MASCO was founded 50 years ago today, but ask any of its local stakeholders and leaders what the organization does or who it represents and you might be left wondering.
President and CEO Dave Sweeney said the nonprofit — which provides programs and services in Boston’s bustling Longwood medical and academic district, for the record — is all too aware confusion surrounding his name and officially rechristened himself.
MASCO, or Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization, is no more, and “we will now call ourselves the Longwood Collective,” Sweeney said.
“Our intention was to create a brand that reinforces our reputation as a problem solver and thought leader committed to making Longwood the most desirable place to work, learn and heal in the world, and to establish an identity that matches to the brands of our prestigious pioneer. organizations we represent,” Sweeney said.
The newly renamed Longwood Collective counts Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard University School of Medicine, Simmons University, and Wentworth Institute of Technology among its member organizations.
According to Sweeney, the LMA Health and Economic Center employs 68,000 people, educates 27,000 students and treats 2.8 million patients each year. It generates $30 million in annual business revenue and $18 million in gross state product, he said.
However, he said the region’s “transport ecosystem” presents complex challenges, which involve simultaneous but competing needs for limited road space.
The Longwood Collective has released two documents, one of which details the successes of its public transport mode changes, a collective effort by its member organizations to get people out of their private cars and choose instead to go to the region on foot, by bike, carpooling or by public transport.
The other is a transportation framework that recommends that project proposals for the area be assessed for their impact on mobility within and around the 213-acre MDA.
According to Tom Yardley, the area’s vice president of planning and development, almost half of its workforce travels via public transport, but the LMA is challenged in that it is outside of the city’s central business district and central to the MBTA system.
He said the focus should be on increasing public transport capacity, to accommodate the growth that has occurred or is expected in the region.
“What we hope to convey with the release of these two papers as we look to the future of mobility in the LMA is that our transport challenges are urgent and we need to recognize the complexity of mobility in the LMA and acting intentionally to do no harm,” Sweeney said.
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