Cambridge Health Alliance Gala Raises $560K, Setting a Record

July 2, 2018 —The Cambridge Health Alliance, a nonprofit community health system based in Cambridge that serves Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston’s metro-north region, recently announced its raised $560,000 at its signature fundraising event, beating its goal by $60,000 to set a record.

The Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) said funds raised at the Art of Healing gala, held June 21 at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, will support population health programs, including See Test and Treat, school-based teen health centers, dental care for kids and behavioral health counseling.

Mary Cassesso, president of the CHA foundation and chief community officer, said, “Our annual Art of Healing gala was hugely successful thanks to contributions from hundreds of donors and the support of our foundation board members, CHA’s board of trustees, senior leadership, medical staff chiefs, CHA vendors, and volunteers.”

The gala, which sought to attract 350 attendees, drew 400 people, the most ever. Funds raised, via a live and silent auction, ticket sales, and direct contributions, constitute about 50% of CHA's annual fundraising goal.

Tina Martin, host and reporter for NPR affiliate WGBH, emceed the program, and Jim Braude, host of Greater Boston on WGBH, served as the auctioneer.

Honored at the event with the Art of Healing Award was Bon Ku, an emergency room physician and the assistant dean for health and design at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Past honorees include David Williams, of the Harvard School of Public Health, John Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence, former Mass. Gov. Michael and Mrs. Kitty Dukakis and Donald Berwick, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Bon brings his students into the community to understand the obstacles they face, and he knows that life expectancy depends on what zip codes you live in -- the difference can be 20 years,” said Cassesso. “Like CHA, he cares deeply about community and public health issues such as homelessness, the opioid epidemic and immigrant health and, through his teaching, works to create solutions to address the social determinants of health.”

CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and is also affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine.