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Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower; Mrs. Jeanne Baetjer, the president of The Hospital for the Women of Maryland, of Baltimore City was instrumental in the creation of GBMC and served as the first president of the GBMC Board of Trustees; and Milton Eisenhower at GBMC's dedication ceremony in 1965

Commitment to Patient-First From Day One

January 25, 2021
“Whatever the circumstances, no matter the conditions, the Women’s Hospital Board remains steadfast in its commitment that patient care is an abiding and enduring priority.”

This statement closed out a 1997 written history of one of GBMC’s founding hospitals: The Hospital for the Women of Maryland, of Baltimore City. But it could have been said in 1872, 1965, or 2021.

For centuries, the Women’s Hospital has been dedicated to putting the patient first – a priority it set for its first facility on 25 McCullough Street in 1872 to when it co-formed GBMC alongside the Presbyterian Eye, Ear & Throat Charity Hospital in 1965. It is now taking this sentiment into the next phase of GBMC’s growth with a $2 million gift to The Promise Project.

“The Women’s Hospital Foundation was the driving force for the creation of GBMC and had the vision for what needed to be done. We are happy to continue that support for the next chapter,” said Catherine Boyne, president of the Women’s Hospital Foundation, a 15-member board of community members and founding organizers who are committed to seeing a “putting the patient first” mentality continue at GBMC.

Founding members of the Women’s Hospital Foundation – some of which still serve on the board today – were instrumental in not only the fundraising to build GBMC but also in its logistics and design.

According to the 1997 written history, “the first priority of the Women’s Hospital [was] to create an environment conducive to patient care and comfort. [The] Women’s Hospital and Presbyterian [Hospital] emphatically stressed that patient rooms should have the advantage of good design. Thirty years later, architects working for the [Greater Baltimore] Medical Center observed that the original design for patient rooms had many qualities that ‘have been important to pursue throughout the many stages of renovation that the hospital continues to undergo.’”

Thirty years after this statement, room design that functions ideally for patients, families, and caregivers in pursuit of safe, efficient, and compassionate care is the central tenant of The Promise Project. The way this goal is carried out looks different than it did in 1965, but the basic goal of putting the patient first is still at the heart of the design and execution.

Members of the Women’s Hospital Board felt the connection, which was a driving force in their decision of how much to grant to this capital project.

“It was a discussion in terms of how much we could commit to, not whether we would commit,” Catherine said. “Everyone was unanimous that we were there to establish GBMC, and we needed to continue the mission that was originally established in 1872 for the community.”

Patients treated at GBMC today face complex conditions that require multidisciplinary teams. The expertise of medical specialists and nurses all working together in carefully choregraphed teams, working alongside the presence and support of family, caregivers, and spiritual advisors provides a holistic approach to care that benefits the patient immensely. This is what the future of patient care looks like, and what GBMC plans to create with The Promise Project.

“GBMC is clearly meeting its mission of providing health services for the community,” Catherine said. “GBMC is positioning itself to be relevant in the future and making sure that the community has the right services and the right setting for its patients.”
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