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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University January 31, 2005 | Vol. 34 No. 20
Heart Institute Receives $10 Million Gift from Modells

JH institute created last year will open in 2008 in new East Baltimore building

By Gary Stephenson
Johns Hopkins Medicine

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 generosity."

"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 disease."

For more information about the Johns Hopkins Heart Institute, go to index.html.


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