Digest

April 29, 2008

Baltimore : Johns Hopkins

Physician named 1 of most influential

A Johns Hopkins physician whose research focuses on improving patient care - including the use lof airline-style checklists in critical care units - has been named to this year's list of Time magazine's 100 most influential people.

Dr. Peter Pronovost, a professor of anesthesiology and critical care, was cited for his efforts to improve the way medical care is delivered to patients around the world.

This year, Provonost's work drew headlines when federal regulators told Michigan hospitals to stop providing him with data while they reviewed whether his studies technically violated informed consent rules. But after that decision drew criticism from patient advocates and other researchers, the government allowed the data gathering to continue.

There is no cash with the Time award, but recipients are invited to a formal dinner May 8 in New York. "I'm surprised and delighted," Pronovost said.

Dennis O'Brien

Maryland

: Politics

GOP names Ready executive director

The Maryland Republican Party has named Justin Ready, a chief aide to state Sen. Janet Greenip, as its new executive director.

Ready, 26, will replace John Flynn, who has taken a position as the legal counsel for Americans For Prosperity, a Washington-based non-profit that promotes limited government.

James Pelura, chairman of the state GOP, said there were 14 applicants for the position, but Ready stood out because he has proven himself as a legislative aide and on political campaigns.

Bradley Olson

Region

: Chesapeake Bay

Underwater grasses said to increase in '07

Underwater grasses increased slightly in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries during 2007, but they remain depleted in many areas, scientists said yesterday.

The grasses - crucial habitat for crabs, fish and other marine life - increased about 10 percent last year, according to the multistate Chesapeake Bay Program, which surveys the waterways in Maryland and Virginia.

Much of that increase was documented in the upper bay, which includes the Susquehanna Flats near Havre de Grace. Grass beds also increased in the Potomac River. But the acreage declined in the Chester and Magothy rivers. In the lower bay, where much of the eelgrass died off in 2005 because of heat, grasses showed a modest recovery but are still far short of the Bay Program's goal.

Rona Kobell

Baltimore

: Government

Dixon's measure would create agency

Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration introduced a charter amendment in the City Council yesterday to create an agency to oversee maintenance of city vehicles and buildings. The Department of General Services, which Dixon initially proposed in a speech this year, would be the first city agency created since the Department of Transportation was split off from the Department of Public Works in 2001. Besides maintaining city property, the department would keep official plats and records of all real property in the city and oversee the approval of new streets and street names, according to the legislation. City Council approval is required for a charter amendment to be placed on the ballot.

John Fritze

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