The Johns Hopkins Gazette: January 11, 1999
Jan. 11, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 17


Awards: To Be Honored For Community Service

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Martin Luther King Jr. was known to many as a champion of civil rights, but he was also a responsible citizen who advocated a spirit of community volunteerism. To honor his memory and work, Martin Luther King Jr. Awards for Community Service are presented each year to faculty and staff members who best exemplify the spirit and citizenship that characterized King's life. Nominees from the Hopkins university and medical communities are evaluated by panels of faculty and staff at their institutions and then are recommended to the members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, which selects the winners. This year, 12 honorees will be recognized for their achievements (see "Echoing the Spirit of MLK" for details).

Devon A. Blackwood
Interventionist, Psychiatry, Program for Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Despite being a full-time interventionist and a candidate for a master's degree in psychology, Devon A. Blackwood still finds time for community service. Blackwood believes that improving father-son relationships is crucial to bettering the community, and through the Shiloh Church of God he has been providing 10 hours per week of guitar lessons to East Baltimore youth and their fathers. He hopes to establish a program called Fathers and Sons in Music to further his work in this area. Blackwood also sits on the board of directors of Sonship Recovery Ministries, a spiritually based substance-abuse recovery program, helping to design the group's programs and activities. He also gives presentations about substance abuse and recovery to the program's participants and their loved ones. For the Grant-A-Wish Foundation, Blackwood takes patients and their families on recreational and shopping trips. He also volunteers an hour a week as a reader at the hospital's Reach Out and Read program.

Shirley J. Charles
Supervisor, Parking and Transportation Services, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

As a member of the Shiloh Baptist Church, Shirley J. Charles has in the past nine years participated in many community events such as raising funds for the area's homeless and acting as neighborhood representative for the cancer fund. On weekends, Charles serves as residential assistant at the YMCA's Eleanor D. Corner House, a homeless shelter in Arbutus. Charles has assisted in the care of three senior citizens who do not have family members. She also serves as a driver for senior citizens and pediatric oncology patients, transporting them to and from the hospital for treatment. Additionally, Charles is an active member of the American Business Women's Association, a member of the Democratic Women's Organization and an adviser to the youth and young adult ministries of Shiloh Baptist Church in Edgemere.

James J. Eberwine
Financial Manager, Corporate and Community Services, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

James J. Eberwine helped establish the Madison Square Recreation Center at St. Francis Academy, an after-school program at the Dr. Bernard Harris Elementary School and a youth basketball league in East Baltimore. The basketball games, held during the summer at Tench Tilghman Elementary School, attract many youths from the area. For the past several years, Eberwine has coached a girls' basketball team at a high school in Bel Air while also coaching basketball and baseball at the Emmorton Recreation Council. He also has participated in Hopkins' Community of Caring campaign by painting a senior citizen's row house, volunteered at numerous blood drives at the hospital and helped coordinate after-school tutorial activities in several East Baltimore elementary schools.

Lynette K. Fuson
Nurse Clinician III, Pediatric Oncology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Part-Time Clinical Instructor, School of Nursing

Lynette Fuson has been a key figure in the design and delivery of many programs sponsored by the mid-Atlantic division of the American Cancer Society. Specifically, Fuson has volunteered in many capacities at Camp Sunrise, a camp for cancer patients ages 4 to 18. She has served as the camp's co-director, nurse and activities director, and is co-chair of the planning committee, a post that entails juggling the needs of the campers, counselors, accrediting association and the American Cancer Society. Fuson was instrumental in the founding of SunSibs, a program for the brothers and sisters of cancer patients that allows them an experience similar to that offered by Camp Sunrise. Fuson's work with SunSibs involves program development and assessment, interviewing and training counselors and serving as liaison between community donors and the American Cancer Society.

Jerry Harris
Animal Care Coordinator, Comparative Medicine, School of Medicine

An active member of the New Christian Bible Baptist Church, where he is head of the sports and social ministries, Jerry Harris has worked with others in his community to reduce local crime, improve neighborhood sanitation and make sidewalks handicapped accessible. He has been recognized for his volunteer work as a community activist by the Baltimore Police Department, the City Council of Baltimore and the Mayor's Office. In order to better serve his community, he successfully completed the Northwestern District Citizen's Police Academy. Harris also coaches his church's youth basketball team and serves as president of the Woodmere Association, a community outreach program in northwest Baltimore. Harris participated in the Discovering Careers at The Johns Hopkins University 1998 Summer Youth Employment Program and in the Comprehensive Substance Abuse Action Training Series.

Gail R. Jackson
Administrative Division Manager II, Medical Oncology, School of Medicine

Gail Jackson has spent the past 24 years in a ministry with teen-agers. She works with adolescents in low-income areas of the city, organizing activities for them so that they can give back to their community and have the opportunity to see beyond their immediate surroundings.
   Adolescent-based programs Jackson has developed include working in soup kitchens, churches, nursing homes, hospitals and the Inner Harbor ministry and giving assistance to home-bound elderly. Jackson has also developed activities such as Friday Night Live and athletic nights that offer youths an alternative to spending their time in the streets. Despite a full work schedule, Jackson spends 20 to 50 hours a week at her youth ministry.

Charles R. Johnson Jr.
Research Interviewer III, Health Policy Management, School of Public Health

As a volunteer and peer counselor at two Baltimore homeless shelters, Oasis and the Eutaw Center, Charles Johnson Jr. has counseled and assisted men regarding substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and other health-related issues, veterans' issues and job readiness. Believing that many shelter residents get caught in a "catch-22"--such as not being able to receive services without proper identification and not being able to obtain that identification without any money--Johnson has worked to eliminate some of the red tape these people face. He also serves on the board of directors of the Center for Applied Nomadology, the parent group for these two homeless shelters.

Amy Ellen Juskowitz
Employee Communications Specialist, Human Resources, Employee and Labor Relations, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Amy Ellen Juskowitz firmly believes that children facing illnesses should have the opportunity to experience the same joys and freedoms as any other child. To that end, she volunteers her time at Camp Sunrise, a camp that encourages the development and self-esteem of cancer-afflicted children ages 4 to 18. The camp's goal is to provide children with a week of fun away from hospitals and medical clinics and to improve their social skills through continuous group interaction. As a member of the camp's planning committee, Juskowitz helps to raise funds, coordinate special events, assess and design programs and activities, and coordinate transportation for the campers. Juskowitz also volunteers at the Child Life Department for social events that provide patients and their families a break from the health care routine.

Jeri Marlene Mancini
Acting Director, Maternity Center East, GYN/OB, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, School of Medicine

Jeri Mancini, a nurse midwife and faculty member in the Department of OB/GYN since 1988, has dedicated her career to increasing access to obstetric and gynecologic care for the women of East Baltimore. Since 1990 Mancini has been the director of the adolescent pregnancy program at Maternity Center East, an off-campus women's health clinic, and for the past few months has served as the center's acting director. She was responsible for reactivating the MCE community advisory board, which was established in the early '80s to ensure that women and families who received care and services at MCE had a voice and forum to discuss pertinent health issues. Working with MCE clients, Mancini and the advisory board prepared a request that led to the building's exterior improvements. Mancini has also worked with the Patterson Park Community Association and other neighborhood groups to plan community-based health fairs to bring information about resources and community services to the residents of these areas.

Adrianna M. Bravo, Beth Ebel and Jessica Sessions
Residents in the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine

Adrianna M. Bravo, Beth Ebel and Jessica Sessions have been among the leaders of a very active group of pediatric residents who are strong advocates for the health and well-being of children. They have worked for the past year on a community-based project to develop a safe, useful and attractive playground for Harford Heights Elementary School, the largest elementary school in the state. The area behind the school was a four-acre vacant lot that contained broken bottles, condoms, crack vials, hypodermic needles and rusting bits of old fence; the three saw the need for the clean-up of this area and the construction of a playground that would serve as a community meeting place where parents could feel safe about their children playing. In addition to the work on the playground, the three have raised the awareness of the Hopkins community regarding its responsibility to the area's children. The residents' group efforts have included the development of Reach Out and Read. They have also donated time to teach community workers about pediatric health care issues as part of Project HEAL, an East Baltimore-based effort to enhance the knowledge of parents and other family members about the health of their children.