Continuing his efforts to support the Baltimore community, President and CEO of UMMC and UMMC Midtown Campus, Jeffrey A. Rivest, lays out one of our partnership programs with Building STEPS and addresses the need for further action.

Read his message to all UMMC employees:

Dear Colleagues,

In my letter to you on Monday, I promised more information about how UMMC will play an essential role in the recovery and the rebuilding the fabric of our community after the events of last week. As one of Baltimore’s largest employers, we are deeply immersed in our community’s challenges and successes. We are very proud of the many community programs to which we contribute time, people, healthcare information and financial support — you can learn about many of those in our 2014 Community Benefits Report.

Today I’d like to highlight one particular program in which we are involved, Building STEPS, which exemplifies our commitment to Baltimore’s youth and helping them develop career ideas and opportunities for better lives. Last month, Building STEPS recognized UMMC for 15 years of partnership.

steps_logo

Building STEPS (Science Technology and Educational Partnerships Inc.) is a non-profit built on one simple premise: a college education changes a person’s life. The multi-year program, supplementing students’ classroom learning, exposes bright, underserved high school students from Baltimore City and County to science and technology-based careers, and helps them excel in these fields where people of color are overwhelmingly underrepresented. Juniors visit businesses and institutions, such as UMMC, which rely on science and technology. Each seminar includes a site visit and guest speakers, providing exposure to a variety of professional opportunities. These seminars encourage the students to consider careers that might have otherwise seemed unimaginable.

A few more facts about Building STEPS:

  • More than 80 percent of Building STEPS students have earned or are on track to earn a college degree
  • Almost half of Building STEPS’ college graduates go on to earn an advanced degree
  • 85 percent of Building STEPS students are the first in their family to go to college.

In the last 4 years alone, UMMC has hosted nearly 70 Building STEPS students to get a glimpse of the life-changing care we provide to patients every day. We have employed 20 of these students as paid summer interns, and have joyfully watched many of them to go on to thrive in college, including a young man named Victor. Victor was an intern in our IT department back in the Summer of 2007, and continued working with us throughout his senior year of high school. Victor graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2013. In Victor’s words:

Through the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Career Development, I have learned from others that life is not about the adversities we go through, but about how we overcome those adversities and use them to build character that will positively impact others… Every day I strive to be an individual who makes a difference, no matter how small it is. I know that the University of Maryland Medical Center has and will continue to be a part in my effort to make a difference.”

We take pride in our participation in programs such as Building STEPS, as we open doors of inspiration and opportunity to the youth in our community. It is our responsibility as a major regional employer and civic leader to help wherever we can, and there is no better time than now to recommit ourselves to the important and fulfilling task of providing critical partnerships for job readiness, skill development, community health, and career opportunities. I am proud of what we have done, but there is much more to do to help our city and our neighbors.

I will continue to share information with you about our relationships with our community on a regular basis. Thank you again for all you do for UMMC and our City.

rivest_jeffreySincerely,

Jeffrey A. Rivest
President and Chief Executive Officer

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Following the events in Baltimore over the past week, UMMC and UMMC Midtown Campus President and CEO, Jeffrey A. Rivest, expressed his gratitude to all those UMMC employees who helped keep the Center’s mission in mind during such a difficult time. UMMC plays an integral role in the Baltimore community and will continue to work for the betterment of the city and the nation moving forward.

Read his message to all UMMC employees:

Dear Colleagues,

The past week is one we will never forget. Today, our city begins to recover and heal. But while we begin the healing process, let us not forget the valuable lessons we have learned about the need for all who live and work in our city to be partners for change.

FB-OneBaltimore_1While we begin a long healing process, let me thank you again for your unwavering dedication to our mission and to our role in supporting quality of life through taking care of people in their time of need. Many of our colleagues did not miss a single hour of work, despite their need to plan for the safety of their families. They faced difficulty in getting to and from work, and for some, there was no ability to reach their homes safely. Yet while the city was in crisis, each of you remained fully committed to the needs of our patients. Despite enormous challenges, we continued to operate all hospital services normally, and most importantly, were here for those in our community who needed us.

Our ability to stay united around the singular mission of caring, despite high emotions and differences of opinion, speaks to the core of who we are and what we do. I am grateful to each of you and I am inspired by your dedication to make life better for others. We are all fortunate to have this opportunity and once again, all here at UMMC showed tremendous teamwork, respect, civility and professionalism.

I also offer my sincere thanks to our hospital Security team and our Incident Command team who worked tirelessly for over six days to support all of us, keep us informed, and keep us safe. This team exemplifies professionalism, adaptability and a commitment to serve.

It is a new week in Baltimore. The city-wide curfew has been lifted, National Guard troops are phasing out, and we can be energized by the wonderful examples of love and community we witnessed in our city this weekend. This gives us hope. However, there is a long journey ahead, and many things in our culture must change–here in Baltimore and in our nation.

Later this week, I will provide you additional information about UMMC’s essential role in the recovery and the rebuilding of the fabric of our community. As one of Baltimore’s largest employers, we have been deeply involved in our community and its challenges and successes. We have all learned lessons this past week and together with others, UMMC will recommit to providing critical partnerships for job readiness, skill development, community health, and career opportunities. While we have done much, our city and our neighborhoods need much more. We must be a part of doing more and doing it better.

rivest_jeffrey

Thank you again for all you do here at UMMC.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey A. Rivest
President and Chief Executive Officer

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Decoding Patient Care

April 25, 2015

By: Hope Gamper, Editorial Intern

Our understanding of the genetic code kicked off in 1953 when scientists Watson and Crick documented evidence of the double helix structure of DNA. Fifty years later the Human Genome Project, an initiative to map the entire human genome, was completed. Today, we know more about our As, Ts, Gs and Cs than ever before. This National DNA Day, April 25th**, let’s take a look at the ways knowing about genomics is beneficial to health care.

DNA is made up of billions of nucleotide pairs (those As, Ts, Gs and Cs) that are joined by hydrogen bonds. These bonds are very strong, and act as a reliable way to store our genetic information. Your complete set of genetic information is called your genome, which codes for everything from your hair color to how well you do in school, and it is part of what makes you you.

Your genome can also help doctors develop personalized treatment plans.

Patients with coronary artery disease at the University of Maryland Medical Center can receive long-term therapy based on their genetic information. Patients may elect to be tested for abnormal copies of the CYP2C19 gene, which can impact the efficacy of clopidogrel, an anticoagulant. Incorrect doses of drugs like clopidogrel can lead to serious heart attacks and strokes, so knowing a patient’s reaction before prescription is vital.

Advances in DNA sequencing and testing have opened the door for the more commonplace practice of genomic medicine. Every baby born in the United States is screened for inherited genetic diseases at birth, and whole genome sequencing can prevent misdiagnosis of an array of diseases from cerebral palsy to cystic fibrosis.

Applying new findings in genomic medicine on a routine clinical scale is a long and continuous process, but knowing more about the way the human genome works can only mean a bright future for personalized medicine.

DNAday

**Sponsored by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), DNA Day is a celebration of genetics and genomics. For an online education kit, visit the NHGRI website: http://www.genome.gov/

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Volunteering at a Medical Center

April 17, 2015

By: Andrea Rizkallah, Editorial Intern Volunteering is a rewarding activity, which is why I love my position as editorial intern in the Corporate Communications department at the University of Maryland Medical Center. I thought that I had to be a medical student in order to volunteer at a medical center, but luckily I was wrong. […]

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Marching Toward a Healthier Lifestyle

March 27, 2015

By: Andrea Rizkallah, Editorial Intern By March, New Year’s resolution motivation may be dwindling down, which is why it’s the perfect time to celebrate National Nutrition Month and get back into a healthy lifestyle. National Nutrition Month is a nutrition education and information campaign sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to promote informed food […]

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Poison Prevention Week: What You Need to Know

March 18, 2015

By: Andrea Rizkallah, Editorial Intern Poisoning can happen at any time, often from everyday household items, and frequently to children under the age of 5. Please make sure you and your loved ones save the Poison Help line phone number (1-800-222-1222) and following these tips provided by the Maryland Poison Center at the University of Maryland […]

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Public Health Leaders Urge Vaccination Against Measles

March 6, 2015

By Steven J. Czinn, MD Physician-in-Chief, University of Maryland Children’s Hospital It is impossible today to turn on the TV or read the news without hearing about the current debate surrounding childhood vaccinations and the measles outbreaks in the United States. As chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, I […]

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Making Heart Health a Year-Round Priority

February 26, 2015

By: Hope Gamper, Editorial Intern February and American Heart Month are ending, but just because March is around the corner doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about keeping your heart in tip-top shape. The American Heart Association (AHA), whose mission is to fight cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and the UM Heart Center offer a series […]

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Thanking Donors with All of Our Heart

February 14, 2015

By: Hope Gamper, Editorial Intern Most people know February 14th as Valentine’s Day,  but February 14th also shares the honor of being National Donor Day. National Donor Day honors donors of organs, tissues, marrow, platelets and blood. This Valentine’s Day, consider giving the gift of life to someone in need and celebrate the amazing generosity of […]

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Shock Trauma Survivor Stresses Need for Blood Donations, Holds Blood Drive

November 12, 2014

The last thing Katie Pohler remembers from June 28 is pedaling her bike down Route 450 South in the bike lane, heading to the Waterfront in Annapolis with her boyfriend. But then, it all goes black. Katie and her boyfriend, Todd Green, were both hit from behind by an impaired driver, and had to be […]

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