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10 Years in Palm Beach

A decade ago, a Hopkins alumnus who settled in Palm Beach—considered one of the most affluent communities in the world—sponsored a brunch for his alma mater. The event drew about 25 guests whose interest propelled the Fund for JHM and selected faculty to return annually to this palm-fringed playground to cultivate relationships. This year, the six-day whirlwind trip held in January and featuring a perpetual round of presentations given at dinners, cocktail parties and personal visits, drew unprecedented interest. More than 1,000 people flocked to 27 different events, including a symposium on stem cell research co-hosted by the National Council for JHM. Some 40 faculty members, along with Dean Edward Miller, were on hand to tell the Hopkins Medicine story. Senior Associate Director of Alumni Relations Cheryll Glab, who has coordinated the program for all 10 years, describes Palm Beach, with its personal wealth and many referrals to Hopkins doctors, as the perfect place to spread the word about JHM. This most recent visit, she hopes, will inspire participants to be even more inclined to support the facilities, science and people of JHM.

M.E.G. Lecture

Whatever was the matter with Mary Elizabeth Garrett? That was the question probed by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, right, a professor of history at Smith College, in a talk on Jan. 25. The author of a 1984 biography of Garrett’s longtime partner (The Power and the Passion of M. Carey Thomas), Horowitz found that Garrett suffered from apparent breakdowns, thought to be caused by “spinal irritation.” According to eminent neurologists, the School of Medicine’s early benefactor had an “inability for mental exertion.” “Avoid thinking,” they cautioned. Associate not with intellectuals but with “common people.” The entertaining talk was sponsored by the Women’s Leadership Council and the Gertrude Stein Society. Organizer Nancy Craig, a professor of molecular biology, noted that Horowitz “enriched our understanding of the institution and the role women played in it.”

Satisfaction Is Up

For the past six years, Press Ganey patient satisfaction surveys have pointed to what patients want most: clear communication about every aspect of their care, courtesy and compassion. The latest “wave”—jargon for the semiannual survey—delivered the highest scores since the Press Ganey tool has been in use at Hopkins Hospital. Compared with 20 other academic hospitals with 600-plus beds, JHH moved from 55th to 65th percentile. Mean score moved from 81.5 percent to 82.5 percent. “It's only one point, but it’s significant because it’s the highest score we’ve ever had in patient satisfaction,” says Carolyn Ford, senior project administrator for service excellence.

Home Care, Peds at Home, and PharmEquip, made significant gains as well. Carolyn Ford, senior project administrator for service excellence, is both pleased and cautious. “We’re on the right path, but we still have to work harder to treat patients as individuals, not as numbers or diagnoses.”



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