Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Beautiful Campus Makes for Better Care

The doctors, nurses and other clinical staff at the hospital are very visible in healing our patients.  But there are many others on our Team who are “behind the scenes” in helping people get better and in providing the best possible care experience.

Last week I spent a few hours working alongside three of those employees – grounds supervisor George Dillon and his groundskeepers Bob Marshall and Eduardo Rivera (a third member of George’s staff, Dave Mier, was off).  These guys do an amazing job of maintaining our campus that covers 114 acres.

If you come to a beautiful environment it gives you a real sense of peace, and this is very important for the emotional and physical healing process. We are very grateful for the hard work and dedication of our grounds crew.  They aren’t medical experts, but people get a good feeling coming on campus just from seeing how clean and orderly it looks. When I first came to the GBMC campus when interviewing for this job, I dropped my jaw at how beautiful the campus was.  We certainly didn’t have any hospital campus like it in Massachusetts.

With the suit and tie replaced by blue jeans, work boots and a GBMC Grounds Crew shirt and cap, it was off to see how I could help the guys continue readying the campus for spring.  Working outside the main lobby entrance, we planted new pansies in planters, replaced liriope plants and planted rose bushes by the Rose Park sign.

Just 20 minutes into refreshing the plants though, George had to correct my technique and explain that it was easiest to plant from the middle moving out.  That left me wondering for a second if perhaps I ought to head back to the Executive Office and work on the budget and other pressing issues, but I instead chose to refocus and keep planting.

You can tell that George – who has worked at GBMC for more than 20 years and formerly was a contracted landscape foreman when the Physician’s Pavilion East building was built in the early 1980s - really enjoys his work and landscaping is his favorite part of the job.  “Making things “pop” and look better is what it’s all about,” George said.

Besides landscaping – which will take the crew all spring and most of the summer to finish – the grounds crew is also responsible for daily trash removal across the campus including at all garages, working with contractors on snow and ice removal (although thankfully they didn’t have much of that to do this winter!), road repairs, leaf removal, power washing, sweeping, general maintenance and a host of other tasks.

It’s a lot of work for a four-man crew and we are glad they do such a good job.

Has the beauty of GBMC’s grounds been able to offer you comfort and solace in a time of need?

A Bit of History at GBMC

Have you seen the flag flying near Rose Park and the main entrance / Lobby B? I’ve been asked by many people about the flag, so I thought I’d share its significance.  The flag has just 15 stars and 15 stripes and is a replica of the American flag that our National Anthem was written about. The 15 star flag flew over Fort McHenry during the War of 1812 and inspired the writing of the The Star Spangled Banner. The original is in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC and is huge (30 feet by 42 feet).  The 13 stars represent the 13 original colonies, and in 1795, two stars were added, representing Kentucky and Vermont, bringing the total number of stars to 15.  The flag was purchased by Bob Marshall of GBMC’s grounds crew and proudly flies above GBMC today as Baltimore gets ready to celebrate the War of 1812 Bicentennial at Fort McHenry later this year.


  1. It's wonderful to see someone take notice of the hardwork that takes place maintaining the appearance of this hospital. George and his crew do a remarkable job through the heat and cold year after year.

  2. Carolyn CandielloMarch 23, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    We truly have a beautiful campus here at GBMC -- our team does a great job! Thank you for all your hard work!
    Carolyn Candiello

  3. I have always felt that the beautiful surroundings at GBMC have helped patients get well more quickly. The view out the windows of every room provide a connection to nature and its beauty no matter what the season. I think of George and his team as "health care providers" and take every opportunity to tell him so! I believe our campus also has a soothing effect on family members as well. The walking trail and the gardens provide respite for those who may need some time of solitude when concern for their loved ones becomes overwhelming. Thank you George and team!


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