GBMC hires 2, plans growth of fertility center

July 01, 1992|By Patricia Meisol | Patricia Meisol,Staff Writer

The Greater Baltimore Medical Center's 8-year-old in vitro fertilization program hopes to expand by at least 20 percent with the recent hiring of two well-known infertility specialists from Baltimore-area universities.

The program is already one of the largest and most successful in the world.

The hospital said yesterday that it has hired Dr. Marian Damewood, former director of the in vitro program at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who becomes associate director of the GBMC program, and Dr. Eugene Katz, past director of in vitro programs at the University of Maryland. They join the director of the fertility center, Dr. Jairo Garcia, and a fourth staff member, Dr. Rosella Smith.

Officials at the Towson-based hospital originally sought to staff the program with three doctors but changed their minds when they discovered that both the directors of programs at the state's two teaching hospitals had applied, said Theodore Baramki, head of GBMC's division of reproductive endocrinology, which includes the in vitro program and fertility center.

The additional doctor allows the center to increase the number of "cycles," the monthlong periods in which fertilization is attempted, to 850 from the current 700, Dr. Baramki said. Eventually, he said, Dr. Garcia plans to expand the program to 1,000 cycles.

Typically, patients attempt two or more cycles a year. At any one time, the hospital treats as many as 325 patients.

The cost of a single cycle is $6,000 to $7,000, he said.

Maryland is one of a handful of states to require insurance companies to cover at least some in vitro fertilization procedures. A six-month waiting list at GBMC was eliminated last year, partly because of competition from other centers.

The other centers remain smaller, however. Hopkins and UM, for example, conduct fewer than 80 cycles a year each, Dr. Baramki said.

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