During her residency in 2004, BMC radiologist Chrissy LeBedis, MD, MS, spent six weeks training at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. After a long day, she went to the gym for a brisk walk on the treadmill to decompress. A gentleman in a U.S. Army uniform stepped onto the treadmill next to her and began to run. “He ran like a gazelle,” LeBedis laughed. If he can do it, I can do it, she thought to herself, and decided to increase the speed on her machine to match his. LeBedis’s marathon journey began that night.
After joining BMC as an attending physician, LeBedis began running monthly half marathons, and in 2012, decided she wanted to do more to help her patients. When Team BMC’s registration for the Boston Marathon opened that year, LeBedis signed up and began to raise money for the hospital. “I feel like I’m in a place where I can help, and there’s this impetus to use any opportunity that I can to draw attention to issues,” she says. As a radiologist, LeBedis screens, identifies, and helps diagnose different types of cancer in her patients. Always looking to advance equitable outcomes in her patients, LeBedis and a colleague recently were awarded a $100,000 grant to improve screening methods for liver cancer.
BMC’s mission of providing exceptional care, without exception resonates with LeBedis beyond her everyday work. She says, “I see the ways that we can improve health equity, specifically cancer screening. If we can detect tumors, we can treat them. But if you have a patient population that can’t even get to a screening exam, they will go without the opportunity to be treated. I see people who have missed screenings showing up in the emergency department.”
LeBedis has run three marathons with Team BMC so far – 2012, 2021, 2022, and is training for 2023.
BMC’s mission has kept LeBedis fighting for health equity since 2004. “The more invested I am in the people and the place, the more purpose I draw from my job. It’s kind of like a garden. The more seeds you plant, the more you want to watch it grow.”