Heart Institute Receives $10 Million Gift from
JH institute created last year will open in 2008 in new
East Baltimore building
By Gary Stephenson
Arthur B. Modell, longtime National Football League
team owner and medical philanthropist named last year to
head the new Johns Hopkins Heart
Institute's board of governors, announced Jan. 25 that
he and his wife, Pat, are making a gift that will provide
$10 million to the institute.
In making the gift, Modell acknowledged his good
fortune. "I'm lucky to be in a country that allowed me to
succeed," said Modell, who dropped out of high school at
the age of 15 to help his financially strapped family. "I
also was lucky to have some of the best physicians in the
world at Hopkins and the Cleveland Clinic helping me when I
suffered heart problems. My wife and I want to share some
of our good fortune with others through the work done by
the Heart Institute. We chose Hopkins because, just as with
football teams, we back winners." Modell is former majority
owner of the Super Bowl-winning Baltimore Ravens.
Created last year, the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute
is scheduled to open in 2008 as part of a massive $1
billion redevelopment initiative under way at the Johns
Hopkins East Baltimore medical campus. When completed, the
redevelopment project will replace half of the existing
Johns Hopkins Hospital and include two state-of-the-art
clinical facilities--a cardiovascular and critical care
tower, and a children's and maternal hospital. Located
within the cardiovascular and critical care tower, the
Heart Institute will integrate advanced diagnostic and
therapeutic services and specialists from every branch of
cardiac care, including cardiology, cardiac surgery,
vascular medicine, radiology and critical care anesthesia.
Faculty will work collaboratively in a facility specially
designed to hasten clinical application of research.
"The new Heart Institute, made possible by the
generosity of donors such as Art and Pat Modell, will build
on the Hopkins tradition of cardiology breakthroughs," said
Edward D. Miller, the Frances Watt Baker, M.D., and Lenox
D. Baker Jr., M.D., Dean of the Medical Faculty and chief
executive officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine. The Modells
are joined in their efforts to support rebuilding the East
Baltimore medical campus by many prominent leaders in
Baltimore and Washington, D.C., including Louis and Nancy
Grasmick, Steve and Mindy Geppi, John Paterakis Sr., Jim
Clark, Virginia Weiss, Ann and the late Leonard Greif, A.B.
"Buzzy" Krongard and Frank and Tricia Saul.
"Hopkins was the birthplace of modern cardiac surgery,
and scientists here first used balloons and clot-busting
drugs to open blood vessels. CPR was developed at Hopkins,
and the first defibrillators and pacemakers were implanted
here," Modell said. "That tradition continues today. If
history is our guide, there's every reason to expect the
Heart Institute will achieve even greater successes in
treating, curing and preventing heart disease."
Modell, who once spent 16 days desperately ill in the
cardiac intensive care unit at the Cleveland Clinic and
went on to become president of the clinic," said "I have a
personal grudge against heart disease." Subsequent cardiac
problems, including two heart attacks and a stroke, brought
him to Johns Hopkins. "I learned firsthand of the enormous
strength and deep bench of the Hopkins heart team. The
caliber of the physicians, researchers and nurses is
outstanding," he said. "The research, particularly in using
adult stem cells to repair damaged heart tissue, is
ushering in a whole new era of heart treatment. The
brilliant staff Hopkins has assembled--and the patients
they treat--need and deserve better facilities in which to
continue their trailblazing research and treatments."
Key faculty involved with the institute include
William A. Baumgartner, cardiac surgeon in charge; Eduardo
Marban, chief of the Division of Cardiology; Richard Lange,
clinical chief; Myron Weisfeldt, director of the Department
of Medicine; and Julie Freischlag, director of the
Department of Surgery.
"At a time when hospitals are under increasing
financial pressures, generous gifts like those from Mr.
Modell are ever more important to sustain and improve
health care in this nation," Baumgartner said. "We are
truly honored and appreciative of Mr. Modell's
contribution. Thousands of individuals, now and in the
future, will directly benefit because of his selfless
"Given the magnitude of this project and the return on
investment it represents, we will need the help of many,"
Modell said. "In particular, we want to thank Maryland Gov.
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and other policy-makers for their
support of Johns Hopkins efforts to combat heart
For more information about the Johns Hopkins Heart
Institute, go to
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