Collaboration Expands Care Options for Patients in the Region
In a strategic move designed to strengthen both institutions while enhancing the access of patients in the North Central Maryland region to a wide range of clinical specialty programs, Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center today have entered into a master affiliation agreement.
"In an era of intense competition for shrinking health care dollars, bold moves are required to ensure that Marylanders have superior access to cost-effective, high-quality health care," said Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. "And this is what our affiliation provides for those living in a rapidly growing region of Maryland."
"Through this affiliation, two organizations known for their commitment to providing high-quality health care have agreed to work together to bring the best of Johns Hopkins Medicine and GBMC to patients in our region," said Laurence M. Merlis, president and CEO of GBMC. "We are excited that this strategic agreement with Johns Hopkins Medicine, a world-renowned clinical leader, will provide the opportunity for GBMC to build upon our history of providing-university level care in a community hospital setting."
The affiliation agreement calls for service line arrangements and describes the intent of the hospitals to offer varied clinical services in several areas, with cardiology services and pediatric surgery already under way. The parties have agreed to explore additional joint clinical practices, shared satellite health care centers, and collaboration on clinical research. Also on the horizon is the possibility of additional graduate medical education rotations at GBMC.
One immediate program, beginning today, is medical direction of cardiovascular services by Johns Hopkins at GBMC. This will include John Hopkins physicians managing GBMC's cardiac care unit, overseeing cardiology services in GBMC's Emergency Department and supervising all heart-related inpatient and outpatient testing.
A new collaboration in pediatric surgery has also been created that will support GBMC's pediatric services, already the largest outpatient pediatric surgery program in the region. Patient capacity at GBMC for pediatric surgery will be expanded through an enhanced pediatric surgery practice at GBMC. Patients with complex surgical needs will be referred to Johns Hopkins, the leader in sophisticated and complex pediatric surgery, for specialty care.
"This affiliation recruits the respective strengths of each institution to enhance accessible, affordable, patient-centered care choices in the region," said Edward D. Miller, dean/CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Beyond direct patient care, the opportunities for important medical research and educational projects mean more rapid application of new knowledge in the treatment and prevention of disease. We are delighted to have a strong associate who shares our vision of providing the highest quality care and access for our communities."
The affiliation agreement brings together the resources of GBMC, which comprises a 292-bed acute care hospital, the Hospice of Baltimore, Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care and satellite facilities across Baltimore County, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, which comprises The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System and the faculty physicians of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
"This affiliation strengthens each institutions position in a growing region and can only benefit patients by providing more options when they choose care and need care coordination in multiple specialties," said Merlis. "Patients seeking enhanced care in certain specialties and those requiring very complex or sophisticated services not currently available at GBMC will now have facilitated access to Johns Hopkins specialists."
The two hospitals have had a longstanding relationship. GBMC and Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute have been affiliated since the 1960s, and the hospitals have three integrated residency programs: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Additionally, many GBMC physicians also hold teaching positions with Johns Hopkins Medicine, and a joint program to train doctorate level and advanced practice nurses from GBMC will begin later this year with the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.
The five-year affiliation agreement includes two successive two-year automatic renewals. It will be managed by a joint planning group, including the CEOs of both organizations, that will work together to explore and monitor the implementation of the various collaborative projects.
About the Greater Baltimore Medical Center
GBMC includes Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC), Central Marylands leading community hospital; Hospice of Baltimore, which provides comfort and care to patients with life-limiting illnesses; and the GBMC Foundation, which supports the GBMC mission by managing fundraising efforts. The 292-bed Medical Center, located on a beautiful suburban campus, serves nearly 22,000 inpatients annually and provides approximately 60,000 emergency room visits. For more information, go to www.gbmc.org.
About Johns Hopkins Medicine
Johns Hopkins Medicine, established in 1997 to unite Johns Hopkins biomedical research, clinical, teaching and business enterprises, brings together The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its faculty with the facilities and programs of the Johns Hopkins Health System. The Health System, which has its origins in the founding of the world-famous Johns Hopkins Hospital, now comprises three hospitals, as well as other elements of an integrated system, from a community physicians group to home care. The $4 billion JHM enterprise is one of the largest employers in Maryland. Its components consistently are named at the top of national rankings for best hospital and best school of medicine, and its faculty consistently win the largest share of NIH research funds. Results of this research continue to advance efforts to diagnose, treat and prevent many diseases. For more information, go to www.hopkinsmedicine.org.
Gary M. Stephenson, M.S.