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Dome - Being a good neighbor

February 2012

Being a good neighbor

Date: February 9, 2012


Ron Peterson

As we work to position Johns Hopkins Medicine for the future by increasing the degree of integration of our regional health care delivery system, by developing mechanisms to improve the flow of patient referrals from out of region to centers of excellence, and by developing additional international capability, we must remain committed to the care of patients in East Baltimore and to the revitalization of the community in which we live and work.

We have honored this obligation since the founding of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the School of Medicine. In a directive from our founder, Mr. Johns Hopkins said that we should collectively be about the business of caring for those located around the hospital.

We have also chosen to interpret that responsibility more broadly in contemporary time, going beyond health care and, as much as we are part of the fabric of the community, to also be a good neighbor and to do what we can to advance the well-being of those residing in East Baltimore.

I think most of us recognize that there is a correlation between the well-being of the community and its actual environmental and societal foundations. For example, we always have had great success with the Dunbar-Hopkins Health Partnership, which is designed to prepare students for careers in health care. This year, the program expanded to provide pre-college performance and cooperative opportunities for participants to engage more collaboratively in the mentoring process. In addition, several Hopkins staff members have met with the new principal, Kristina Kyles, and we look forward to working closely with her to continue this successful program.

We also are involved in the development of a community school for the area just north of us covered by the East Baltimore Development Initiative. We are striving for a school that will really benefit from the presence of kids from both the traditional community and those who work on our campus. I think that would be a very interesting and exciting model.

Altogether, I am proud to say that Johns Hopkins Medicine has more than 200 community benefit programs and initiatives serving our surrounding communities and the city as a whole.

Beyond the programs and initiatives we have in the community, Johns Hopkins Medicine also benefits East Baltimore, the city and state through its economic impact. Here are just a few examples:

·       Hopkins provided $208.5 million in uncompensated care, of which $64.9 million benefitted Baltimore residents.

·       Johns Hopkins Medicine had 35,840 employees worldwide in fiscal year 2011, including 22,272 employees working in Baltimore—making it the city’s largest private employer.

·       The construction of the new clinical buildings has provided more than 4,700 jobs. Of those, almost 1,000 workers were Baltimore City residents, and 280 lived in East Baltimore neighborhoods surrounding The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

·       Johns Hopkins Medicine purchased goods and services, including construction, from Baltimore companies in fiscal year 2010, totaling more than $207.8 million, directly supporting more than 1,365 jobs with these companies.

·       Through fiscal year 2010, Hopkins awarded contracts totaling more than $100 million to minority and women-owned firms working on the new clinical buildings in East Baltimore.

Johns Hopkins Medicine raised $1.7 million in 2011 for the United Way of Central Maryland campaign.

As a practical matter, when we meet with elected officials at City Hall or in Annapolis, this kind of impact provides us access and respect. To our good fortune, the state supported our new clinical buildings’ construction to the tune of $100 million in capital funding. That was quite extraordinary.

In addition to the institution’s obligation to the community at large, I feel very strongly that, beyond my day job, I have a personal responsibility to do meaningful things to address certain social challenges that we face. So I have been involved in the United Way, and currently serve on the boards of Big Brother Big Sister Maryland Mentoring, the Living Classrooms Foundation, and the Business Roundtable for Education. I am also the vice chair of the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board.

I am saying this not to boast in any way, but in the hope that my participation may encourage others around me to do the same.

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