James Block, Former Hospital President


James “Jim” Block, who was president and CEO of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins Health System from 1992–96, died Oct. 9, 2023, at age 83. A longtime health care executive and expert palliative care physician, Block died due to complications from a neurological disorder.

His time at Johns Hopkins was a period of transition, and he led the organization through transformational developments that remain cornerstones of the institution. His chief achievement was creation of Johns Hopkins’ Green Spring Station facility, which had several expansions and served as a model for future outpatient centers in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., suburbs.

“James Block navigated Johns Hopkins through some challenging waters, positioning us to become the institution we are today by setting in motion a number of forward-thinking initiatives,” says Theodore DeWeese, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

During Block’s time at Johns Hopkins, he oversaw plans for a new, state-of-the-art cancer center and helped broker a $2 million joint business agreement with Suburban Hospital, which officially became part of Johns Hopkins Medicine in 2009.

Block resigned from Johns Hopkins in August 1996, citing restructuring due to merging of the health system and The Johns Hopkins University.

He founded J.A. Block Health Associates in 1997, a palliative care consulting firm. Block’s leadership helped establish the field as a medical specialty, increased the number of palliative care programs in hospitals across the country and led to research focused on improving the field.