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Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
Media Contact: Contact: Ken Frager
September 21, 2004

Aims to Revolutionize Care for Heart Patients in the 21st Century

As part of a major initiative to “revolutionize care for cardiac patients in the 21st Century,” Johns Hopkins Medicine is establishing The Johns Hopkins Heart Institute, which is scheduled to open in 2008 as part of the East Baltimore medical campus master plan. The new institute will have its own Board of Governors, headed by Arthur B. Modell, former majority owner of the Baltimore Ravens football team and former President of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

“I’m accustomed to putting together winning teams,” says Modell. “The new Heart Institute aims to do nothing less than change the way medicine is practiced. To help provide the resources and guidance needed to make this vision a reality, we’ve assembled an outstanding group of forward-thinking leaders.”

Modell’s Vice Chairman will be Edward J. (Ned) Kelly III, President and CEO of Mercantile Bankshares. Louis J. Grasmick, President and CEO of Louis J. Grasmick Lumber Company Inc., will chair the Institute’s capital campaign. Businessmen and women from the Baltimore region, as well as from throughout the country, are on the board.

“If history is to be our guide, there’s every reason to expect The Johns Hopkins Heart Institute to achieve the success we’re all waiting for in the treatment of heart disease, and in its prevention,” says Modell, whose own health problems focused his passion on the battle against cardiovascular disorders.

“Hopkins was the birth place of modern cardiac surgery. The world was reminded of that by HBO’s film, Something the Lord Made,” says Modell. “But what people may not know is that Hopkins also pioneered the use of balloons and clot-busting drugs to open blood vessels. CPR was developed at Hopkins. The first defibrillators and pacemakers – forerunners of the kind Vice President Cheney uses – were implanted here.

“I guarantee you that the work now underway by the Heart Institute’s physicians and scientists will prove equally significant. They’re closing holes in the heart without even opening the chest, using stem cells to replace damaged heart muscle, reshaping the heart to avoid the need for transplants, working on biopacemakers. This isn’t science fiction. This is for real. And it’s happening right here at Hopkins.

“The brilliant staff Hopkins assembled – and the patients they treat – need and deserve better facilities. By bringing together the entire spectrum of specialists involved in heart care, we expect to accelerate the translation of new discoveries to improve patient care.

Key faculty involved with the Institute include Cardiac Surgeon-in-Charge William A. Baumgartner, M.D., the Division of Cardiology’s chief, Eduardo Marbán, M.D., Ph.D., and clinical chief, Richard Lange, M.D., Department of Medicine Director Myron Weisfeldt, M.D., and Department of Surgery Director Julie Freischlag, M.D.

“We’re immensely pleased that Mr. Modell has agreed to take on this new role,” says Edward D. Miller, M.D., Dean of the Medical Faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “While his name is most often associated with football, he also has vast experience in health care. For 22 years he served as a trustee for the Cleveland Clinic, the last nine years as President of the institution.” In 2004, Modell joined the Johns Hopkins Medicine Board of Trustees.
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