Hospital to improve care for needy Good Samaritan marks 25th year

November 05, 1993|By David Michael Ettlin | David Michael Ettlin,Staff Writer

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of its opening, Good Samaritan Hospital announced plans to improve health care for the needy in its Northeast Baltimore area and donated $1.5 million to the Johns Hopkins medical school to endow a chair in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

The money for both comes from Good Samaritan's endowment created 74 years ago with a bequest from department store owner Thomas O'Neill to build a hospital reserving 20 free private beds for "people of moderate circumstances."

Good Samaritan was built on a 45-acre site at Loch Raven Boulevard and Belvedere Avenue nearly a half-century after O'Neill's death, and the terms of the bequest were changed with court approval in the mid-1970s -- requiring, instead of free beds, that the hospital spend 40 percent to 60 percent of the endowment income on care for the needy.

Hospital President James A. Oakey said that Good Samaritan has begun a study to identify community health-care needs -- including the problems of the uninsured and underinsured -- and find a way to provide for them, "free if necessary."

"We are a profitable hospital, as it should be, but we have an obligation to do more if we believe in what we are all about," Mr. Oakey said. "Obviously we can't treat the world, but we have the wherewithal to do what we can."

The not-for-profit hospital plows its profits back into services. Its endowment amounts to about $30 million, Mr. Oakey said.

The hospital "community" is roughly bounded by Taylor Avenue to the north, York Road to the west, Belair Road to the east and 33rd Street to the south.

The donation to Hopkins will establish the Cardinal Lawrence Shehan Chair in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation -- named for the late Baltimore church leader and first board chairman of Good Samaritan.

Opened as a chronic-illness hospital and research center, Good Samaritan has become a nearly full-service, 287-bed, adult acute-care hospital in recent years and has long been affiliated with Hopkins.

Selected to fill the endowed chair was Dr. Barbara J. de Lateur, a nationally recognized physiatrist recruited from the University of Washington in Seattle. In January, she will assume the roles of professor and director of rehabilitation medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and at Hopkins and Good Samaritan hospitals.

She will be the first woman to head a full department in the school's 100-year history.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.