A vital supporter of many Hopkins construction projects and the institutions' agendas during his two terms, Gov. Parris Glendening visited the JHMI and Homewood campuses on Oct. 17 to view some of the newest buildings and research facilities made possible in part through state funds.
"A lot of times when you're in Annapolis, you are investing in concepts, but you really don't know how they are implemented. So he wanted to come see firsthand how things are actually moving forward," said Jim Kaufman, director of government relations at Johns Hopkins Medicine. "And we wanted to give the governor a true sense of what areas he has had an impact on, from the surgical suites in the Weinberg Building to the symphony hall in Peabody."
Glendening was joined on his three-and-a-half-hour visit by university President William R. Brody; James McGill, senior vice president for finance and administration; Edward D. Miller, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine; and Ronald Peterson, president of the Johns Hopkins Health System. During his visit, the governor spoke with students and met with faculty and deans, including Al Sommer, dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health; Ilene Busch-Vishniac, dean of the Whiting School of Engineering; Martin Abeloff and John Groopman, director and co-director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center; Joanne Pollak, vice president and general counsel of JHHS and JHM; and Robert Sirota, director of the Peabody Institute.
The first stop on the tour was in East Baltimore, at the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building, a facility to which the state committed $28 million. Faculty members associated with the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Cancer Center, located in the Weinberg Building, will benefit directly from Cigarette Restitution Fund monies, which, Kaufman noted, were made possible through Glendening's leadership. Johns Hopkins will receive $2.25 million this year for cancer research from the multimillion-dollar award to the state of Maryland. In addition, the state has made a 10-year commitment of cigarette restitution funds to Hopkins for cancer research.
"Most other states have been using the tobacco settlement money for building bridges or roads, tax cuts, etc. Maryland is investing that money in research, helping us figure out how to prevent and cure cancer," Kaufman said.
Glendening also received a guided tour of the ongoing construction of the Bloomberg School of Public Health's new teaching and research wings, a $28.5 million addition to the school's Wolfe Street building. The state has allocated $6 million to the project.
During his travel from East Baltimore to the Homewood campus, the governor was briefed by Groopman on Hopkins' utilization of the Cigarette Restitution Fund programs to include cancer research and public health outreach. After arriving on the Homewood campus, the former College Park professor visited a political economy class to speak about the national crisis; toured Clark Hall, the new home for biomedical engineering; and had a working lunch in the Shriver Hall board room.
In Clark Hall, the beneficiary of $3 million in state funds, the governor visited a wet lab on the building's first floor, where he encountered an undergraduate lab assistant and spoke with her about what these new facilities meant to her education and her future in the work force.
Bret Schreiber, interim director of state relations, said that to his knowledge this marked the first time Glendening had visited the Homewood campus during his eight-year administration. Schreiber said the day's "aggressive, whirlwind agenda" illustrated to the governor "just the tip of the iceberg" in terms of how state funds are being used at Hopkins.
"A lot of what we do--patient care, education and research--is consistent with the governor's top priorities as well," Schreiber said. "This was an opportunity to thank him for all he has done. He is helping us to continue to become one of the premier institutions in the world. Only through a close relationship with the state of Maryland and Hopkins can that really truly occur. He is creating an environment for that to happen."