PressBox is partnering with GBMC to highlight The Promise Project, GBMC’s campaign to modernize its campus and renew its community promise for future generations.

By Caryn R. Sagal

In 1965, GBMC HealthCare opened with a promise to always prioritize its patients and provide the level of care that staff would want for their own loved ones.

That singular and unrelenting focus on the experiences and care of its patients has remained intact, while GBMC has grown in keeping with the needs of the community. Named Best Hospital by several media outlets, it has become an independent, community-based healthcare system.

“GBMC is much more than a community hospital,” says former Chief of Staff John R. Saunders Jr., MD. “It’s a fantastic health delivery system that happens to be in the community, serving the community. It’s always been a community effort.”

Through the decades, GBMC has redesigned care to focus on a patient’s overall health throughout their lives rather than on a singular health episode. A $50 million campaign is now underway to not only modernize GBMC’s facilities, but also extend the promise for generations to come.

GBMC has launched The Promise Project to extend its promise for future generations of families, neighbors and the community, while strengthening its position as the premier space for patient-centered care in Greater Baltimore.

“Modernizing our in-patient care with The Promise Project allows us to provide the care we want for our community members,” says Dr. Saunders, who chairs The Promise Project campaign. “Medicine has become much more sophisticated and the demands for patient care require up-to-date facilities for safe, efficient and effective care.”

The Promise Project also aims to “create an environment of hope for our patients and every person who comes to GBMC,” says President and CEO John B. Chessare, MD, MPH.

“We will give patients the space to be surrounded by loved ones. The space to rest comfortably, to recover and heal. The space for quiet reflection and private conversation. The space for hope and grief. And the space to be together again,” Dr. Chessare adds.

After years of design and planning, construction began Sept. 2 on two landmark additions to GBMC’s main campus located off Charles Street in Towson.

1. A new Inpatient Facility will feature two acute care units containing 60 patient rooms – twice the size of current rooms with advanced technology to benefit patients, families and medical teams. This three-story, 117,000-square-foot structure also will include a modern and welcoming lobby, family and patient respite rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and the relocated Yvonne Kahlert Chapel – a contemplative space for people of all faiths and backgrounds. An outdoor healing garden will serve as a destination where patients, families and staff can pause and enjoy the beauty of nature.

GBMC The Promise Project

2. The Sandra R. Berman Pavilion will become the new home of the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute at GBMC. Thanks to a transformational gift from long-time philanthropists, Sandra and Malcolm Berman, more than 2,000 patients will be able to see all of their cancer specialists in one place with an on-site garage for added convenience.

Accommodating the full range of GBMC’s oncology programs, the two-story 70,000-square-foot building will contain centralized symptom management, a spacious infusion therapy center, dedicated oncology pharmacy and lab, and space for acupuncture, meditation and music therapy. Wellness rooms, a healing garden, nutritious café and yoga studio also are planned.

“Members of our family, close friends and many people we care about have been successfully treated at GBMC. Now, we want to make a difference for people throughout the community who are on this difficult journey,” says Sandra Berman, who has served on the GBMC board for more than a decade. “My dream is to make it as easy as possible for people to get better.”

Construction on the Inpatient Facility and Sandra R. Berman Pavilion Garage is expected to finish in Fall 2023, with completion of the Sandra R. Berman Pavilion anticipated for Fall 2024.

The Promise Project is a critical step in GBMC’s effort to redesign care, and hospital officials hope the continued outstanding generosity of our community will help with raising the total investment needed for the project.

“Donors like giving to GBMC to bring programs and facilities that really help the community,” Dr. Saunders says. “That’s what engages people in giving to The Promise Project just like our community did in the early ‘60s, going door to door to announce we were bringing a great medical care facility to their neighborhood.”

For more information or to donate, visit GBMCPromise.com.

Caryn R. Sagal is a Baltimore-based public relations consultant and freelance writer.