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MGH doctor awarded for outstanding service to the Latino community

BOSTON - October 11, 2005 - Ernesto Gonzalez, MD, physician in Dermatology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), is one of five Latinos being recognized by Boston City Councillor Felix Arroyo this year. Arroyo selected the doctor because of his continued commitment to the Latino community through service at the MGH and abroad. Gonzalez will accept his award during closing ceremonies for the city's first Hispanic Heritage Celebration at City Hall Thursday, October 13, 2005 from 6 to 9 pm.

Gonzalez is also being recognized at the MGH with the first ever Outstanding Service to the Latino Community Award. As the director of the International Training Program in Dermatology at Harvard Medical School and associate director of the Multicultural Affairs Office at MGH, Gonzalez accepted the hospital's award at the Latino Heritage Month closing celebration on Friday, October 7th 2005.

The MGH Outstanding Service to the Latino Community Award is the brainchild of employees on the Latino Heritage Planning Committee and Jeff Davis, MGH senior vice president for Human Resources. This award recognizes an MGH employee who has contributed to Latino-based initiatives within or outside the institution and whose contributions enhance and build bridges within the MGH Latino community in areas beyond the duties and responsibilities associated with the individual's position at MGH. In honor of Gonzalez, Davis announced that this award will now carry Gonzalez' name. Going forward, the award will be titled The Ernesto Gonzalez Award for Outstanding Service to the Latino Community. In a very emotional speech, Gonzalez thanked all of those who helped him reach his goal, including his mother who came from a very humble environment.

Gonzalez has devoted a large part of his 30-year career at MGH to serving the Latino community. Among his many contributions, he has developed a regional Latino medical student mentorship program, as well as spearheaded a Pediatrics telemedicine project between MGH and his hometown of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

Massachusetts General Hospital, established in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $450 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, cutaneous biology, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, transplantation biology and photomedicine. In 1994, MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital joined to form Partners HealthCare System, an integrated health care delivery system comprising the two academic medical centers, specialty and community hospitals, a network of physician groups, and nonacute and home health services.

Media Contact: Emily Parker, MGH Public Affairs

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