Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital Opens As Part of COVID-19 Patient Surge Plan
University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine Co-Managing 250-Bed Field Hospital
The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) today announced the opening of the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital (BCCFH) and provided additional details on how the facility will be utilized in response to COVID-19. At the direction of Governor Larry Hogan and in close partnership with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), the BCCFH will officially open on Monday, April 27, and begin accepting patients from select city hospitals.
The BCCFH is a 250 bed Field Medical Station set up in the exhibit hall of the Baltimore Convention Center as a state licensed hospital operated jointly by Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) and the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) to support the city's hospitals and health care systems in caring for increasing numbers of patients with COVID-19. All patients in the facility will be COVID-19 positive.
The BCCFH will initially take a limited number of recovering COVID-positive patients from The Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Johns Hopkins Hospital Bayview Medical Center, University of Maryland Medical Center Downtown and Midtown campuses and will then expand capacity for additional patients from other hospitals. It will treat patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and need direct medical attention but who are recovering from their infection.
"Opening this field hospital is a major victory in the fight against COVID-19 and one of our administration's top priorities since day one of this crisis," said Governor Larry Hogan. "I want to thank all the frontline health care workers and our partners at the University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine for making this pivotal health care facility a reality for Baltimore City and area hospitals. We are in this together and will get through this together."
On March 16th, Governor Hogan issued an Executive Order directing MDH to work with health care facilities and providers to temporarily reopen closed facilities across the state and to take other measures necessary to immediately increase statewide hospital capacity. Under the leadership of UMMS President and CEO Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA and Johns Hopkins Health System President Kevin Sowers, MSN, RN, FAAN, both systems have been engaged in exhaustive preparation to increase bed, staff, and equipment capacity to adapt to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
"The opening of the Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital represents months of hard work and intense collaboration between the state, the University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine," said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO of University of Maryland Medical System. "Its ultimate goal is simple – expand total city hospital capacity by hundreds of beds and hundreds of health care workers – all in response to the volume surge due to COVID-19. I want to thank Governor Hogan and JHHS President Kevin Sowers for their tremendous leadership and for their willingness to partner on this important project. We are all in this together and together we will get through this."
"Now more than ever, we need to set aside competitive differences to put the health and well-being of the people of Maryland first," Sowers said. "Partnering on this endeavor strengthens our collective ability to care for COVID-19-positive patients in Maryland while simultaneously ensuring our capacity to continue to care for the broader health care needs of our community."
The BCCFH will be operated under the direction of Dr. Jim Ficke, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Site Director and Dr. Chuck Callahan, University of Maryland Medical Center, Deputy Site Director. Over 1,000 external medical professionals / health care workers hired by UMMS and JHM will staff the BCCFH to ensure that the combined crisis response will not reduce staff at local health care facilities. Patients from predominantly Baltimore City hospitals will be transported to the field hospital through either emergency department or inter-facility referrals.
- All patients who will be admitted to the BCCFH are anticipated to be received as a transfer from Baltimore City hospitals and not as direct admissions.
- The field hospital is not a community testing clinic and cannot be accessed by general referrals from primary care physicians.
- The field hospital is not an intensive care unit (ICU).
Within UMMS and JHM, there has been an increase in patients with COVID-19 symptoms and the systems have been actively planning for this increase and are refining detailed surge plans for each facility - including staff planning and implementing innovative models of care such as telehealth capabilities.
COVID-19 presents immediate hazards to the health of patients statewide, particularly in densely populated cities like Baltimore. Ensuring the safety of patients, frontline medical staff, and team members remains and will remain a top priority of UMMS and JHM.
Both organizations will continue to plan for an increase in volumes while working as a system to ensure all patients receive the care and attention needed.
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 www.umms.org.
About Johns Hopkins Medicine
Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM), headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is an $8 billion integrated global health enterprise and one of the leading academic health care systems in the United States. JHM unites physicians and scientists of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with the organizations, health professionals and facilities of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System. JHM's vision, "Together, we will deliver the promise of medicine," is supported by its mission to improve the health of the community and the world by setting the standard of excellence in medical education, research and clinical care. Diverse and inclusive, JHM educates medical students, scientists, health care professionals and the public; conducts biomedical research; and provides patient-centered medicine to prevent, diagnose and treat human illness. JHM operates six academic and community hospitals, four suburban health care and surgery centers, and 40 primary and specialty care outpatient sites under the umbrella of Johns Hopkins Community Physicians. JHM extends health care into the community and globally through Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, Johns Hopkins Medicine International and Johns Hopkins HealthCare. The Johns Hopkins Hospital, opened in 1889, has been consistently ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report throughout the survey's 30-year history. For more information about Johns Hopkins Medicine; its research, education and clinical programs; and for the latest health, science and research news, visit www.hopkinsmedicine.org.