Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Reflecting on what we have accomplished over the last decade!

As 2019 comes to an end and we gear up for 2020, it’s important to look back at GBMC HealthCare System’s accomplishments over the last decade.

2010 was a year of change for GBMC. After the departure of Larry Merlis, (who did an excellent job leading GBMC), Dr. John Saunders took over as interim president in the winter of that year. I arrived in June and we began planning for change. In the fall of 2010, the Board of Directors conducted a visioning retreat to set a new course for our company. That retreat created our vision statement, and our now well-known vision phrase “to every patient, every time, we will provide the care that we would want for our own loved ones.”  

The new vision statement created the game plan for every change that has followed since. We began our redesign with embracing the patient-centered medical home as a fundamental building block. These advanced primary care groups no longer focused just on visits but became accountable for their patients’ health outcomes. Carolyn Candiello, Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety, and Dr. Saunders, our former chief medical officer (CMO) of the GBMC HealthCare System, began building a robust quality and patient safety program for the system as GBMC adopted continuous performance improvement as its business model.

Under the direction of Cathy Hamel, President of Gilchrist and Vice President of Continuing Care at GBMC HealthCare and Dr. Tony Riley, Chief Medical Officer of Gilchrist, began adding programs to improve elder care from complete independence, through home and facility care, chronic symptom management and end-of-life care. Our hospital, which had always been excellent, became even more patient-focused. In 2017, our physician company changed its name from Greater Baltimore Medical Associates (GBMA) to GBMC Health Partners, and with Ben Beres, former GBMA Chief Operating Officer, and Dr. Harold (Hal) J. Tucker, Chief Medical Officer and President of GBMC Health Partners, at the helm, the physician enterprise became much stronger and better able to meet the needs of our patients. We added physician specialists to our practices and made them more accessible to our patients and to our primary care physicians for consultation. Keith Poisson, our Chief Operating Officer, oversaw the creation of highly functioning service lines with dyadic leadership teams and built a very strong strategic planning and strategy deployment process. Over the decade, our core competency truly became redesigning care and we added or strengthened programs needed by the community like our Sexual Assault Forensic Evaluation and Domestic Violence program and our Comprehensive Obesity Management Program.

Through the decade, Jenny Coldiron, Vice President of Development and President of the GBMC Foundation, has built a community-based health system philanthropy program that is second to none and which allows us to do so much for the community that we could not accomplish without this financial support.

In 2015, we celebrated GBMC’s 50th Anniversary and remembered our past while continuing to build for the future. With the arrival of Dr. JoAnn Ioannou as Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Office in that same year, we implemented a professional excellence model that elevated the role of nurses within our system. This fact was highlighted by the annual Art of Nursing recognition celebrations.

In 2017, our system responded to the opioid epidemic and the mental health crisis by adding masters-prepared behavioralists, addiction specialists and psychiatrists to the patient-centered medical homes and by adding peer counselors to the Emergency Department to work with substance addicted patients.

GBMC did an outstanding job at managing risk through the work of Susan Martielli, our General Counsel and Risk Manager. By collaborating closely with clinical leaders and our quality and patient safety team, Susan helped make our care much safer and our Ruxton Insurance Company much more successful.

Through the decade, GBMC became a much more responsive employer and became known as a company that goes out of its way to celebrate its people. These efforts are led daily by Anna-Maria Palmer and our wonderful Human Resources team.

GBMC has always been known for its excellent medical staff. Over the past decade the staff has become even better in part because of the very strong oversight of the medical staff leadership. We have been blessed that Dr. John Saunders, Dr. Harold Tucker, and our first female Chief of Staff, Dr. Melissa Sparrow, have been such outstanding leaders.

This year, the Greater Baltimore Health Alliance began functioning as a Care Transformation Organization to work with our advanced primary care offices and some private practicing primary care physicians in the Maryland Primary Care Program. This program was created to financially incentivize advanced primary care to drive better health and better care at lower cost for the citizens of our state.

This spring, we opened our first patient-centered medical home in Baltimore City: GBMC Health Partners at the Helping Up Mission. We are now providing the same advanced primary care that we offer in our other practices to 500 Helping Up Mission clients and more than 1,500 alumni who have struggled with addition, poverty, and homelessness. The practice will soon open its doors to all residents of the Jonestown neighborhood of East Baltimore, an area with a critical void of preventative care.  The continued growth of GBMC Health Partners, not only in primary care but also in specialty care is being overseen by Dr. Tucker and Erlene Washington, Chief Operating Officer of GBMC Health Partners, who has been a great addition to our team.

This year we updated our master facilities plan and submitted a certificate of need application for a three-story hospital addition. We named the program to build the addition The Promise ProjectStacey McGreevy, Vice President of Support Services, and her team are overseeing the construction planning.

In late September of this year, we hosted nine examiners from the Malcolm Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The examiners visited all three of our work systems: Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Gilchrist, and GBMC Health Partners and assessed our use of the Baldrige criteria. Although we did not achieve the Baldrige award, we were recognized for our role-model practices in leadership, earning a category best practice recognition.

Also, this fall, GBMC achieved the Davies Award of Excellence from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). This is the highest achievement for the use of electronic records. Dave Hynson, our Vice President and Chief Information Officer, and his team exhibited great collaboration with our clinicians to achieve this recognition.

Through these changes, GBMC maintained its A and A2 bond ratings and its very strong financial position grew even stronger. Our finances are overseen daily by Laurie Beyer, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and our excellent finance team.

Other notable 2019 milestones:
Best Hospital & Best Audiology Services  – The Baltimore Sun readers
110 “Top Docs” in Baltimore magazine
7 Nurses recognized for “Excellence in Nursing” in Baltimore magazine
Best-in-State Employer – Forbes
GBMC among the nation’s “100 Hospitals and Health Systems with Great Oncology Programs” – Becker’s Hospital Review magazine
The American Heart Association (AHA) Stroke Honor Roll Elite
GBMC’s Sub Acute Unit received the highest possible rating on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 list of the Best Nursing Homes
Most Wired Hospital - College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME)
Magna Cum Laude – Epic’s Honor Roll Program
AHA Membership Milestone
The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement

I know that I have left out many GBMC accomplishments over the past decade and that there are many more examples of our work in care redesign that I could have included. With these highlights, you can see we have undergone a significant transformation over the past decade. What others do you want to mention? Please share your thoughts.

I’d like to share the brief video above of some of the notable GBMC events of the 2010s. I want to thank our Marketing and Philanthropy Departments and especially Tyler Scheff, our Digital Marketing Producer, who worked so hard in putting this video summary together. Nice job everyone!

I am grateful for the fabulous efforts of the entire GBMC HealthCare family and I look forward to many more successes in 2020 and beyond as we continue to drive towards our vision.

Best wishes to you and your loved ones for a happy & healthy 2020!

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