GBMC has always had a very strong medical staff and this fact has set us aside as an outstanding community health care system. In the early years of GBMC, we employed very few physicians. Back in the 20th century, most physicians were in private practice, but, as the medical care world has continued to evolve, it has become difficult to make small private practices work economically so like many other organizations, GBMC now employees a large number of physicians. We are delighted to still have many private practicing physicians who work very hard and are a very important part of our future, but, we are employing more and more doctors in areas where if we didn’t employ them, we wouldn’t be able to meet the needs of the community we serve.
It has been quite some time since we’ve seen new primary care private practices. GBMC now has close to 100 employed primary care physicians and advanced practitioners caring for patients in our patient-centered medical homes across Baltimore County and beyond. And we are so fortunate to have excellent employed specialists from hospitalists and other internal medicine specialists to pediatricians, neurologists, physiatrists, surgeons in most specialty areas and others.
As the number of employed physicians in our organization grows, we must make sure that the leadership structure to support them in their work grows and adapts as well. To make our employed physician company, Greater Baltimore Medical Associates (GBMA), even stronger, we are appointing Harold J. Tucker, MD, as the new President of Greater Baltimore Medical Associates (GBMA). In order for Dr. Tucker to take on his new position, he has stepped down as GBMC’s Chief of the Medical Staff in the last year of his term. I think we can all agree that Dr. Tucker did an excellent job in advocating for both employed and private practicing physicians and will be missed in that role.
We are delighted to announce that Melissa Sparrow, MD, who was the Vice-Chief of the Medical Staff, has been elected by the medical staff to finish Dr. Tucker’s term and has therefore become the first female elected Chief of Staff of GBMC. Dr. Sparrow, the current clinical director for pediatric inpatient and emergency services, oversees the day to day operations of the both the pediatric inpatient unit and pediatric emergency department.
Dr. Tucker’s main charge, in his new position, is to make our employed physician company into a strong multi-specialty group that will make it easier for GBMC Healthcare to achieve our vision. Hal will work to assure that all the employed physicians know what the leadership hierarchy is, and their role in it to not only meet the needs of the patient but, also their needs as well. Hal will work with Ben Beres, the Chief Operating Officer of GBMA and Vice President for Physician Practice Management to further empower physicians at all levels to make improvements in how the company operates to generate better health and better care with the least waste of resources and to increase joy in the practice of medicine.
I would like to thank Mark Lamos, MD, for his leadership as President in helping to build a very strong primary care group within GBMA. Mark will continue in his role as Medical Director of Greater Baltimore Health Alliance (GBHA), our Accountable Care Organization (ACO), that also includes affiliated private practicing physicians. In addition, Dr. Lamos will assume the new role of Medical Director for the GBMC Employee Health Plan. Annually, we spend approximately $20 million on the care of our own people and Dr. Lamos will help assure that the benefits are structured correctly and that they’re well managed to better serve our employees and members of their families.
Please join me in thanking Drs. Tucker, Sparrow, and Lamos and celebrating them as they take on their new roles.