Johns Hopkins Medicine
Office of Corporate Communications
Media Contact: Ken Frager
443-287-2283; [email protected]
January 13, 2005


Steve Geppi, president and CEO of Diamond Comics and publisher of Baltimore Magazine, and his wife Mindy today announced a $1.5 million gift to benefit the new Johns Hopkins Cardiovascular & Critical Care Tower and Heart Institute, the planned Children’s and Maternal Hospital, and programs in preventive cardiology and pediatric hematology.

Born in the "Little Italy" section of Baltimore, Geppi says he has been successful in business and in life primarily because he has never lost sight of the importance of faith, family and community service. "We’ve been fortunate that Johns Hopkins has been available to our family on several occasions," he says. "That’s why we wanted to give something back to the institution. Mindy and I were told the current needs are for bricks and mortar, so if that’s what this world class institution needs, that’s where we want to contribute."

"We are grateful for the Geppi’s gift, which will help us radically transform patient care at Johns Hopkins," says George J. Dover, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and Given Professor of Pediatrics. "The most critically ill children and adults, currently treated in diverse areas across the hospital's oldest buildings, will be treated in cutting-edge facilities with sophisticated equipment and technology."

According to Louis Grasmick, chair of the Capital Campaign for the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute, "Hopkins has been putting together the entire spectrum of specialists involved in heart care, with the experience to accelerate the translation of new discoveries to improve patient care. Thanks to gifts like the Geppi’s, and with the continued support of our community leaders and elected officials, we are that much closer to ensuring that these discoveries see the light of day."

Mr. Geppi entered the comics business in 1974 when he opened Geppi's Comic World, which he soon expanded to four stores. In 1982, he moved into distribution and in just over a decade's time had expanded his comic book distribution business across North America and Europe.

After more than 20 years of service, Diamond has emerged as the world's largest distributor of English-language comics and related merchandise, with a network of strategically-located distribution centers throughout the world. Today, Diamond Comic Distributors serves as the exclusive distributor for many of the comic industry's leading publishers including DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics and Image Comics. Diamond also has expanded into the toy and book distribution businesses with the successful start-up of Diamond Select Toys and Diamond Book Distributors.

"The changes that have been taking place at Hopkins are all part of the overall plan to change the way medicine is practiced…to protect and improve the lives of all of their patients, and to keep the institution’s resources and facilities at the head of the pack," said Art Modell, Chairman of the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute Board of Governors. "Visionaries like Steve and Mindy Geppi, who have the means to support this effort, have always been, and will continue to be, the cornerstones for this fine institution."

The Johns Hopkins Heart Institute, which will be located in the Cardiovascular & Critical Care Tower, and the Children’s and Maternal Hospital, are key to ongoing and planned redevelopment of Hopkins’s East Baltimore Medical Campus. The new towers are estimated to cost more than $400 million by the time they are completed in 2008, with more than $100 million of that total expected to come from philanthropic support. These new buildings, which will be linked to the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building housing the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, will create the most efficient, modern, and technologically advanced centers for the treatment of pediatric and adult patients.

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