Mark B. Hopkins

[ Age 47 ] Information systems executive was formerly vice president at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

November 16, 2007|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,Sun reporter

Mark B. Hopkins, an information systems executive who had been a Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center vice president, died of cancer Tuesday at Sinai Hospital. The Mount Washington resident was 47.

"He knew how a hospital worked. He was smart and had a lot of common sense," said Gregory Schaffer, president of Hopkins Bayview. "He was an asset to the hospital and was instrumental in building our clinical information system."

Born in Baltimore and raised in Dallas, Texas, he returned to the Baltimore area and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in information systems management at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. While a student, he worked at the old Palmer House on Eutaw Street near the Lexington Market, a restaurant owned by his grandfather, Tom D'Anna.

"He had great vision. He could analyze a problem and come up with a solution," said his mother, Marian L. D'Anna of Baltimore. "They don't work any harder than he did. He was just great with people. It didn't matter what your job was. He talked to the cleaning people as much as the executives."

Mr. Hopkins began work as a computer programmer at the Fidelity and Deposit Co. in downtown Baltimore and later joined the administration of Hopkins Bayview. Colleagues said that during this period, Mr. Hopkins learned how a hospital functioned and was able to apply this experience to the field of computer technology.

He rose to become a vice president of the Hopkins Bayview information systems and later was executive director of Johns Hopkins Bayview Physicians, a group of 320 doctors.

"He was an analytical person who came with all the computer know-how, but he was not a geek," said his father-in-law, M.J. "Jay" Brodie, president of the Baltimore Development Corp. "He was warm, friendly and a family man, first of all. He had a dry sense of humor, enjoyed watching a Maryland Terrapins game and liked an Agatha Christie mystery novel."

While at Bayview, he created ways to automate assigning medical tests and other hospital functions, including medical records.

"People wanted to work for him," said Todd D. Johnson, president of Salar Inc., a business that builds electronic patient charts. "He didn't set the bar low, but he created an environment where he fostered achievement. He had a vision that attracted people."

In 2001, Mr. Hopkins was recruited by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as the chief information officer for Presbyterian and Shadyside hospitals to become chief information officer for some 19 hospitals under the aegis of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He led an effort to computerize millions of pages of medical records.

"Mark was an exceptional individual," said Elizabeth Concordia, executive vice president of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. "His special approach to leadership affected everyone he worked with in his career."

He remained a Baltimore resident and commuted to his job.

Mr. Hopkins was named by Computerworld Magazine as one of its "Premier 100 IT Leaders" in an article dated Dec. 11, 2006. The article paraphrased his philosophy that "the path to success includes being successful in one's current position rather than continually looking ahead to the next rung on the ladder."

A Mark B. Hopkins memorial fund has been created in his name at the Baltimore Community Foundation.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at First Unitarian Church, Charles and Franklin streets.

In addition to his mother, survivors include his wife of 23 years, the former Kimberly Brodie; a son, Matthew Hopkins, a senior at Baltimore School for the Arts; a daughter, Melissa Hopkins, a seventh-grade student at the Greenmount School; two brothers, Robert D'Anna of Vienna, Va., and Michael Hopkins of Asheville, N.C.; and a sister, Nancy Leggens of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

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