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GRASMICKS CONTRIBUTE SECOND $1 MILLION GIFT TO HOPKINS HEART INSTITUTE
When you find something you really believe in, you want to do everything in your power to help it succeed, said Lou Grasmick, founder and CEO of Louis J. Grasmick Lumber Company Inc., after he and his wife, Nancy, made their second $1 million gift within two years to the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute. The more involved we become with Johns Hopkins the more impressed we become. This heart center continues to make strides in research and patient care that will give hope to people with heart disease, people who may not have had hope in the past. If our gifts can assist with this effort, then we are happy to provide them.
When the Grasmicks announced their first gift in 2004, Nancy Grasmick, who is Maryland state superintendent of schools, said their gifts are a small way of repaying a debt to Johns Hopkins Medicine and the wonderful caregivers who, almost 30 years ago, saved Lous life when they performed the first of his two bypass operations. Knowing that our gift can make a difference in the lives of others, now and in the future, means so much to us.
The Grasmicks have been faithful supporters of cardiovascular services at Johns Hopkins Medicine for many years. Last year, Lou, a long-time Baltimore native, agreed to chair the capital campaign for the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute. Arthur B. Modell, former majority owner of the Baltimore Ravens, and Edward J. Ned Kelly, president and CEO of Mercantile Bank in Baltimore, are chair and vice-chair respectively of the Heart Institute. Lou has served on the Cardiovascular Advisory Council, as chair of the Dana and Albert Cubby Broccoli Center for Aortic Diseases and as president of the Johns Hopkins Cardiac Alumni Club.
For years I have been spreading the word that one of the best-kept medical secrets in Maryland is the coronary care expertise that Johns Hopkins offers, said Lou Grasmick. I have directed dozens of patients to this world-class institution, with very positive outcomes, and now I am pleased to be able to make a mark with our financial gifts.
Gifts like those from Lou and Nancy Grasmick are critical to the continued growth and success of our heart programs, said Edward Miller, M.D., dean of the medical faculty and chief executive officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine. We have seen substantial growth and success over the past few years, growth we are confident will continue. Johns Hopkins heart and heart surgery services were ranked third nationally this year by U.S. News & World Report, the highest rated center on the East Coast.
The Heart Institute, a key part of the Johns Hopkins East Baltimore medical campus master reconstruction plan, will be located in the planned new Cardiovascular and Critical Care Tower. It is one of two new towers estimated to cost more than $300 million by the time they are completed in 2008, with more than $100 million of that total expected to come from philanthropic support.
The greater-Baltimore community has truly come out to support Johns Hopkins over the last 12 months, and Johns Hopkins continues to give back to the community many times over, in my opinion, by putting together the entire spectrum of specialists involved in heart care, said Grasmick. The brilliant staff that has been assembled, and the patients they treat, need and deserve better facilities, and we are committed to providing them. It is incumbent on our community leaders and elected officials who have been touched by this outstanding team and organization, which has gained international recognition, to continue their support as we watch these plans become reality.
Medical faculty in leadership positions with the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute include Cardiac Surgeon in Charge William A. Baumgartner, M.D.; Division of Cardiology Chief Eduardo Marbán, M.D., Ph.D.; Cardiology Clinical Chief Richard Lange, M.D.; Department of Medicine Director Myron Weisfeldt, M.D.; and Department of Surgery Director Julie Freischlag, M.D.