The University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland Medical Center have re-committed to our collaborative efforts by forming “Partnership With West Baltimore, where we’re working to improve the health and lives of community residents.
To that end, UMB and UMMC held a town hall meeting on Thursday, May 4, at the Carter Memorial Church in West Baltimore to talk about this partnership, and to hear from community members about issues important to them, and ways those issues can be addressed. Rev. Carl Pierce Sr., pastor of Carter Memorial Church, graciously opened his church’s doors to the community meeting and kicked off the session.
UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, and UMMC President and CEO Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, said as the two largest anchor institutions in West Baltimore, their responsibilities extend beyond providing health care and educational opportunities to residents to working to strengthen the community we all call home.
After Drs. Perman and Suntha spoke about their commitment to the West Baltimore community, the audience of 150 was encouraged to share what they would like and need from this partnership. Questions and comments covered a wide range of issues, including:
- Expressions of gratitude for community service and job placement support
- Resources for combatting addiction
- How community residents can spread the word about the partnership
- Sensitivities to cultural issues related to trauma and race, and exposing children to positive multicultural work environments such as at UMB and UMMC
- How revitalization efforts impact community residents
- Making health screenings more readily available for a wide range of health issues
After the Q&A session, speakers and community members gathered for food and fellowship to continue the dialogue about how to make the West Baltimore community the best it can be.