John L. Green Jr., 61, executive of MedStar Health

May 30, 2002|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

John L. Green Jr., executive vice president of corporate services for MedStar Health and a member of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, died of cancer Sunday at Howard County General Hospital. The Columbia resident was 61.

Mr. Green's involvement in education included serving for more than two decades as a member of Morgan State University's board of regents, and from 1990 to 1995 as its chairman.

Since 1983, Mr. Green had been vice president of corporate services for Columbia-based MedStar Health, which owns and operates seven hospitals in the Baltimore-Washington area. His responsibilities included strategic and operational planning, regulatory compliance, public affairs and marketing, community relations, and government and legislative affairs.

"He was my right-hand guy and brought unique skills to the job that are rarely found. He was able to look at very complex situations, sort through the issues and find successful resolutions," said John P. McDaniel, chief executive officer of MedStar Health. "He was so good at this that I called him Merlin. He had a great vision, could see into the future, and knew how to get us there."

Mr. McDaniel described him as having a "wonderfully engaging personality" that attracted people.

"He knew everyone and had the bases covered in Baltimore and Annapolis, and had a great relationship with Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, with whom he was scheduled to meet next week. He worked right up until the end of his life," Mr. McDaniel said.

Mr. Green was born in Champlain, Va., and raised in Fredericksburg. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1962 from Virginia State College in Petersburg, and a master's in social work and community planning from the University of Maryland in 1970.

He did additional graduate work in health care administration and management at Yale University, the University of Minnesota and George Washington University.

Mr. Green was a health planner for the Regional Planning Council in Baltimore from 1970 to 1974, when he became vice president of operations and administration at the old Lutheran Hospital.

In 1979, he was named deputy secretary of the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, a position he held until joining Medlantic Healthcare Group, which became MedStar Health.

Mr. Green had also been a board member of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. He was the founder of The Boys are Back in Town, a mentoring fellowship of African-American men.

He was appointed to the higher education commission in 1996 by Gov. Parris N. Glendening who, in a statement about Mr. Green's death, said, "John was dedicated to higher education and worked tirelessly on the commission on behalf of students attending Maryland colleges and universities."

Karen R. Johnson, state secretary of higher education, said Mr. Green was a member of the commission's education policy committee. "He was very active, thoughtful, and took the work very seriously. He was deeply committed, and before he voted wanted to be certain how the committee's decision would impact students and affect institutions," she said.

Mr. Green was a member of Epworth United Methodist Chapel, St. Lukes Lane and Liberty Road, where services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years, the former Edith Shadd; two sons, John Lee Green III of Washington and Antonio W.L. Poag of Kansas City, Mo.; his mother, Esther Banks, and a brother, Vernon E. Green, both of Fredericksburg; and a niece and nephew.

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