As a young medical resident, Gary Balady, MD, could not envision his career as a cardiologist and professor of medicine would span over 40 years on the same three blocks in Boston’s South End. He’s witnessed much change, including the 1996 merger of Boston City Hospital and The University Hospital into a single institution: Boston Medical Center.
“With the merger, all of us faculty, trainees, and staff became part of an extraordinary place. An academic hospital with a mission to serve everyone who comes to our doors—a safety-net hospital with a vision. As a result, my practice changed fundamentally,” he explained. That vision has inspired Balady and his wife, Rosemary’s, philanthropy.
As the director of Preventive Cardiology at Boston Medical Center, Balady is keenly aware of the critical role nutrition and exercise play in reducing heart disease. Yet, many neighborhoods in Boston remain far from a well-stocked grocery store. Limited access to nutritious, affordable food continues to be a leading driver of poor health.
Over the years, thanks to the power of philanthropy, Balady has watched the hospital pioneer solutions that have improved BMC patients’ lives. Opened in 2001, the Preventive Food Pantry now supplies over 50,000 pounds of food monthly to more than 1,800 families. The hospital’s Teaching Kitchen offers classes for patients to learn how to cook healthy, diverse meals. BMC even planted the state’s first hospital farm on its power plant’s rooftop to supply fresh, organic produce to patients, and a second farm is in progress.
“We are a hospital that brings care to the community at the most fundamental levels through food, housing, and education,” Balady emphasized. “Most health care would be incomplete and perhaps ineffective without these foundational securities. What could be more important than food? Food is life, food is medicine, food is comfort, food is love.”
Balady is a leading cardiologist, recognized as a Boston Top Doctor 2023 by Boston Magazine. His commitment to BMC doesn’t end with clinical care. He and Rosemary give annually to BMC and plan to support the hospital through an estate gift. The Balady Family Fund for Food Security will provide critical support for food security, nutrition-related illness, and undernutrition in BMC patients. Balady sees philanthropy power innovation at the hospital and envisions being part of the institution’s continued evolution.
“Supporting BMC now and creating a legacy gift are building blocks for the future of Boston Medical Center,” he said. “The more building blocks, the stronger the institution, and the better equipped we can be to provide care for the ever-changing needs of our community.”
Interested in learning more about supporting BMC’s future through estate planning? Learn more.