UMMC Overview

Photo of medical professionals performing surgery

Founded in 1823 as the Baltimore Infirmary, the University of Maryland Medical Center is one of the nation's oldest academic medical centers. Located on the West Side of Downtown Baltimore, the Medical Center is distinguished by discovery-driven tertiary and quaternary care for the entire state and region and innovative, highly specialized clinical programs.

Patients admitted to the University of Maryland Medical Center benefit from the talent and experience of the very finest physicians, nurses, researchers and other health care providers. Here, health care professionals from many disciplines work together as a team to cure illness, conquer disease, and assure the needed support for patient and family alike.

Technically Advanced Facilities, State-of-the-Art Patient Care

All of the medical center's physicians are faculty members at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the nation's fifth oldest and first public medical school and a recognized leader in biomedical research and medical education.

The Medical Center cares for more than 32,000 inpatients and 300,000 outpatients each year.

With the construction of new buildings, extensive renovations, and the installation of leading edge technologies, the Medical Center's patient care facilities have been transformed into technically advanced, yet cheerful settings to provide excellent, state-of-the-art patient care.

The newest facilities include:

  • The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building, with one of the nation's most technologically advanced surgical facilities as well as spacious units for Medical Intensive Care, Cardiac Surgery Intensive Care and Telemetry and Surgical Acute Care. The building also features state-of-the-art radiology facilities as well as new adult and pediatric Emergency Departments. Nurses, physicians and other staff played a major role in the design of the new clinical areas.
  • The Homer Gudelsky Building houses dedicated patient floors for neurocare, cardiac care, cancer care and organ transplantation.
  • The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center has its own surgery suites, intensive care units, CT scanners and diagnostic imaging.

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Innovative Care and Research Save Lives

The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center Center is the world's first and foremost center dedicated to saving lives of people with severe, life-threatening injuries sustained in auto crashes, violent crimes and other traumatic incidents.

The trauma staff treat more than 7,500 critically injured patients each year who arrive by helicopter or ambulance ”” and more than 97 percent survive. The facility is the only one in Maryland with a PARC (Primary Adult Resource Center) designation, signifying that it provides the highest level of trauma care in Maryland. Shock Trauma is also the designated statewide referral center for head and spinal cord injuries, multi-system trauma and severe orthopaedic injuries.

It is named after its founder, R Adams Cowley, MD, a pioneer in trauma care. He came up with the concept of the “golden hour” ”” that lives can be saved when trauma patients receive appropriate care within one hour of their injury. Medical providers from throughout Maryland, the nation and the world come here each year for training.

Since 2001, the U.S. Air Force has partnered with the Medical Center and School of Medicine to use Shock Trauma as its readiness training site for its worldwide medical personnel.

The Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center is a place where hope is a way of life. Internationally recognized experts in cancer care and research treat thousands of patients each year. Bringing promising new therapies from the laboratory to the bedside is a top priority, and the Cancer Center's scientists are immersed in research on new drugs and therapies. Discoveries can be rapidly translated into treatments at the Cancer Center before they are widely available, giving patients new reasons for hope.

The Cancer Center offers comprehensive, coordinated care from teams of specialists who consult on each patient's case and develop a joint treatment plan. In that way, each patient benefits from the collaboration of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists, nurses and other team members who have expertise in particular types of cancer.

The University of Maryland Children's Hospital is a statewide resource providing the finest care for serious and complex health problems in patients ranging from newborns to young adults. Its primary care and highly specialized programs attract patients from the entire mid-Atlantic region.

The Children's Hospital emphasizes a child-and family-centered, friendly approach while addressing the most difficult pediatric health problems. Whenever possible, physicians treat children as outpatients to help them and their loved ones cope better with illness while maintaining normal routines. Infants born prematurely are transported from around the region to be cared for in the Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit ”” one of the largest in the state.

The Joseph and Corinne Schwartz Division of Transplantation is one of the nation's largest kidney and pancreas transplant programs with an international reputation for innovation and surgical excellence for patients who need kidney, pancreas or liver transplants. The growth in its kidney transplant program corresponds to the Medical Center's leadership in the minimally invasive removal of kidneys from living donors, which began in March 1996.

The program offers simultaneous pancreas/living-donor kidney transplants, so that when a patient has a relative or friend willing to donate a kidney, the surgery is performed at the same time that a cadaver donor pancreas becomes available.

The Division of Transplantation is known for such innovative programs as a steroid-free protocol, which reduces medication side effects following a transplant, as well as islet cell transplants and domino liver transplants. The division's leadership is evident in many milestones, including the state's first pancreas-alone transplant and first successful pancreas/kidney transplant.

The University of Maryland Heart Center is a national leader in providing comprehensive evaluation and treatment of cardiac disease. The center is recognized for its expertise in minimally invasive heart bypass and valve surgery, heart transplants and pioneering work with heart pumps, as either a bridge to transplant or as life long therapy for those who are ineligible for a transplant. Patients come to the University of Maryland Heart Center from throughout the United States and overseas.

The Heart Center's cardiologists and cardiac surgeons use the most advanced technology and medical therapies to diagnose and treat the full range of heart problems, including heart failure, coronary artery disease, heart rhythm abnormalities, aortic and mitral valve disorders and cardiomyopathy.

The Heart Center was one of the first in the nation to combine minimally invasive bypass surgery with stented angioplasty at the same time in a specially outfitted
operating room. This “hybrid” procedure enables patients with multiple vessel blockages to receive the best treatment for each blockage in an efficient way. The center is also known for its expertise in repairing mitral valve disorders, which has many advantages over replacing the mitral valve. The center also places a strong emphasis on preventing heart disease by educating patients about lifestyle factors, including proper nutrition and exercise.

The Maryland Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Center provides comprehensive and expert diagnostic, medical, surgical and rehabilitative services for patients with Parkinson's disease and related disorders.

The Center has developed specific outpatient and inpatient programs to meet the needs of each patient. Patients may be referred for consultation, or cared for in partnership with their referring physician.

The University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology helps children and adults with diabetes take charge of their own health and well-being. The cornerstone of the Center's diabetes care is the multidisciplinary team of highly skilled experts including diabetologists, diabetes educators, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, podiatrists and ophthalmologists. The Center also offers education programs aimed at providing patients with the skills and knowledge needed to take control of their diabetes, prevent complications and develop a healthy lifestyle.

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Advances in Surgery and Technology

The Medical Center's extraordinary advances in surgery make it a model for health care in the region and state. The Medical Center's operating rooms use the latest technology, including information management, digital radiology and telemedicine. For example, surgeons use a device called “Stealth Station” to navigate more precisely when operating deep in the brain. The system integrates digital CT and MRI scans to create an exact, three-dimensional “map” of the brain. This helps surgeons pinpoint the exact location of a tumor in order to remove it completely without harm to surrounding healthy tissue.

The Medical Center has created an “operating room of the future” offering surgeons greatly increased capabilities, including:

  • 19 new operating rooms;
  • robotic and telesurgery technology;
  • advanced imaging capabilities;
  • wireless and voice-controlled technology;
  • advanced management systems to enhance operating room efficiency and coordinate care.

Medical Center doctors and nurses use advanced technology in many other ways to provide more precise diagnosis and treatments for people with a variety of health problems.

  • The Minimally Invasive Therapy Center's multidisciplinary team of specialists focuses on performing and developing minimally invasive surgical techniques. Since there is no big incision, patients have less pain and can return sooner to their normal activities. Minimally invasive procedures include gallbladder removal, surgery for reflux, colon surgery, heart bypass, cancer surgery and hernia repair.
  • We are the region's first medical center to install a fully integrated Trilogy System in our Radiation Oncology Department. This technology allows us to offer the most advanced radiation therapy possible ”” including pinpoint accuracy and patient imaging on the Trilogy machine. We can deliver higher doses of radiation to tumors, while minimizing the damage to surrounding tissue and organs ”” increasing the chance of a cure.
  • Stroke specialists on the Brain Attack Team were the first in the nation to use telemedicine to “examine” stroke patients who are many miles away. The goal is to give more patients access to a clot-busting drug that works only if given within three hours after stroke symptoms begin. Using real-time audio and video communication through computers and cellular technology, physicians are evaluating the system to diagnose and help treat patients, both in moving ambulances and at fixed locations.
  • The Maryland Center for MS has been a world-renowned leader in pioneering research and treatment for multiple sclerosis for more than two decades. The center was instrumental in the development of two of the first three drugs approved by the FDA to alter the progression of multiple sclerosis.

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Multidisciplinary Care

Medical Center health care providers believe strongly that the best medicine is delivered by a coordinated team effort. Patients are seen by not one, but all physicians relevant to their care. The lead physician then presents ”” to the patient and family ”” a unified plan for diagnosis and treatment. Nursing and clinical support staff work closely with physicians to provide compassionate, quality care.

Patient Safety and Accessibility

The Medical Center is a leader in using the latest developments in information technology to help ensure the health and safety of patients. Its new clinical information system will allow Medical Center physicians to electronically write all orders for testing, treatment and medication, and to receive results the same way. It is designed to help with treatment decisions, and will create an electronic medical record for each patient. This will reduce the chance for medication errors and alert physicians to drug allergies.

Every effort is made to provide patients and visitors easy access within the Medical Center. Specially trained Guest Services staff members are dedicated to ensuring that patients and visitors reach their destinations quickly and easily. Patients can choose valet parking or park in the garage located across the street from the Medical Center's main entrance. Uniformed greeters, courtesy shuttles and clear directional signs make getting around safe and easy.

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This page was last updated: October 7, 2013

         
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