In This Section      

Johns Hopkins Bayview News - Why I Give: John R. Burton

Summer 2013

Why I Give: John R. Burton

By: Sara Baker
Date: June 3, 2013

John R. Burton, M.D.

For John R. Burton, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Geriatric Education Center, swimming is his daily “precious quiet time” to do his creative thinking or plan an upcoming talk. It’s also become a great way to give back to a cause near and dear to his heart: Johns Hopkins oncology research.

For the past three years, Dr. Burton has led a Johns Hopkins Bayview team in the Swim Across America (SAA) Baltimore Open Water Swim. The annual event raises money for the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and the research of Luis Diaz, M.D. Last year alone, the Johns Hopkins Bayview team raised $35,000 for oncology research; the entire swim raised more than $550,000.

Dr. Burton has been swimming daily for fitness for the past 20 years (see more of Dr. Burton’s tips on aging well). “I do a fair bit of open water swimming at my cottage on the Chesapeake Bay,” he says. “But I needed motivation to keep training.”

When he discovered the SAA cause, which relies heavily on volunteers and donates about 95 percent of its total proceeds directly to the Kimmel Cancer Center, it seemed to be just what he was looking for.

“The Hopkins oncology program began right here on the Hopkins Bayview campus,” says Dr. Burton. “What better thing to do? This money is precious funding for young scholars, pilot programs and cutting-edge research that move the field forward. You can go right down to the lab and see for yourself where the proceeds are going.”

This year’s event will take place on September 22. Johns Hopkins Bayview team members, who each swim one or three miles in open bay waters, range in age from 13 to 75, and include three generations of Dr. Burton’s family, several Hopkins geriatricians, surgeons, nurses and Hopkins Bayview executive vice president Charles Reuland, Sc.D.

To donate online to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Swim Across American team, visit, search for “Baltimore Open Water Swim,” then click on “Donate” to find Team Hopkins Bayview.

To learn more about general giving to Johns Hopkins Bayview, call 410-550-1663 or visit .