Gina L. Patterson, 48, chief of UM med school admissions

September 29, 2006|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN REPORTER

Gina L. Patterson, a former medical secretary who became admissions office director at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, died of cancer Saturday at her parents' Timonium home. She was 48.

Born in Baltimore and raised in Dundalk, she was a 1975 graduate of Dundalk High School and worked evenings as a medical secretary for her father, Dr. Theodore Patterson, a family practitioner. She earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Marymount College in Tarrytown, N.Y., and a certificate in public relations from Goucher College.

She joined the Baltimore Council for Equal Business Opportunity, working for a decade as an assistant program director there.

"Gina picked up a number of her leadership and organizational skills from Sam Daniels," her father said yesterday, referring to the late Samuel T. Daniels, a local civil rights leader who had been the council's executive director.

Ms. Patterson became a vice president of the Business Development Credit Fund Inc., then lived for a year in Boston to work as marketing director for a bed-and-breakfast inn. She then became deputy executive director of the Maryland-District of Columbia Minority Supplier Development Council, a program that matched small businesses with Fortune 500 companies.

She became advancement director for the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and then an academic coordinator in the Office of Student and Faculty Development at the UM medical school. In 2004, Ms. Patterson was named director of admissions, working directly with the office's dean.

"It was her organizational and administrative skills that drew her to me. She learned admissions by the seat of her pants," said Dr. Milford Foxwell Jr., dean of admissions for the medical school. "She was a bridge builder, good with people."

Ms. Patterson was responsible for overseeing the medical school's admissions office and supervising the processing of some 4,300 applications a year. She also helped set up interviews with applicants and admissions committee meetings. The school accepts about 300 students a year, her co-workers said.

Ms. Patterson was diagnosed with cancer several years ago and continued to work. She maintained telephone contact with her office until Wednesday of last week, Dr. Foxwell said.

"She fought that illness until the end," said Alice G. Pinderhughes, an attorney and close friend. "Few people knew the pain she was in, but at the end, she was still making sure every comma, every detail was correct."

Ms. Patterson was active in numerous professional and social organizations, including Harbor City Links, a women's business group.

"She was such a dependable person with a great spirit of energy," said Annette March-Grier, a fellow Links member and friend for many years. "If you ever asked Gina's help, you would be assured to get it."

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Roman Catholic Shrine of the Sacred Heart, 5800 Smith Ave., where she was a member. A 10 a.m. wake precedes the service.

In addition to her father, survivors include a daughter, Jasmin Louise Stepney, 10, of Baltimore; her mother, Sylvia T. Patterson; a brother, Dr. Chavis A. Patterson of Philadelphia; and a sister, Tina Patterson Ricker of Edgewater. Her marriage to Leutral Stepney ended in divorce.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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