Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Moving Proximate

Baltimore is a fabulous place. We have the natural beauty of the Inner Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay, world-class universities and museums, many fabulous neighborhoods, a growing number of excellent restaurants and the return of a marvelous jazz scene, among many other wonderful traits. (Super Bowl. Anyone?)

But we also know that our wonderful city has its challenges. Our crime and murder rates are unacceptable. While suburban Baltimore is well served by the healthcare community, many of our inner-city neighborhoods lack primary care. Experts have stated that to make significant inroads on a social problem of scale, you must move closer to the problem. You must “get proximate.” https://www.carnegiefoundation.org/blog/empathy-and-social-justice-the-power-of-proximity-in-improvement-science/

So, the GBMC HealthCare System is doing just that. Last Friday, we held a reception to celebrate our newest advanced primary care practice in Baltimore City that has been serving men dealing with substance abuse who are residents at the Helping Up Mission (HUM).

We partnered with HUM because they needed us to deliver accountable primary care to their residents and to get ready for the opening of their new facility, currently under construction, that will serve addicted women and their children. 

Since June, under the direction of James Baronas, MD, Medical Director for GBMC Health Partners at Helping Up Mission, the facility has delivered advanced primary care to more than 500 of HUM’s clients and more than 1,500 graduates, who are encouraged to continue their recovery and remain accountable through the HUM Alumni Program.

When we agreed to build a patient-centered medical home at HUM, we did it under the condition that we could use the site to also serve the Jonestown neighborhood – to move proximate. There's just a huge need for people living in this community to get the medical care they need from experts who will hold themselves accountable for our four aims along with those they serve.

Under the guidance of Harold J. Tucker, MD, Chief Medical Officer and leader of GBMC Health Partners, and Erlene Washington, Chief Operating Officer of GBMC HealthPartners and GBMC Vice President for Physician Practice Management, our team-based approach to care will help to bring the neighborhood back.

And as I have mentioned previously in this blog, what makes this relationship even more special is it brings GBMC back to its roots; the site of GBMC at Helping Up Mission once housed the Presbyterian Eye, Ear & Throat Charity Hospital, one of GBMC's founding institutions.

Please join me in celebrating the official opening of our newest practice and congratulating Dr. Tucker, Dr. Baronas, practice manager Ericka Easley and their excellent staff at HUM, along with Mr. Robert K. Gehman, Helping Up Mission CEO, for moving proximate to help those in need. 

Happy Thanksgiving!!
I would like to wish a happy Thanksgiving to all my GBMC colleagues. Thanks for your expertise, hard work, and compassion that helps us move closer to our vision of being a community-based health system where every patient, every time, is treated the way we would want our own loved ones treated. I am also grateful for the community of patients who entrust their care to us.

I also want to extend a “Thank You” to our people who are working on Thanksgiving, or during the extended holiday weekend, caring for our patients and helping to support their loved ones and visitors.

Again, wishing you all a joyful Thanksgiving!

P.S. What are you thankful for during this time? I’d love to hear about it – please leave me a comment!

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