Dr. Edward Miller, dean and CEO of Hopkins Medicine (Courtesy of Johns Hopkins,…)
Dr. Edward Miller, who has overseen a vast expansion of Johns Hopkins Medicine — on Baltimore's east side and in countries around the world — since taking over as dean and chief executive in 1997, said Thursday that he will retire next year.
Miller, 68, has built a medical powerhouse, with six hospitals, including All Children's Hospital in Florida, several suburban health care and surgery centers, and more than 30 primary and specialty health care facilities — many of which he helped bring into the fold.
He has also established a network of partnerships with hospitals in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. In one of its latest moves, Johns Hopkins Medicine signed an agreement in November to open the first private, four-year medical school and teaching hospital in Malaysia.
All the while, he's maintained a hospital and medical school that are consistently ranked among the nation's best, and a community of researchers that is the biggest recipient of National Institutes of Health dollars — $611 million in the last fiscal year.
"We are about to witness the end of an era," said Ronald J. Daniels, Hopkins University president, who announced the retirement in an email to faculty and students. "His tenure has been nothing short of extraordinary."
Hopkins Medicine, which has some 30,000 workers, is the largest employer in Baltimore and one of the largest in Maryland. Together, the economic impact of all Hopkins institutions in Maryland in fiscal 2010 was an estimated $10 billion.
"It's been a singular privilege and honor to have served this great institution, Johns Hopkins Medicine, as its dean and CEO for more than a decade," Miller said.
"I've been fortunate in having an outstanding team of dedicated people supporting me, and together we have accomplished many important initiatives to position Johns Hopkins Medicine strongly for the future. And we have many more achievements to make during the coming year before I step down. But when I do leave Johns Hopkins Medicine, I will do so with the strong conviction I am leaving it in great hands."
Miller's retirement in June 2012 will allow him to see the opening of a signature accomplishment: a $1.1 billion clinical building at Johns Hopkins Hospital, scheduled for a dedication next April.
Leaders off campus say they are thankful for Miller's management of what is perhaps Baltimore's best-known institution.
"Under Dr. Miller's leadership, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has increased its stature as one of the world's foremost medical schools and nurtured strong partnerships with the city," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "Johns Hopkins has played an integral role in Baltimore's conversion from an industrial city into the home of medical and scientific research, and I want to thank Dr. Miller for his service to Johns Hopkins and to the city and wish him and his family the best in his future endeavors."
Gov. Martin O'Malley added: "Ed Miller is an institution at Hopkins, and while I wish him well in his retirement, his are enormous shoes to fill. One only needs to look at the landscape of East Baltimore during Ed's tenure to see his transformative vision. Ed's commitment to the students of the medical program, as well as the patients and the health care system, has kept Hopkins at the top among the nation's medical institutions, and Maryland has been fortunate to have him there."
Dr. E. Albert Reece, vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and dean of the School of Medicine, said he's had a relationship that has evolved into a friendship over lunches the pair have shared every three or four months.
From the union among their institutions, there are now joint training programs in plastic surgery and pediatric surgery. The centers also have been awarded joint research grants from NIH for diabetes and nutrition. Reece and Miller have also written joint editorials and are working on a paper about the economic impact of the institutions.
"We've set a tone of collaboration," Reece said. "Our relationship has been strong. It's been more than a professional relationship. It's been one of friendship. ... I'll miss that joint effort, but I wish him the very best in his next stage of life."
Miller, an anesthesiologist, came to Hopkins in 1994 as a professor and director of the department of anesthesiology and critical care medicine. He was named interim dean of the medical school in 1996 and took over permanently a year later. Before Hopkins, he worked for eight years at Columbia University, where he was a professor and chairman of the department of anesthesiology.