Thursday, June 20, 2019

Back Where We Started

For more than eight years, GBMC HealthCare has been committed to the vision of becoming a community-based system of care that the patient experiences as a whole. A core building block of our system has been advanced primary care, through our patient-centered medical homes in Baltimore and Harford Counties. These practices are designed to be accountable with our patients for their health. 

In the advanced primary care model, it’s not about visits, it’s about a relationship. The team manages those with chronic disease and reaches out to patients to make sure they have a plan and that they are following it. The team connects the patient to specialists when needed, including master’s-prepared behavioral health consultants, substance use consultants, and psychiatrists. Now, we are taking the advanced primary care model to Baltimore City — back to where we started.

In partnership with Helping Up Mission (HUM) – a nonprofit located in historic Jonestown whose mission is to provide comprehensive recovery services for men fighting addiction, poverty, and homelessness in Greater Baltimore – GBMC will deliver advanced primary care to 500 of their clients with significant healthcare needs and more than 1,500 alumni who are encouraged to maintain their recovery and remain accountable through the HUM Alumni Program.

Last week, Dr. James Baronas, the medical director for GBMC at HUM, and Erika Thompson, our practice manager, officially started serving HUM clients. HUM needed a partner that would be able to care for their growing number of clients. Most of the men who come to HUM have not had adequate healthcare for many years and many have lived on the streets for long periods of time. They have not had continuity in their care.

There is also a great need for primary care services in the larger community. Jonestown residents experience higher rates of unemployment and poverty than in other neighborhoods in the city. Our team looks forward to opening the doors of the practice to those most in need.

What makes this relationship even more special is that it brings GBMC, quite literally, back to where it started. The site of GBMC at Helping Up Mission once housed the Presbyterian Eye, Ear & Throat Charity Hospital, one of GBMC's founding institutions.

For more information about GBMC at Helping Up Mission, check out this brief interview with Dr. Baronas on a recent edition of “To Your Health,” as he talks in detail about our partnership today and in the future.

Recognition from the American Hospital Association
Last week, I had the honor of accepting an award on behalf of the GBMC HealthCare System from the American Hospital Association (AHA).

GBMC was presented with the AHA’s Membership Milestone for 100 years. This award was presented to us for reflecting the AHA’s mission for the last 100 years of “continuing their passion for improving health and community engagement.” 

GBMC, as it is known today, is the result of two Baltimore City hospitals merging and relocating to Baltimore County: The Hospital for the Women of Maryland, of Baltimore City (Women’s Hospital) and Presbyterian Eye, Ear & Throat Charity Hospital. GBMC HealthCare was incorporated in 1960 by consolidating the operations of these two specialty Baltimore hospitals, and GBMC opened its doors in 1965 as a regional medical center.

The timing of this award couldn’t have been more appropriate given that we started our work at HUM last week.

I want to thank the AHA for recognizing our rich history and ongoing commitment of health, healing, and hope.

Thank You!
In my previous blog post, I talked about my commitment to better health. Well, this past Sunday, I ran along with more than 900 participants in the 31st annual GBMC Father’s Day 5K and 1-mile Fun Walk. It was great to see so many members of the community and the GBMC staff come out and run while raising money for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. 

Every day, moms and dads turn to GBMC’s highly-trained healthcare professionals to care for their sick or premature babies because we provide the same care that we would want for our own loved ones. I am happy to report that since announcing our NICU renovation project at last year’s 5K, the community has come together to raise over $1.6 million to help support the NICU Renovation Capital Campaign. With everyone’s help at this year’s event, we raised over $90,000. I want to thank everyone who helped us have another amazing Father’s Day 5K. 

Let me also thank the volunteers as well as GBMC’s NICU doctors, nurses, technicians, and others who dedicate their lives to the health of babies. I want to congratulate the more than 250 patients from GBMC’s Comprehensive Obesity Management Program (COMP) and their supporters. This is the fourth year that a special group of members from The COMPto5K initiative, a six-month project designed to support and encourage COMP patients to incorporate exercise in their weight loss via a 5K training process, participated in the event. Many previous participants have continued their training after the Father’s Day 5K and participated in other area running events.

Lastly, I want to thank everyone involved in our community Wellness Fair which featured health-related vendors. Great work everyone!

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