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Mark Wasserman
U of M Medical System's Mark Wasserman (another speaker at our Healthcare event this Tuesday) says hospital systems like JHU and U of M are essential to the city and state economies, especially as the finance and insurance sectors have consolidated and corporate HQs have left town. We caught up with the civic-minded Mark yesterday while he was attending the Maryland Association of Counties meeting in Ocean City. Turns out he's also involved in the Downtown Partnership, Visit Baltimore, and the mayor's Westside Initiative, and he was chief of staff for former Baltimore mayor and Maryland governor Don Schaefer (the statue with Mark above), whopassed away in April. The medical systems aren't just sustaining factors, though, he says; they can drive growth with the "commercialization of discovery," Mark says. In other words, here's an opportunity for one of the most affluent and educated states to build a new economic base by figuring out how to make money off the medical systems' R&D. And that means bringing in the latest technology and facilities for recruiting the best clinicians and researchers.
R. Adams Cowley Chock Treatment Center expansion, Baltimore, 2011
Hospitals are capital-consumption machines, Mark says. "There's never not a next big capital investment." Right now, it's the University of Maryland Medical System's fourth phase of expansion since the state established it in '84: expanding the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. It was completed in '89 and intended for 3,500 patients a year, though technology and efficiencies have allowed 8,000 admissions a year, he says.
R. Adams Cowley Chock Treatment Center expansion, Baltimore
Still, it's time for the next step. The 150k SF addition, the Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower, topped off June 1 and will open in 2013. It'll include 10 operating rooms, 64 critical-care beds, more roof space for arriving helicopters, and an entire floor devoted to training for the Air Force, EMS, and other military organizations. One side of that floor will be teleconferencing space, and the other a simulation lab. We're talking heat, moisture—any environment—and smart dummies (we've waited our entire journalistic careers to be able use an accurate oxymoron!) that sense those conditions and, well, suffer accordingly.