Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beginning the Celebration: Almost 50 Years Old with a Bright Future

This week we kicked off GBMC’s big birthday celebration. Our Healthcare System is nearly 50 years old. Our hospital opened its doors on September 15, 1965 and a dedication ceremony was held on October 2, 1965.  Our HealthCare Board, under the leadership of our Chair, Harry Johnson, Esq., has created a 50th Anniversary Executive Planning Committee. Bonnie Stein, the incoming Board Chair, is the Chair of the Planning Committee.
(L-R): Harry Johnson, Bonnie Stein and Dr. John Chessare kick
off GBMC's 50th anniversary reception.
(Photo by: Maximilian Franz)

The Planning Committee decided to create a Founders Cabinet – a group of people important in the history of GBMC. This group includes community members who helped form GBMC, physicians, past and present GBMC Board members, long-term employees including many nurses, volunteers and donors. The group is inclusive of people from our hospital but also from Gilchrist Hospice Care, Greater Baltimore Medical Associates and private practicing doctors. The Founders Cabinet will guide the celebration and help us reflect on the many wonderful chapters of service to our community in the first 50 years. The Cabinet members will also be ambassadors to the community helping us continue to get the word out that all are welcome in the GBMC family.

So, to kick-off the 18 or so months of celebrating that will culminate on October 2, 2015 with a gala event, the Founders Cabinet gathered together for a reception. It was wonderful to see so many people who have given so much over the years to GBMC and our patients.

The event was organized masterfully by Jenny Coldiron our Vice President for Development and her staff from the Philanthropy Department. After a reception where people chatted and reminisced a bit, Harry opened the proceedings by thanking people for gathering and setting the stage for the evening. I then spoke about how GBMC has been an outstanding hospital and hospice with fantastic physicians, nurses, and other staff. I mentioned a few of our patient success stories and commented briefly on our work to make our care even better. Bonnie then spoke about the work of the Planning Committee and the role of the Cabinet in helping to make the celebrating and reflecting truly come alive in the community.

We then watched a video that had been created by the GBMC Marketing and Communication team under the direction of Interim Director, Greg Shaffer. You have got to watch this video! It beautifully highlights what GBMC means to so many people using the stories of a few key individuals. What a great highlight of a wonderful evening to commence GBMC’s big 5-0 birthday party!

GBMC is made up of so many employees and volunteers who have been an integral part of GBMC’s past, and so many more staff members who are a part of our future. I thank all of our team members for playing a role in caring for our community for close to five decades. I look forward to reflecting on our past and celebrating our future with all of you.


  1. Wow...Very impressive video. I like to think we "get it" now. I first worked at GBMC from 1977-1984 in the neo-natal intensive care unit. I was so proud of the growth during that time and yes GBMC was thought of as the "Hilton on the Hill" because if you saw a piece of paper on the floor, you picked it up; there was owership and pride! Family responsibilities demanded my leaving but then in 2006 I was lucky to get another opportunity to work at GBMC. I had worked at other facilities during the years in-between and was quite excited to return to the organization. After those first few weeks, I had an "oh no" moment... I could see we needed to take a look at "our" house. My impression was we were just not delivering what we thought we were; just banking on our reputation; sitting on those laurels. Now, we need to sustain all that we have achieved and strive to deliver the care we would want for our loved ones to every patient, every time! BUT, by george, I think we've "got it"!

  2. I like to think that my mother was the first unofficial GBMC patient. Back in 1965 she was at Loyola High School preparing for a Mother’s Club event when she fell and needed stitches. Someone said they would take her to “that new hospital down the street.” The ER had not even opened yet but someone was found who could stitch her up! They brought her back to LHS where her five year-old daughter was waiting for her. I am proud to say that her five year-old daughter has now been a GBMC employee for over 32 years!

  3. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, Pat!


Thank you for taking time to read "A Healthy Dialogue" and for commenting on the blog. Comments are an important part of the public dialogue and help facilitate conversation. All comments are reviewed before posting to ensure posts are not off-topic, do not violate patient confidentiality, and are civil. Differing opinions are welcome as long as the tone is respectful.