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Stephen Plano (last on the right), President of the Presbyterian Eye, Ear & Throat Charity Hospital Board of Governors at The Promise Project groundbreaking ceremony in September 2021, pictured with fellow members of the Honorary Campaign Committee

Continued Support from One Founding Hospital

February 28, 2022
The mission of GBMC since its founding has been putting the patient first. And whether it was in creating the hospital in 1965 or on the path to redesigning care with The Promise Project, GBMC’s founding institutions have been supportive along the way.

Stephen Plano, President of the Presbyterian Eye, Ear & Throat Charity Hospital Board of Governors, said if an organization isn’t making steps to move forward, it’s moving backward. He views the Board’s second significant gift to support The Promise Project as an investment in continuing the legacy and mission of service to the community for the next 100 years.

“It reinforces that link going back to the original hospital,” Plano said. “There’s a legacy supporting Baltimore. This is a step saying to Baltimore County and Baltimore City that GBMC is here to stay, and they’re going to continue to be a player and serve people in GBMC’s mission which is treating people how you would want your family treated. In today’s environment, having that personal touch is pretty important.”

The Presbyterian Board's relationship with GBMC is ingrained it its own history. The Presbyterian Eye, Ear & Throat Charity Hospital is one of GBMC's founding hospitals. In 1965, they merged with the Women's Hospital of Maryland, Baltimore City to form GBMC. Today, the Presbyterian Board, as well as their affiliate organization, the Presbyterian Board of Lady Managers, continues to give back to support its original intent to treat patients in need, specifically in the areas of ophthalmology and otolaryngology.

With their most recent gift, the Presbyterian Board’s support of The Promise Project is designated to the Sandra R. Berman Pavilion because it resonates with their mission, but also because of the leadership in the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute, specifically its Herman and Walter Samuelson Medical Director.

“I’ve come to know Paul Celano [MD, FACP, FASCO] as the most caring physician I’ve ever seen in my life,” Chip Hurley, Treasurer of the Presbyterian Board, said. “It struck me how caring and passionate he is about the program. He talked about his vision for the Cancer Center, and it is clear he wants the best for patients.”

While this donation supports oncology, the Presbyterian Board made another significant contribution to a project that enhances the mission of redesigning care at GBMC.

The Presbyterian Board was, quite literally, brought back to their roots when they supported GBMC’s partnership with Helping Up Mission and the subsequent creation of GBMC Health Partners Primary Care—Jonestown, the site of which once housed the Presbyterian Eye, Ear & Throat Charity Hospital.

Although the Jonestown neighborhood has improved since the hospital was there in the early 1960s, there is still a great need for expanded primary care services in the larger community provided at the highest levels. With no substantive health center nearby to serve their needs, residents in the area experience higher rates of socioeconomic hardship compared to the city average in terms of median household income, rates of unemployment and family poverty.

No matter if Presbyterian Board is supporting a program on GBMC’s campus or out in the community, their intent is to continue to elevate the compassionate and genuine care they know GBMC provides.

“It’s hard to describe, but it’s the feel that when you go there, people are going to listen to you and take a more holistic approach to whatever your issue is,” Plano said. “I can tell you every time I walk in—from the people greeting you at the door all the way to the President & CEO—everybody treats you the same way.”

Hurley added, “Our support continues to elevate the level and quality of services that GBMC is able to offer to the community. I always recommend the hospital because of the quality, the friendliness and the compassion. I want to go somewhere I feel I get the best quality, and that’s GBMC.”

GBMC will continue to provide compassionate, quality care to the community because our founding hospitals created us in the beginning and continue to have faith and confidence in the mission of GBMC.
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