, and
  • A recognized contributor in creating and applying new knowledge to improve health outcomes through robust and distinctive programs of research and scholarship.

Core Values Statement

As members of the MGH Institute community, we collectively commit to and strive to reflect the following core values in all we do:

  • The highest standards of professional, academic, and scientific excellence, ethical conduct, integrity, and personal responsibility
  • An inclusive and equitable environment that is respectful of diversity in its broadest meaning
  • Mutual trust and collegiality in our relationships with each other and those we serve in health care and the community
  • Productive partnerships among faculty, staff, and students that support learning and work and that allow for interprofessional and global collaboration
  • A connected and engaged learning community where students fulfill a passion for lifelong learning, and become graduates of choice for employers
  • An environment that embraces and rewards inquiry, ingenuity, innovation, resourcefulness, and continuous learning
  • A rewarding work environment to ensure we are an “employer of choice”
  • Accountability for our work and for prudent, efficient stewardship of our resources

Our Commitment to Diversity

Diversity at the MGH Institute encompasses an inclusive and welcoming environment that is enhanced by persons who differ in gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, socio-economic background, ability, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, and religious belief.

This expression of our commitment to diversity is reflected in a community that is bound by the desire for equal consideration for all people. It is affirmed by the Institute's policies and recruitment and retention activities, thus, ensuring that all members of our community have the ability to reach their individual and collective potential.

Our Commitment to Cultural Competence

The growing cultural and linguistic diversity of the U.S. and world's populations calls for health professionals who strive continually to achieve cultural competence and are able to function effectively across an array of multicultural interpersonal and social situations.

Becoming culturally competent is a lifelong learning process that encompasses cultural humility, awareness, sensitivity, knowledge, commitment, engagement, skill, and ultimately, behavior that reflects cultural competence.

Becoming culturally competent enhances the capacity of health professionals and health care organizations to assess, plan, deliver, evaluate and continually improve care that is sensitive to and respectful of the diverse beliefs, values, practices, and needs of the individuals, families, and communities served.

Becoming culturally competent also involves consideration of existing disparities in health care and health outcomes, and the changes in professional practice, health policies, financing, and systems of care needed to address them.

History of the MGH Institute of Health Professions

The MGH Institute of Health Professions was founded to address the need for master clinicians, leaders in the health care professions molded by the integration of theory and clinical practice in an interprofessional environment.

The Massachusetts General Hospital's commitment to world-class patient care, education and research has long extended beyond their affiliation with Harvard Medical School into the broader scope of other health professions. The MGH's Diploma School of Nursing, founded in 1873, closed in 1981 as the hospital focused on the education of advanced practice health professionals.

Launching of the Graduate School

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts awarded Massachusetts General Hospital degree-granting authority in 1977, despite objections from other universities to the innovative concept of a hospital granting degrees. Mass General initially was authorized to grant Master of Science degrees in physical therapy, nursing, speech-language pathology and dietetics, as well as a Bachelor of Science in respiratory therapy and radiologic technology, although the Institute didn't offer a bachelor degree until 2008. Later amendments have approved additional degree and certificate programs.

Mass General renamed its original Educational Division as MGH Institute of Health Professions in 1980 when the first students were admitted. The first degree, a Master of Science in Physical Therapy, was granted in 1983. In 1982, the Institute admitted students to the direct-entry master's program in nursing, one of the first to enroll baccalaureate prepared individuals with no prior experience or education in nursing.

The MGH Institute became a separate corporation in 1985, with its own board of trustees, although it remains an Mass General affiliate. In 1994, Massachusetts General Hospital joined Brigham and Women's Hospital to found Partners HealthCare, now one of the most highly regarded integrated health care systems in the country.

Growth and Change

At the MGH Institute, academic offerings have changed in response to the health care environment. Some programs have closed – social work, dietetics, clinical investigation, and medical imaging – while many new ones have been created. Students were first admitted to the Graduate Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 1991 and to the entry-level physical therapy program in 1995. The Doctor of Physical Therapy in 1999, when the first online courses were also offered.

The MGH Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2002 with the dedication of the Catherine Filene Shouse Building, its new home in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

In 2007 the school created one of the country's first four accredited Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs. The next year, the Institute inaugurated an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree to meet the demand of filling more than 100,000 nursing vacancies nationwide.

In March 2009, the Graduate Program in Nursing became the MGH Institute School of Nursing. In August 2009, the Communication Sciences and Disorders, Medical Imaging and Physical Therapy programs were organized into a School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

In January 2011 the Institute launched the Center for Interprofessional Studies and Innovation. In April 2012 the Institute launched an interdisciplinary PhD in Rehabilitation Sciences program, and in June 2012 an interprofessional Master of Science in Health Professions Education, both of which began in fall 2012.

In 2013, the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education approved the Institute’s newest major, the entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy. It is New England’s first entry-level degree. The first cohort of students is scheduled to begin in June 2014.

The MGH Institute has close to 5,000 alumni worldwide.

Community Outreach at the Institute

The MGH Institute has always played an active role in helping those in our local and global communities.

As a graduate school for the health sciences, the Institute is a community of people who are drawn to help those in need – not only in their role as a nurse, physical therapist, or speech-language pathologist, but in their own lives whenever there is a call for assistance.

Community service is such an integral part of the Institute's daily efforts that it is one of the key principles in our Mission Statement.

Faculty, students, and staff at the Institute participate in numerous community activities throughout the year in a variety of ways including service learning via their education, and volunteering during their free time.