John T. Harrington, M.D., ’58
At Holy Cross, we pride ourselves on embracing the Jesuit tradition of nurturing the whole individual. Which is why we delight in graduates like John Harrington, a caring doctor and a passionate researcher, known for quoting Joyce and Yeats in his medical reports.
From the beginning, John displayed his appreciation for the Renaissance ideal. On Mount St. James, he studied the sciences and Classics. But it was a childhood bout with rheumatic fever that brought him to medicine and the call to heal.
After completing his studies at Holy Cross, John earned his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine, graduating cum laude. He completed his postgraduate training in internal medicine at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. From 1965-68, John was a Clinical and Research Fellow at Tufts-New England Medical Center, where he studied in the nephrology division under the guidance of his mentor, William B. Schwartz.
It was at Tufts-New England that John developed renowned hemodialysis, peritoneal and renal transplant programs and created the first multi-center, randomized clinical treatment trial in nephrology in the United States.
Over the years, John held faculty appointments at the Boston University School of Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Tufts-New England Medical Center, where he served as director of the hemodialysis unit, as administrative director of the intensive care unit, and as chief of the general medicine division. Spanning more than four decades, John’s tenure at Tufts and New England Medical Center has seen him shine as a teacher, administrator, fund-raiser, researcher and clinician. From 1996-2002, John served as dean of the Tufts University School of Medicine, tripling the institution’s endowment, increasing research funding by 30 percent and overseeing the construction of the $65 million Jaharis Family Center for Biomedical and Nutrition Sciences.
As a colleague remarked recently while contemplating these years of service across a spectrum of duties, John “has been brilliant in all his roles, and an inspiring role model for scores of students, trainees and young faculty, a model of the physician we aspire to be.”
The author of more than 100 articles, studies, editorials and book chapters, John also wrote the text, Consultation in Internal Medicine.
He has served as the governor of the Massachusetts chapter of the American College of Physicians; president of the National Kidney Foundation of Massachusetts; member of the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine; founding co-editor of Nephrology Forum, Kidney Internationaland the Journal of the International Society of Nephrology; and honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
For his seamless blend of brilliance and charm; for his mission to cultivate doctors who are caring, committed and truly humane; for his own calling to be a wise, selfless, empathic healer, the College of the Holy Cross presents to John Harrington the Sanctae Crucis Award.