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Decades of Making a Difference in Baltimore

Providing healthcare for all since 1984

In 1984, the Baltimore City Health Department asked Baltimore Medical System to take over the management of four existing Health Department clinics in East Baltimore. Jay Wolvovsky directed that effort as president and CEO until his retirement in 2014.

Now, CEO Shirley Sutton leads a group of 350 employees with the shared commitment of improving the health, wellness and quality of life of our patients. We do this by providing safe, high-quality, accessible and affordable comprehensive healthcare.

A look back

In 1987, Baltimore Medical System was the first ambulatory care organization in Maryland to be accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. We were also the first Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to be Joint Commission accredited in the Central Eastern seaboard states.

In 1988, Baltimore Medical System began its School-based Health Program, which provides critical access to healthcare for more than 3,000 Baltimore City school children annually.

Since that time, Baltimore Medical System grew considerably, expanding to other underserved communities, including Middlesex in Baltimore County in 1998.

Baltimore Medical System ran an innovative program for Medicare beneficiaries, allowing the senior citizens of Baltimore to receive pharmacy and other related health benefits. At that time, prescription medications were not covered by Medicare. For more than 20 years, under what was known as the Municipal Health Services Program, Baltimore Medical System and the Baltimore City Health Department collaborated to provide a unique and effective mix of health services to more than 5,000 seniors. This program ended in 2006 when Medicare began covering the cost of many outpatient prescriptions.

Among the proudest moments in Baltimore Medical System’s history are those occasions when they have stepped up to care for medically underserved residents who were about to lose their current healthcare provider. This first occurred in 1990 through an agreement with a Johns Hopkins Bayview physician group, when Baltimore Medical System took over their practice in Highlandtown. A few years later, Baltimore Medical System assisted 2,000 residents of the O’Donnell Heights neighborhood when the Federally Qualified Health Center serving their area suddenly closed.

This history of preventing gaps in patient care continued throughout the 1990s and into the new millennium. Baltimore Medical System opened a second site in Highlandtown in 2000, taking over a practice from Maryland General Hospital. Baltimore Medical System opened a new health center on the campus of Saint Agnes Hospital in 2004, when the organization took over a number of Saint Agnes outpatient practices. In 2006, patients transferred to Baltimore Medical System through an orderly process when the Greater Baltimore Medical Center’s downtown Weinberg Center closed.

In April of 2016, Baltimore Medical System was selected as a high performing practice for the Transforming Clinical Practice Initiative (TCPI) of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. As a high performing practice, Baltimore Medical System will participate on the TCPI national expert panel and help practices across the country implement a change package to improve care and reduce costs for their patients.

Where we are today

Baltimore Medical System has become the community healthcare provider of choice for a growing population of new immigrants in the Baltimore area. We have made special efforts to become culturally competent by building a multicultural and bilingual staff. This allows us to serve more than 8,000 people of Hispanic origin annually and approximately 950 to 1,100 refugees of many countries each year.

Today, we operate six health centers, four pharmacies and eight school-based health sites, and serve approximately 46,000 patients each year. We are the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in Maryland, ready to build on our history of providing comprehensive healthcare and health education to people and families in need.