MGH receives generous donation to develop
state-of-the-art tuberous sclerosis facility
BOSTON - November 9, 2004 - Massachusetts General Hospital
(MGH), through the generous $6 million contribution of Carol and
James Herscot (which will increase to a $10 million commitment in
the next several years) will create a new center benefiting children,
adults and families touched by tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).
Once established, the center will be one of the world's most sophisticated
and comprehensive TSC facilities.
Led by Elizabeth A. Thiele, MD, PhD, director of the Epilepsy
Service at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and one of our
nation's foremost TSC experts, the new center will feature: state-of-the-art
clinical facilities in the hospital's new Yawkey Center, collaborative
research initiatives within the hospital and among the broader Harvard
medical community and educational programs for medical students,
advanced trainees and practicing physicians. Clinical care for children
and adults will be enhanced by the addition of medical specialists
and nurse-coordinators who will help maintain a seamless network
of primary and specialty care. The center will play a lead role
in increasing the visibility of TSC worldwide.
Tuberous sclerosis complex is a disorder with a wide range of potentially
devastating symptoms affecting several organ systems, including
the brain, skin, eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys. It can be challenging
to diagnose and has an unpredictable course. Although genetically
inherited, TSC can affect individuals quite variably, even within
a family. While epilepsy and benign tumors are the most common disabilities,
secondary complications include memory and attention problems, depression
and social isolation - issues that are especially troubling for
both children and adults. TSC is one of the single largest causes
of autism. It is more common than muscular dystrophy and cystic
Dr. Thiele and her colleagues recognize that the best TSC care must
be fully coordinated within a clinical setting that has ready access
to a variety of experts, including neurologists, psychiatrists,
psychopharmacologists, dermatologists, cardiologists, pulmonary
and renal specialists, as well as social workers and genetic counselors.
More than 180 children and adults are now cared for in MGH's TSC
Clinic. Approximately two new patients are seen each week. From
a clinical perspective, an increasing challenge is to deliver a
combination of primary and specialty care that is timely, convenient
and efficient for a growing patient base that often requires a complex
mix of medical and other services. The Carol and James Herscot Center
for TSC will deliver coordinated care to patients from birth through
adulthood and provide a centralized means of support for families
struggling with the disease.
Real estate developer James S. Herscot and his wife Carol have dedicated
their lives to advancing TSC research and treatment. Carol Herscot
serves on the board of directors of the TS
Alliance, a national organization whose mission is dedicated
to finding a cure for TSC while improving the lives of those affected.
Previous gifts from the Herscot family to the MGH have been instrumental
in allowing Dr. Thiele and her colleagues to advance vital research
studies and further the development of a unique TSC patient database.
The Herscots are long time benefactors of the MGH, having provided
major support for the Yawkey
Center for Outpatient Care and the Ellison Inpatient Tower.
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 $400 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: Donita
Boddie , MGH Public Affairs
Physician Referral Service: 1-800-388-4644
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