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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University January 26, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 19
In Brief


Physicians rally in Annapolis over medical liability costs

Nearly 1,500 Maryland physicians, including dozens from Johns Hopkins, descended upon the state capital on Jan. 21 to help raise awareness of the crisis that medical liability costs are creating in the health care industry.

The three-and-a-half-hour event, called Rally for Change, was organized by MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society. The group's aim was to petition the governor and the state Legislature to contend with the skyrocketing premiums for medical liability insurance that have forced some physicians to limit their practices or close their offices, denying residents access to health care.

The physicians assembled at the Lawyer's Mall outside the State House, where they heard comments from Gov. Robert Ehrlich; Donald Palisano, president of the American Medical Association; Michael Busch, speaker of the House of Delegates; and other officials.

Following the speeches, the assembly moved indoors to observe the day's legislative session. Later they met with individual elected officials, in part to show their support for a bill--expected to be introduced by Delegate Pete Hammen--that is supported by MedChi, Johns Hopkins Medicine and others. The legislation seeks four key reforms: roll back the cap on non-economic damages to $350,000; end the use of inappropriate numbers in calculating economic damages; establish a sliding scale for attorneys' contingency fees; and require awards for future damages to be paid over time rather than in a lump sum.

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New Balto. Collegetown Web site draws visitors and kudos

The Baltimore Collegetown Network Web site was selected on Jan. 19 as the Site of the Week by Communication Arts, the largest design magazine in the world.

"The relaunch [of the Web site] is a rich resource for current and prospective students," said the magazine in its citation. "The site attracts students, engages them in the Baltimore lifestyle and promotes the city as a permanent residence after graduation."

Noting that results are measurable because the site is a redesign, Communication Art noted, "Since the site launched three months ago, site traffic has increased 300 percent, with the greatest number of visits occurring on Saturdays, which indicates a strong engagement with core content--things to do around Baltimore."

The site — — was designed by G2G Productions.

Johns Hopkins is one of the 14 members of the Baltimore Collegetown Network.


City MESA program at risk; APL seeks funding support

Due to lack of funding, 60 schools and 600 students are in danger of losing an educational program that has served Baltimore City for more than 25 years.

The Maryland Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Program, known as MESA, supports and develops the interests, skills and abilities of K-12 students in science, technology, engineering and math.

APL established the program in 1976 with just two schools in Baltimore City; today, Maryland MESA serves more than 130 schools and 2,300 students throughout the state, with 600 of them coming from 60 Baltimore City schools.

Through partnerships with universities and corporations, Maryland MESA works to increase the number of engineers, scientists and mathematicians. It also encourages and assists minorities and females in achieving academic and professional success in these fields.

The future of the city program is now in jeopardy because new funding is needed for a coordinator to implement activities, train teachers and act as a liaison between city schools and program management. Anyone interested in supporting the city program can contact Maryland MESA's director, Nora Day, at 443-778-5382 or

For more information on Maryland MESA, go to:


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