Posted on August 23, 2016

IIH Honoree Spotlight:Dr. Ed Benz

One of NEHI's 2016 Innovators in Health honorees, Dr. Ed Benz, says we need to use innovation to connect research and clinical practice

eb2NEHI is proud to honor Dr. Edward J. Benz Jr., President and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, on September 29th at the NEHI's 2016 Innovators in Health AwardsDr. Benz has long been a leader in cancer research and in the Boston health care community.  

Dr. Benz’s scientific work is internationally recognized. He has served as an active National Institutes of Health-funded Investigator, has authored more than 300 peer reviewed articles, reviews, chapters, and abstracts, and has advanced research, and has played an important role in the advancement of treatment for leukemia.

Dr. Benz’s has also transformed Dana-Farber throughout his 16-year tenure. Under his leadership, the Institute has tripled in size, gained premier recognition, and has seen triple-digit growth in its workforce, revenue, and patient-volume.

After 16 years in his role as President and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dr. Benz will be retiring this fall, but Dr. Benz’s extraordinary innovations in the field of cancer medicine, leadership in the Boston health care community, and commitment to collaborative care will long be remembered.

As a 2016 Innovator in Health, we asked Dr. Benz a few questions about innovations in health: 

NEHI: Where have you seen successful innovations in health care?

EB: I have seen a few examples. The first is at Dana-Farber in the Jimmy Fund Clinical; the development of a home infusion program for children who need hydration with fluids, antibiotics and other treatments not requiring in clinic or in hospital monitoring. Substantial amounts of costs for patients’ family and payers is far more convenient for patients and families. Second, is the development of hand held ultrasound devices that allow physicians to perform some imaging studies at the bedside developed at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Third, is the shared cared model for hematologic malignancies at Dana-Farber that allows patients to receive the benefits of sub specialty expert care administered by their local oncologists with electronic and telemedicine support from the Dana-Farber.

NEHI: Was there a time in your (remarkable!) career where you used or needed innovation to address a health or health care issue?  

EB: Yes, developing mechanisms to connect our strength in research and clinical care by creating a novel model for research centers of excellence called Integrative Research Centers. Second would be imbedding academic oncologists in a community health center that supports underserved minorities in order to learn why those communities tend not to utilize academic cancer centers.  Third, creating a unique partnership model with our academic health center partners and community hospitals to build satellite centers without excessive capital expenditures. 

NEHI: Was there a time in your (remarkable!) career where you used or needed innovation to address a I have seen a few examples.  The first is at Dana-Farber in the Jimmy Fund Clinical; the development of a home infusion program for children who need hydration with fluids, antibiotics and other treatments not requiring in clinic or in hospital monitoring.  Substantial amounts of costs for patients’ family and payers is far more convenient for patients and families.  Second, is the development of hand held ultrasound devices that allow physicians to perform some imaging studies at the bedside developed at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.  Third, is the shared cared model for hematologic malignancies at Dana-Farber that allows patients to receive the benefits of sub specialty expert care administered by their local oncologists with electronic and telemhealth or health care issue?   

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