A drawing of the Baltimore Infirmary, which was founded in 1823 and would later become the University of Maryland Medical Center. UMMC is celebrating their bicentennial this year. Image courtesy of University of Maryland Medical System.

The University of Maryland Medical Center is turning 200 this year and will be celebrating their bicentennial all year long.

“UMMC has transformed the face of health care in the region and cemented its reputation as a national leader in academic medicine by holding steadfast to our mission, meeting the health care needs of our communities and blazing new trails through discovery-based medicine,” UMMC’s president and CEO Bert W. O’Malley said in a statement. “As we mark our bicentennial, I look forward to pausing throughout the year to reflect on our story, and to being inspired by the bright promise of chapters yet to come.”

The University of Maryland Medical Center was founded in October 1823, as the Baltimore Infirmary at the time, in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Located on the corner of Lombard and Greene streets, the infirmary had just 60 beds and became the first publicly established teaching hospital in the United States.

Now, 200 years later, the medical center has nearly 1,000 inpatient beds, offers dozens of specialty services, includes ambulatory care centers, and serves as the University of Maryland Medical System’s flagship academic medical center.

“For the last two centuries and for years to come, the University of Maryland Medical Center will be defined by its profound and enduring tradition of excellence in patient care, innovation and educating tomorrow’s physicians and health professionals,” said Alison G. Brown,president of UMMC’s Midtown Campus, in a statement. “The core of what we do is to improve the health of the people and communities we serve.”

This year, the medical center will hold employee celebrations at its Downtown and Midtown campuses.

UMMC is also highlighting some of its most noteworthy achievements and advancements on a special bicentennial webpage.

Among some of the medical center’s advancements in its 200-year history are: Maryland’s first Black cardiologist, Elijah Saunders, completing his fellowship at UMMC in 1965; the establishment of the world’s first Shock Trauma Center in 1968; the world’s first use of a drone or unmanned aircraft to carry an organ for transplantation, in this case a kidney, in 2019; and more.

The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital also celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. The medical center’s dedicated pediatric hospital was formed in 1948, though the children’s hospitals roots can be traced back to UMMC’s beginning.

“At the Children’s Hospital, it is our privilege to care for children with critical illnesses and complex, chronic conditions,” said Steven J. Czinn, director of the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital and professor and chair of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics, in a statement.

“What distinguishes us—then and now—is our ability to integrate clinical excellence with compassionate, family-centered care and a broad range of support services,” Czinn added. “With the leadership of our exceptional physicians and our multidisciplinary care teams, we continue to improve the health of countless children across the city, region and nation.”

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at marcus@baltimorefishbowl.com...

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