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Dr. Betsy Nabel stepping down as president of Brigham Health

Nabel led Brigham through the financial challenges of COVID-19, growing revenues from $2.9 billion in 2010 to $4.3 billion in 2020.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Dr. Betsy Nabel. Photo courtesy of Brigham and Women's Hospital.Dr. Betsy Nabel. Photo courtesy of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The president of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Dr. Betsy Nabel, will be stepping down from her role after 11 years at the helm of the religious nonprofit medical center. As she pursues opportunities in the for-profit biotech sector, Dr. Anne Klibanski, president and CEO of Mass General Brigham, will initiate a succession planning process in collaboration with the Boards of Trustees.

Throughout her tenure, Nabel's focus has been on strengthening the organization for the future, and she is credited with recruiting the first female and underrepresented minority department chairs.

Under her leadership, the hospital has fostered early-stage technology development activities through the creation of the Translational Accelerator and other programs of the Brigham Research Institute. These resources are dedicated to educating and supporting clinicians and researchers and encouraging the faster and more efficient development of next-generation therapeutics and technologies. 

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She also led Brigham through the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, growing revenues from $2.9 billion in 2010 to $4.3 billion in 2020, which provided funds needed to support investments in facilities and technology infrastructure.


Nabel joined Brigham as president and CEO in January 2010. In a statement issued this week, Brigham health highlighted her efforts to execute a $1.75 billion fundraising campaign, the largest hospital campaign in Boston's history, of which $867 million was earmarked for research to ensure continued support for the pursuit of breakthroughs and innovation through biomedical research and discovery.

She also helped the hospital transform the physical campus, as in the establishment of the Hale Building for Transformative Medicine, Stoneman Centennial Park, the Smith Family NICU, and the John and Cynthia Fish Rotunda, and the restoration of many of the main common areas of the hospital.

Among her other achievements are ensuring seamless integration with Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital to improve patient experience and launching the Brigham Education Institute in 2016.

Nabel has been named one of Boston's 50 most powerful people by Boston magazine.


During Nabel's tenure, Brigham has routinely ranked on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of Best Hospitals, received the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's LGBTQ Health Care Equality Leader designation, earned an A in Leapfrog's Hospital Safety Grade program, and earned Press Ganey's Pinnacle of Excellence Award in the category of Patient Experience in Inpatient Care for three consecutive years, starting in 2018.


"It's been an extraordinary honor and privilege to serve as president of Brigham Health," said Nabel. "I am immensely proud of all that we have accomplished together in support of our mission and vision to create a healthier community and a healthier world. I am truly inspired by everyone at the Brigham, particularly the way in which they approach every challenge with compassion, curiosity, collaboration and a commitment to excellence. The Brigham is a very special community – one that will remain in my heart forever."

"For more than a decade, through some of the most challenging circumstances that a healthcare institution could face, Betsy has led with grit and grace," said John Fish, chair of the Brigham Health Board of Trustees. "She has positioned the Brigham to deliver on its longstanding legacy of providing the highest-quality, most innovative care for our patients, pursuing breakthroughs and innovations through biomedical research, training the next generation of healthcare providers and eradicating healthcare disparities, locally and globally."

Twitter: @JELagasse
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