Ronald Peterson, Longtime Leader of Hopkins Hospital and Health System, to Retire Later this Year

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Photo via Hopkins Hub

Ronald R. Peterson has spent the last four-plus decades helping take Johns Hopkins Medicine to new heights. Today, the hospital system announced he plans to retire this year.

Peterson, who earned his bachelor’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University in 1970, has served in a variety of roles for the institution over the last 44 years. He’s worked as an administrator in the school’s psychiatry department and for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and in later years as president of the Bayview Medical Center and, for two decades, of the prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital.

During his time at the helm, the hospital maintained its ranking as U.S. News and World Report’s best-rated hospital in the country for 22 of 25 straight years, according to his biography. He also oversaw the opening of a new cancer center and an expansion that spawned two new hospital towers for adult and pediatric patients, among many other changes.

Last year, he left his position as the hospital’s 10th president to become president of the entire Johns Hopkins Health System.

“In the life of an institution, there are leaders who leave such a deep and distinctive imprint that their influence spans well beyond the bounds of their career,” Hopkins Medicine CEO Paul B. Rothman wrote in an announcement today. “Beyond any question, Ron has been instrumental to the success of this organization, and I have a profound appreciation for all of his contributions.”

Peterson has also led Hopkins Medicine to undertake some of its most high-profile initiatives, including drives to hire more ex-offenders in the city and buy more locally produced goods.

He’s been inducted into the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s Business Hall of Fame, and honored as a distinguished alumnus of both Hopkins and the George Washington University (where he earned his master’s degree), Loyola University’s Business Leader of the Year and the winner of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Walter Sondheim Public Service Award, to name just a few awards.

Rothman wrote in his announcement, “Despite his litany of accolades, Ron is the type of leader who is not motivated by individual ambition, but rather a desire to be the very best steward of our tradition of excellence, our collegial community, and of course, our mission to improve lives.”

Even though he’s stepping down, Hopkins will have Peterson available for at least another year. He’ll serve as special advisor to the dean of medical faculty and to Rothman, according to the Hopkins Hub.

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
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