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Delivering the Promise of Medicine: Johns Hopkins Medicine 2017 Year in Review

Year in Review 2017

2017 was a great year for Johns Hopkins Medicine. From biomedical discoveries that advanced cancer treatment to local programs that enhanced the health — and employment — of our communities’ residents, we saw our mission deepen and expand.
The year also brought the retirement of Ronald R. Peterson, the longtime president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine — along with the arrival of Kevin Sowers as our new president and EVP. 

We continued in our long-held mission to provide the most comprehensive, compassionate treatment of our patients and their loved ones through research, education and patient care.

Johns Hopkins Medicine's 2017 Research Highlights

Scientific discovery is the engine that drives patient care and cures at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Here are 10 highlights from this year's discoveries. Learn more about these and other efforts to fulfill the promise of medicine at

Here are a few of the many advancements that shaped the year and show how Johns Hopkins Medicine brought hope to humanity in 2017.

Building on a Commitment to Community

Playground at Eager Park

Johns Hopkins Medicine’s faculty and staff members are committed to improving the communities where they live and work. This special “Community” issue of Dome, our employee newsletter, showcases 15 stories capturing our positive impact on our communities.

A New Playground in Eager Park

In June, hundreds of volunteers, including Johns Hopkins students and employees, constructed a playground in Baltimore’s newest public space, Eager Park. The volunteer day, organized by the KaBOOM! playground nonprofit, added colorful structures for climbing, crawling, sliding and balancing to the north end of the 5.5-acre park, which officially opened in May. The new park and playground continue a revitalization project that began in 2001, when Johns Hopkins institutions teamed with public and private entities to create East Baltimore Development Inc., or EBDI, a nonprofit with the ambitious goal of rebuilding an 88-acre East Baltimore neighborhood.

A Focus on Local Hiring

Together with The Johns Hopkins University, we hired 304 employees for a set of targeted positions who live in a focus area of Baltimore City ZIP codes, making up 43 percent of the hires in those categories. Additionally, individuals with criminal records were hired at Johns Hopkins’ Baltimore City locations, including 41 who were among the HopkinsLocal focus area residents hired into targeted positions.

Combating Toxic Stress in St. Petersburg

At Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, pediatric residents recently helped health care professionals, families and community members learn more about toxic stress and resilience through a special program held in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Johns Hopkins Bayview Initiative Builds Healthier Bonds in the Community

The Lay Health Educator Program, organized by physicians, psychologists, nurses, social workers and chaplains from Johns Hopkins Bayview, provides health education for community leaders, who then become health advocates for their friends, family members, students and congregants. It’s part of Medicine for the Greater Good, a Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center-based initiative that builds connections between Johns Hopkins and its surrounding communities.

Practicing Culinary Medicine

The Johns Hopkins Community Physicians practice in Remington holds cooking classes to help neighborhood residents improve their health, and primary care doctors now pay weekly house calls to a church in North Baltimore to help their workplace neighbors learn about nutritious meals.

A 'Hopkins Person' Beyond Compare

Ron Peterson

After more than 44 years of service to Johns Hopkins, Ronald R. Peterson announced his retirement as president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Under his leadership, Peterson oversaw the opening of The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s 1.6-million-square-foot Sheikh Zayed Cardiovascular and Critical Care Tower and The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children’s Center; the additions at Howard County General Hospital, Suburban Hospital, Sibley Memorial Hospital and All Children’s Hospital; the expansion of Johns Hopkins Medicine International and much more.

“In the life of an institution, there are leaders who leave such a deep and distinctive imprint that their influence spans well beyond the bounds of their career,” Johns Hopkins Medicine CEO Paul B. Rothman writes. “Beyond any question, Ron has been instrumental to the success of this organization, and I have a profound appreciation for all of his contributions.”

The First Precision Medicine Centers of Excellence Open

Precision medicine is driven in part by innovative patient care and new ways of measuring disease. Our researchers with Johns Hopkins inHealth are developing novel measures to further our understanding of each individual’s health status and likely health trajectory. Our investigators are testing the implementation of new processes that will improve patient care and seamlessly integrate new medical knowledge into clinical practice.

The first two Precision Medicine Centers of Excellence opened in 2017: 
Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Prostate Cancer
The Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Prostate Cancer focuses on using data analysis to precisely target specific types of prostate cancer and identify which ones will progress malignantly, which will respond to certain treatments and which may best be managed through “active surveillance.”
Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Multiple Sclerosis
The Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for Multiple Sclerosis brings the iterative process of precision medicine to improving diagnosis, treatment and overall understanding of this debilitating neurological disease.  

To help more men avoid unnecessary surgery for prostate cancer, Johns Hopkins are tapping into the tools of precision medicine. #PrecisionMedicine #DigitalHealth #ProstateCancer

Posted by Johns Hopkins Medicine on Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Johns Hopkins Hospital Top-Ranked in the Nation for Patients of All Ages

US News and World Report

Out of nearly 4,700 hospitals reviewed, The Johns Hopkins Hospital ranked #1 in Maryland and #3 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017–18 Best Hospitals list. Thirteen specialties at The Johns Hopkins Hospital are now among the top 10 in the nation. Ten specialties are in the top five. 

This — coupled with the recent pediatric ranking in which U.S. News named Johns Hopkins Children’s Center #5 nationally — makes Johns Hopkins the nation’s top-ranked hospital combined for both adult and pediatric care.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital is proud to be ranked No. 3 in the nation and No. 1 in Maryland on the U.S. News & World...

Posted by Johns Hopkins Medicine on Monday, August 7, 2017

Sibley Memorial Hospital Launches Community Health Innovators in Residence Program

Sibley Memorial Hospital sign

Sibley Memorial Hospital announced the launch of its Community Health Innovators in Residence Program in August 2017. The new initiative aims to improve the health and wellness of communities in Washington by working with Sibley Innovation Hub staff members to harness innovation methods to rapidly create positive impacts in months rather than the typical years of traditional health improvement projects. The Sibley Innovation Hub is focused on designing new approaches that better meet the needs of patients and families, and demonstrating the role of community hospitals in generating health and wellness.

Under the program, up to four teams, comprised of residents and organizations in wards 7 and 8, will work alongside Sibley’s Innovation Hub team to learn, design and implement potential solutions to health and wellness problems in their community. 

“Sibley is 100 percent committed to improving lives of all residents in the district. And what makes our commitment unique is Sibley’s culture of human-centered design, which is based on listening and understanding. We use design every day here at Sibley with our patients and families. I’m excited to partner with our community to be agents of change,” says Richard O. Davis, president and CEO of Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Johns Hopkins Leads in Wellness for Women

Johns Hopkins Healthy Woman portal

The Johns Hopkins Healthy Woman Portal Launches

The Johns Hopkins Healthy Woman portal, which launched in June 2017, provides a centralized resource for women at almost every stage of their health journey from one of the world's leading health organizations.

The site delivers practical, evidence-based health information based on five content subcategories: Mind & Mood, Nutrition & Fitness, Sexual & Reproductive Health, Wellness & Rejuvenation and Conditions & Health. 

Johns Hopkins Medicine International Presents A Woman's Journey at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare

For the first time ever, Johns Hopkins Medicine International presented A Woman’s Journey — an award-winning health education conference — to women at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare and Saudi Aramco. More than 450 participants attended sessions on managing stress, aging well and maintaining good digestive health.

Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare, the result of a joint venture between Saudi Aramco, a world leader in energy, and Johns Hopkins Medicine, cares for Saudi Aramco’s 360,000 employees and dependents.

Treating Declan: Pediatric Brain Tumor

Ron Peterson

After 5-year-old Declan underwent an MRI to monitor a growth hormone deficiency, his parents received shocking news: The scan showed Declan had a very large craniopharyngioma brain tumor. That evening, Declan's parents took him to the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, where they met with pediatric surgeon (and Elvis enthusiast) Dr. Alan Cohen, who successfully removed the tumor. 

After the surgery, it didn't take Declan long to let everyone know he was just fine. 

Watch his heart-warming story.

Grab your tissues as you watch this inspiring story about five-year-old Declan. He had an MRI to monitor a growth...

Posted by Johns Hopkins Medicine on Friday, June 23, 2017

Suburban Hospital Expands Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Washington Region 

Dr. Thomas Matthew

Since Suburban Hospital began its cardiothoracic surgery program in 2006, the team has performed more than 4,000 procedures. In 2017, Suburban welcomed Thomas Lewis Matthew as its new director of cardiothoracic surgery. Matthew brings specific expertise in complex coronary artery surgical revascularization, mitral valve repair and aortic valve replacement to the program, as well as a strong interest in working with other community physicians on meeting their needs.

Prior to joining Suburban Hospital, Matthew was co-director of the cardiovascular service line for the University of Colorado Health Medical Group. Along with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Harvard University and a Master's degree in surgical research from the University of Virginia, Matthew holds an M.D. degree from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residencies in general and thoracic-cardiovascular surgery at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center.

In addition to his role at Suburban, Matthew has a faculty appointment and is employed with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His dual responsibilities will help ease the transfer of Suburban Hospital patients with complex needs to The Johns Hopkins Hospital and facilitate more contact between the two hospitals, says Jennifer Lawton, chief of the Johns Hopkins Division of Cardiac Surgery.

“More communication between our teams will provide a larger scope of multidisciplinary discussion of patient cases,” she says. “Having a wider range of physician opinions and treatment options can only benefit our patients.”

Related Resources

A Bigger, Brighter Space for Startups

FastForward 1812

FastForward 1812, The Johns Hopkins University's new business incubator, celebrated its grand opening April 26, 2017.

“Biotech is one of our region’s great strengths, but for too long Baltimore simply didn’t have the infrastructure in place to support biotech startups,” says Christy Wyskiel, senior adviser to the president of The Johns Hopkins University and head of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures.

The 23,000-square-foot FastForward 1812 innovation hub is designed for collaboration and interaction, with shared spaces that include a pantry and a sunny gathering space with leather couches. Tenants also have access to conference and meeting rooms, and they don’t pay extra for utilities, office equipment, a receptionist, lab support or an endless coffee supply. To qualify for FastForward space, businesses must show they have a viable technology and committed management team.  

Kevin Sowers Named the Next President of the Johns Hopkins Health System and Executive Vice President of Johns Hopkins Medicine

Kevin Sowers

In December, Kevin W. Sowers was named the next president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. He will assume these positions Feb. 1, 2018.

As the second person to hold these dual roles, Sowers will help define and execute strategic initiatives that advance all three parts of the Johns Hopkins Medicine mission — delivering outstanding care, training the next generation of leaders, and advancing research and discovery. Working collaboratively with all Johns Hopkins Medicine organizations, he also will focus on more fully integrating the institution's clinical delivery system.

Sowers joins Johns Hopkins Medicine from Duke University Hospital — the flagship academic hospital for Duke University Health System — where he has served as president and CEO for eight years. He has overseen operations of the 1,000-bed teaching hospital, including implementation of the strategic plan, in collaboration with the physician practice group and school of medicine.