Thursday, September 30, 2021

Remembering and Honoring A Legendary Physician

"If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” - Maya Angelou, author

Last week the GBMC family lost a legend and a GBMC Physician Titan.  Dr. Rudiger “Rudy” Breitenecker was a true icon and a pioneer for his work in forensic pathology. 

Before becoming a member of GBMC's Department of Pathology in 1967, Dr. Breitenecker was a state medical examiner. A realization that rape victims were not always achieving justice prompted him to found GBMC's Rape Care Center – the precursor to our current Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Program. Here Dr. Breitenecker applied the knowledge he gained while collecting evidence for city homicides to the collection of evidence in rape cases.

Dr. Breitenecker was trained as a forensic pathologist and he froze samples of fluid from each case, preserving the evidence for the future. His decision to save samples, plus Maryland's no statute of limitations on rape, helped many women get closure on their cases even years later. 

A pioneer in sexual assault forensics, Dr. Breitenecker participated in more than 2,000 rape cases and was often the only physician to testify in court. Although he retired in 2008, he remained active in the field and consulting as an expert witness.

His work helped the Baltimore County Police Department become one of the first departments to access clinical evidence from a hospital in cases of rape. Department Sergeant Rose Brady, said, "Dr. B. absolutely deserves all the honors that are given him."

I am honored to have known Dr. Breitenecker and I am thankful for his innovative work.  Please join me in remembering Rudy’s life and legacy. And please share your memories of him here.


Please join me in congratulating Joel Turner MD, FACS, as the new Chairman of the GBMC Department of Surgery and head of the Surgery Service Line.  

Joel came to GBMC after he finished training in General Surgery and he has been a member of Finney Trimble Surgical Associates since that time.  Dr. Turner previously served as Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery and Chair of the Surgical Value Analysis Committee.

I am grateful for Joel’s stepping up as Chair and I look forward to his leadership of our surgery program. 

Congratulations also to Rebecca “Becky” Stover, RN, on her promotion to Director, Project Management for the hospital work system.

In this new position, Becky will support hospital-wide projects including the Promise Project.

Since starting at GBMC in 2009, she has managed Safety Officer training and our annual Art of Nursing event. Becky has done an exceptional job in managing these and other projects and we look forward to her leadership in helping us complete the many initiatives underway and those coming in the future.

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