For Immediate Release September 16, 2020


Michael Schwartzberg:

Tomorrow, member organizations of the University of Maryland Medical System will join the World Health Organization's World Patient Safety Day (WPSD) movement to recognize patient safety issue as a global health priority. This year's theme for WPSD is "Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety".

Observing WPSD, UMMS is highlighting the importance of keeping healthcare workers safe and promoting patient safety, two issues critically important especially during the time of the global COVID-19 pandemic. A significant focus during COVID-19 is encouraging and reminding individuals to wear a mask to protect everyone, including those who care for our sickest individuals. All UMMS member organizations will be promoting this effort across their campuses and social media properties on September 17.

The signature mark of the global campaign is to display orange lights to reflect a commitment to WPSD, and several UMMS facilities across the state – including the University of Maryland Medical Center Downtown Campus (Baltimore City), University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (Glen Burnie), University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center (Towson) and University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center (La Plata) will light their campuses in observance, which will also serve as a gesture of respect and gratitude to all health workers. UMMS employees are also encouraged to incorporate orange into their work wardrobe on Thursday.

"We are all in this together and are fully supportive of recognizing patient safety as a global health priority," said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO of UMMS. "As a System, nothing is more important than keeping our patients and employees safe. I have been impressed by how our System has truly come together as OneUMMS during our COVID-19 response, which has benefited our patients and those in the communities we serve across the state."

World Patient Safety Day was established by the 72nd World Health Assembly in May 2019 with a goal of bringing together health workers, patients, families, care-givers, communities, health care leaders and policy-makers to demonstrate commitment to health worker safety and patient safety. The overall objectives of World Patient Safety Day include enhancing the global understanding of patient safety, increasing public engagement in the safety of health care and promoting global actions to enhance patient safety and reduce patient harm. The origin of the Day is firmly grounded in the fundamental principle of medicine – First, do no harm.

UMMS has a workforce of 28,000 employees and delivers approximately 25 percent of all hospital care in Maryland.

About the University of Maryland Medical System

The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is a university-based regional health care system focused on serving the health care needs of Maryland, bringing innovation, discovery and research to the care we provide and educating the state's future physician and health care professionals through our partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the UM Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Dentistry in Baltimore. As one of the largest private employers in the State, the health system's 28,000 employees and 4,000 affiliated physicians provide primary and specialty care in more than 150 locations and at 13 hospitals. UMMS" flagship academic campus, the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore is partnered with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is recognized regionally and nationally for excellence and innovation in specialized care. Our acute care and specialty rehabilitation hospitals serve urban, suburban and rural communities and are located in 13 counties across the State. In addition, UMMS operates health insurance plans serving Medicare and Medicaid members. For more information, visit