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Circling the Dome

History Goes Digital

It may seem like an odd match: The school of medicine’s history of medicine program, founded in 1929, is the oldest of its kind in the English-speaking world—and today it houses the first online degree program at the school of medicine.

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digital history illustration

A Commanding Presence

The Johns Hopkins Hospital is already seeing dramatic improvements in the patient experience and operational outcomes (see below) since the launch in early 2016 of the Judy Reitz Capacity Command Center, which combines the latest in systems engineering, predictive analytics and innovative problem-solving.

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Telemedicine in the ED

In emergency departments, the sickest and most seriously injured get treated first, while less acute patients sometimes wait to see a physician. Now, The Johns Hopkins Hospital is providing medical screening exams to those patients faster, thanks to a custom-made telemedicine cart that helps off-site Johns Hopkins clinicians assess patients and initiate care.

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retina examination

Two for the Academy

Last fall, Paul Rothman, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and bioethicist Jeffrey Kahn joined the esteemed ranks of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. NAM members, recognized for their outstanding professional achievements and commitments to service, advise the U.S. government on medical and health issues.


Typical out-of-pocket costs, on top of what’s paid to have health insurance, for elderly and disabled people on Medicare after receiving a cancer diagnosis, according to a recent Johns Hopkins study. For some patients, expenditures for treatment add up to 63 percent of their income, noted researchers, including radiation oncologist Amol Narang.

Hospitalizations are a major driver of out-of-pocket costs, the scientists found. “The health shock can be followed by financial toxicity. In many cases, doctors can bring you back to health, but it can be tremendously expensive, and a lot of treatments are given without a discussion of the costs or the financial consequences,” notes study co-author Lauren Nicholas, a health policy researcher in the school of public health. 

Promising Partnerships

A new five-year collaboration between The Johns Hopkins University and Bristol-Myers Squibb aims to answer why some patients respond to immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint blockers and some do not, and to develop more effective combination immunotherapies. Projects included in the collaboration will span laboratory research on patients’ tumor samples and several early-stage clinical trials led by Johns Hopkins scientists at the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

“We’re at an inflection point of understanding the root causes of response and resistance to immunotherapy, and this collaboration will help propel the research needed to identify ways to expand immunotherapy effectiveness to more patients,” says Drew Pardoll, director of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute.