As a physician, board member, and philanthropist, Jon W. Cronin, MD, is a longstanding member of the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital–Milton (BID Milton) family. Beloved by patients, families, and colleagues alike, Dr. Cronin is a cardiologist and primary care physician known for his enduring commitment to the community. In recognition of his longtime service, Dr. Cronin will be honored at the upcoming Everyday Exceptional: The Gala to Celebrate BID Milton on April 27 at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. Purchase tickets and sponsorships for the Gala.   

We recently sat down with Dr. Cronin to learn more about his nearly four decades of being a prominent physician-leader at BID Milton and President of South Shore Internal Medicine Associates. He shared his insight into what drives his passion for medical care, both locally and abroad, and what he finds so special about the BID Milton community. A donor since 1987, he also shared why he feels driven to contribute financially, year after year. Please join us at this year’s Gala to recognize him—and thank Dr. Cronin—in person.

Tell us about your family and loved ones. Did they influence your career choice to become a doctor? 
I come from a large Irish family of seven siblings and grew up in the Mission Hill project in Roxbury—just a stone’s throw from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). I actually delivered papers in the area when I was a kid. Today everyone in my family essentially lives locally. This close-knit environment has influenced my perspective on health care and specifically on helping people. The inspiration to pursue a career in medicine came partly from seeing the health needs of my aging parents and partly from my academic journey, which led me to major in the history of science at Harvard. While I initially contemplated a career in law, I was drawn to the scientific and humanitarian aspects of medicine. I knew I wanted to make an impact and to help others.

You have an impressive legacy of leadership at BID Milton. Tell us about the professional roles you have been in over the years.
Throughout my career, I have held various roles that have allowed me to contribute to the medical community and the well-being of BID Milton patients. My journey began with training at BIDMC before making the transition to Milton after completing my cardiology fellowship. Subsequently, I became a part of the BID Milton staff and have been here for more than thirty-six years. Within BID Milton, I have worn several hats, including serving as the President of the Medical Staff, and for eight years, I took on the responsibility of being the Chief of Medicine. In addition, I had the privilege of being on the Board of Trustees of the hospital and currently serve as the President of the South Shore Internal Medicine Associates group.

Over the years, I have been passionate about being involved and contributing to the hospital’s growth and success. As a result, I also have been involved in various hospital committees, including the Philanthropy Committee, Executive Committee, Quality Assurance Committee, and Joint Practice Committee.

What makes cardiology at BID Milton so unique?
Cardiology at BID Milton is truly special because it combines traditional cardiology with highly specialized medical care—all under one roof. In the past, when I entered the medical field, it was common for physicians at community hospitals to practice both primary care and specialty care. But by having general cardiologists and specialists working together, we can stay better focused on day-to-day care, while also tapping into our colleagues’ expertise on the latest cardiac advancements and technologies.

In a sense, we are better equipped to handle the routine everyday cases, like blood pressure or cholesterol management, and also be sure we are delivering on more intricate and critical aspects of cardiology. This way, patients can receive the best possible care no matter their needs. 

You have an admirable track record of caring for others that extends beyond BID Milton. What are your thoughts on giving back to the community—and the world?
My philosophy regarding giving back to the community and the world is deeply rooted in the belief that we should help people locally, nationally, and globally. It’s about recognizing that people are all connected, and we all share the important responsibility of making a positive impact. That’s one of the main reasons why my wife and I have faithfully donated to the hospital for decades.

Beyond our local hospital, my wife and I are also part of a collective effort to support the Saint Rock Haiti Foundation, where we’ve been involved in operating a clinic, orphanage, and school in Haiti. This initiative is deeply meaningful to me. In the past, I have visited and supported this project numerous times along with several colleagues from our staff who share the same commitment. This extends beyond financial support; it’s about dedicating our time, expertise, and resources to make a difference both in our immediate community and the broader world.   

What makes the Milton community unique? 
The community is special, and I’ve had the privilege of being a part of it for many years. Not only has the area grown in population, but it’s also a wonderful place to live. Being close to Boston has its advantages, especially with great tertiary care hospitals like BIDMC. Now, as part of the Beth Israel Lahey Health (BILH) system, we have even more access to specialty services. Regardless, we’ve always known that we can provide exceptional care right here in our community, and patients have confidence in that. It’s not just about proximity to Boston; it’s about the sense of belonging and the ability to cater to their needs effectively.

Moreover, the Milton community is characterized by a strong spirit of generosity and giving back. I had the privilege of living here for decades, surrounded by family, friends, and neighbors who have trusted me and my colleagues for their medical needs. It’s a tremendous feeling to be a resource for family and loved ones, offering advice when needed, and I take that very seriously. 

You are a longtime contributor—your first gift to BID Milton was in 1987. In your opinion, why is philanthropy critical?
Philanthropy is one of the most powerful ways that we can meet our community’s healthcare needs. It allows BID Milton to continue to provide high-quality care and improve its facilities. BID Milton is essential in serving the community’s health needs and continually improving the overall care experience—and our generous donors play an important role in our ability to do this. Philanthropy is essential in our recent inpatient renovation project and the opening of the neurology testing suite. And as we go forward, philanthropy will continue to be vital in hospital advancements and updates to our facilities. This includes the Mark T. Hodgman, MD, Cardiology Testing Suite, which will be named after my colleague and mentor, Dr. Mark Hodgman, and potential future upgrades to our ED and other key spaces.

Purchase tickets and sponsorships for Everyday Exceptional: The Gala to Celebrate BID Milton.