Building Community, One Program at a Time

There’s no doubt about it:  We spend A LOT of time at work. Whether it’s 40 hours a week Monday through Friday, three 12-hour shifts in the emergency room, or overnight security on campus, a good portion of our lives is spent at work. Where you work and how you get there can be big contributors to your overall career satisfaction.

One of MASCO’s goals is to continually improve our neighborhood and help build community among the many interesting people who work here. We enhance our streets and sidewalks with flowers, install benches and sustainable trash containers and upgrade the shuttle system to provide more comfortable transportation for LMA commuters. A few years ago, a couple met and then married on one of the MASCO buses.

Bands on Blackfan
Last summer, MASCO launched the summer series “Bands on Blackfan,” along with several LMA partners: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, BioMed Realty, Emmanuel College, Harvard Medical School and Merck. MASCO coordinated with local musicians and food trucks to create a lunchtime music series as a fun alternative to sitting at your desk or hitting the cafeteria.  Bands on Blackfan returned this summer with double the crowds and extra food trucks. One woman who was waiting for her child to finish surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital spotted a flyer for the June event and took a walk over. “This is the most welcomed distraction for me today – what a great event,” she said.

"The Sugarbabies" Jamming on Blackfan

A Bicyclists’ Convoy
Since jetports depicted in “The Jetsons” have yet to be produced, commuting via car, bus, train, cycle or on foot are our only options. MASCO’s CommuteWorks program is focused on developing incentives for alternative commuting (getting people out of cars and onto public transport) as well as supporting the cyclists and pedestrians throughout the LMA. This spring, CommuteWorks partnered with Landry Bikes to offer a new program   with an instructor-led bicycle group organized into a convoy to commute to work. There was great representation across MASCO member institutions, including Boston Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, MCPHS University, and Wheelock College. “Our cyclists noted that this small group commute was really helpful in providing the motivation to achieve a bike commute. This was such a successful pilot that we hope to develop a wider program as we identify more routes, and expand the peer-to-peer bicycle commuting culture,” said Stacey King, MASCO’s CommuteWorks coordinator.

Experienced and novice cyclists team up to convoy into the LMA

Applauding a New Shuttle Fleet
Last summer MASCO hosted the “Fleet Fiesta,” a party to roll-out our 30 new 42-passengers shuttle buses to the LMA community. Over 300 people attended the event with food trucks, a DJ, Red Sox Trophies and games. Attendees toured the new shuttles and entered a “Shuttle Selfie” contest. This year, MASCO completed the fleet replacement with the roll-out of the new cut vans. Now MASCO’s entire fleet is new and very comfortable. Each day MASCO shuttles transport more than 12,000 people between rail and transit links, off-site parking lots and institutions in the LMA.

Making Renovations Fun
375 Longwood Avenue, the MASCO building, is home to slightly more than 360 employees of member institutions in the LMA. Two elevators servicing seven floors run constantly. Earlier this summer MASCO shut one bank down to modernize the elevator car, and will do the same with the second car after the first has been completed. Replacing elevator cars is no short order, and the project is expected to take six months. MASCO has encouraged stair climbing competitions and hung signs on each floor landing heralding the benefits.  As a peace offering for the inconvenience, MASCO served breakfast to our tenants and will host an “end of project” party for them as well. These everts are in addition to our spring ice cream sundae social tenant appreciation event.

Celebrating and Supporting Cyclists
Bike Week in Massachusetts is a big deal, and MASCO makes a special effort to celebrate and support the more than 3,000 cyclists in the LMA. MASCO staff is up and at ‘em early to serve breakfast, free T-shirts, cycling information and bike tune-ups to cyclers in the LMA. Landry’s bike experts tuned more than 60 bikes for free.

Focus on Greener Environs
MASCO’s Sustainability Committee meets regularly to discuss the challenges and opportunities of creating and sustaining a greener environment in the LMA. With a focus on purchasing, usage, waste and disposal, the committee is presently working on a large scale project that aims to help members bring more locally sourced and organic food options to the LMA staff, visitors, students and patients. Healthy food is a link to healthier people, improved patient outcomes and lower health care costs. Earlier this spring MASCO hosted a forum on sustainable food with experts from the Green Restaurant Association, the Farm to School Project and Health Care Without Harm. Experts helped attendees determine what is local and sustainable, how to increase sustainable food purchasing without increasing costs and shared metrics that are designed to measure environmental impacts of food purchasing and delivery.

We eat, we bike, we exercise, we ride alternative transportation together, and we celebrate Longwood, our friends, our work, our missions.