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Three Little Words... and the difference they’ve made.
Those three words—Johns Hopkins Medicine—have come to define the strong partnership, established a decade ago, between the School of Medicine and the Health System. A 10-year report highlights the sharp contrast between then and now. Here are excerpts.


Ronald Peterson, left, head of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, and Dean/CEO Edward Miller.

Leadership with a Single Voice

THEN: A decade ago, as Johns Hopkins’ reputation as a leader in American medicine continued to grow, the picture at home looked more complicated. There was increasing awareness that the University component—the School of Medicine—and the patient care part—the Health System—were often not speaking with one voice. As academic medicine became more complex, that rift could become a chasm. Leaders here realized that medicine at Johns Hopkins needed a better organizational structure.

NOW: In 1997, University President William Brody and Dean/CEO Edward Miller began blending the clinical and educational strategic missions for medicine. The unifying concept would be called Johns Hopkins Medicine. Miller’s first step, the two agreed, would be to start building a strong alliance with Ronald Peterson, head of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.

In the decade since then, Miller and Peterson have forged a remarkably collegial partnership—and a common vision. The benefits have been enormous: Today, the once-cramped and aging East Baltimore medical campus is well on its way to being rebuilt—supported by staggering sums in philanthropic contributions. The School of Medicine curriculum is being remodeled to reflect new understandings of the human body. And sitting at the helms of 25 of the School of Medicine’s 28 departments are new directors—some of the most respected names in American medicine—who have taken up the reins from retiring department heads.

Tomorrow’s Doctors

Carnegie 100
“Today’s medical students will be practicing into the middle of this century; we need to give them a way to assimilate new information as more genes are linked to diseases. Our new curriculum, Genes to Society, does just that.” —David Nichols, M.D., Vice Dean for Education

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THEN: By 1997, Hopkins’ famous medical school curriculum was losing ground. The accelerating pace of genetic medicine and the advent of new classroom technology made clear that our program needed to change to remain current. Sadly, our education building was hampered by limited computing resources, outmoded instructional technology and cramped group-study space.

NOW: History could be about to repeat itself. A century ago, the Flexner Report—a nationwide study of hospitals and medical schools—named Hopkins as the gold standard in American medical education. Other medical schools began modeling their programs after ours. Now, our School of Medicine is once more about to refashion its approach to educating tomorrow’s doctors. This time, the building where this new curriculum unfolds will feature every bell and whistle available for teaching—in surroundings meant for learning.

At the start of the 20th century, Johns Hopkins was America’s undisputed model for medical education. Early in the 21st century, we’re committed to maintaining that distinction

Clinical Adventure

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Peter Pronovost
“It’s too late to save those who died preventable deaths as a result of errors. But by making their deaths catalysts for change, we’re saving others. Thousands and thousands of others.” —Peter Pronovost, M.D., Director, Quality and Safety Research Group

THEN: A decade ago, the main Johns Hopkins medical campus desperately needed to modernize and expand. But where? Hopkins’ East Baltimore location was landlocked. “Everybody was explaining why we couldn’t grow,” Edward Miller recalls. “I told them to come back when they could tell me how we could.”

There were other problems too—Hopkins lacked an overarching method for solving hidden threats to patient safety. And eroding collaboration between researchers and physicians threatened to limit the bench-to-bedside medicine that had made Hopkins famous.

NOW: These days, Johns Hopkins Medicine has a new symbol: the construction crane. The slate of buildings completed or begun during the past decade is breathtaking in cost ($1.2 billion) and in scope. What’s more, Hopkins is now recognized as a national leader in the patient safety movement. And new approaches to treating disease are moving with speed from our research laboratories to the marketplace and to patients worldwide.

On Into Maryland

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Victor Broccolino
“One elderly lady turned to the other and said, ‘You can certainly see the improvements around here since they joined Hopkins!’” —Victor Broccolino, CEO and President, Howard County General Hospital

THEN: A decade ago, beyond its “mothership” campus, Hopkins had scarcely capitalized locally on its national preeminence. Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center was just beginning to take shape as a second Hopkins health care facility. And only one suburban outpatient center met the public demand for Hopkins care outside East Baltimore.

NOW: Over the past decade, Johns Hopkins Medicine has burgeoned as it seized opportunities and created alliances. The groundwork for this broader Hopkins became a $150 million program that transformed the Bayview Medical Center into a modern, 331-bed hospital and outpatient center. Today, under the leadership of its determined president Greg Schaffer, Bayview excels in burn treatment, geriatrics, gastroenterology, asthma and allergy medicine. Its campus also serves as home to the largest NIH clinical research facility outside Bethesda.

And this is just the beginning. Johns Hopkins Medicine outposts now dot the Maryland map.

Our Employees


“The lucky part was coming to work at Johns Hopkins. This place has stood by me every step of the way, and I know it will be there for me as I keep going, too.” —Elliott Ward, Pharmacy technician

THEN: Split between the School of Medicine and the Hospital, the 13,000 employees on the East Baltimore campus had two different sets of benefits. Equally troublesome, the separate organizations had no coordinated strategy for moving employees ahead. Morale and retention were dropping among nurses, technicians, administrative staff and other employees.

NOW: A unified vision, consistent benefits and an array of employee-development programs have boosted retention and job satisfaction among employees. “It’s like the difference between patient care and patient-centered care,” says Pamela Paulk, Hospital vice president for human resources. “We practice employee-centered management.” Hopkins employee- and family-friendly initiatives, Paulk says, result directly from the sea change that took place when Johns Hopkins Medicine came into being.

“It’s the leadership—it’s those two guys, Miller and Peterson. Both of them firmly believe that our employees are what make us great.”

A Community Reborn


“I believe in cycles. Communities have cycles; so do people. My own cycle has brought me back here, back to the neighborhood where my grandparents lived.” —Deidra Bishop, Director, East Baltimore Community Affairs

THEN: Efforts to renew the blighted East Baltimore communities north of the medical campus—block by block, house by house—were going nowhere fast. Efforts to rehab houses had floundered. Drugs, crime and troubled schools were the norm for our neighborhood.

NOW: Today, East Baltimore is undergoing a remarkable renaissance, marked by gleaming biomedical buildings and inviting townhouses, apartments and outdoor cafes. The rising Hopkins tide—roughly $2 billion worth of construction projects—offers unprecedented opportunities for revitalizing the surrounding neighborhoods through jobs and housing developments.

Going Global

Carnegie 100
“There is one resounding theme that unites our projects: We’re raising the standard of care around the world.” —Charles Cummings, M.D., Director, Medical Services, JHM International

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THEN: In 1997, Hopkins International “outreach” consisted of recruiting patients from overseas in order to bring in more revenue. These fees boosted the bottom line—but did nothing to advance the Hopkins mission or raise the standard of care in other countries.

NOW: Thousands of international patients come to Baltimore to see Hopkins physicians, but today Johns Hopkins Medicine is taking its models for patient care, teaching and research to the world.

 

 

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