Olscamp Named BWMC President and CEO

For immediate release: March 17, 2009


Allison Eatough

aeatough@bwmc.umms.org | 410-787-4735

Joan Shnipper


Robert A. Chrencik, president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical System, and the Baltimore Washington Medical Center Board of Directors have officially named Karen E. Olscamp president and chief executive officer of Baltimore Washington Medical Center, effective March 16.

Olscamp, a Davidsonville resident, has been interim president and CEO since August when former hospital leader James R. Walker retired. She previously served as senior vice president and chief operating officer of BWMC.

“We are very pleased to name Karen Olscamp as BWMC’s president and CEO,” says Chrencik. “She has guided the hospital through a challenging period of expansion with strong leadership. As interim CEO, she earned the support of the entire BWMC community. We know that with Karen at the helm, BWMC will continue to meet the needs of the growing community by providing the highest quality, compassionate patient care.”

“Karen has continuously moved this hospital forward to further develop patient services and provide quality care for the community,” said Melvin L. Kelly, chairman of the BWMC Board of Directors. “In just eight months, she has overseen some of the most significant projects ever at Baltimore Washington Medical Center. She has done a tremendous job as interim president and CEO, and the board is happy to support Mr. Chrencik’s decision to formally appoint her.”

While she served as interim CEO, Olscamp led BWMC through the largest expansion in its history – a $117 million construction project that added a new patient care building with 111 private beds and increased critical care capacity, as well as a new obstetrics unit.  The patient care building opened in January, and the obstetrics unit is scheduled to open this fall.

BWMC also received several quality awards under Olscamp’s interim leadership, including the HealthGrades “2009 Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence” award. The award ranked BWMC in the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for clinical quality in a recent national study.

Olscamp received her bachelor’s degree in 1981 from the University of Rochester, and her master of health services administration degree in 1987 from the George Washington University. She completed her master’s degree residency program at BWMC, and became an assistant administrator for a brief time before being promoted to vice president of operations in November 1988. She became senior vice president and chief operating officer in 1997.

Olscamp serves on the board of the BWI Business Partnership. She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the Maryland Association of Healthcare Executives.

“I am extremely proud of how far this medical center has come and even more energized about its future,” said Olscamp. “With the support of the University of Maryland Medical System and BWMC boards, as well as the BWMC staff and community, I am confident our brightest days lie ahead.”

BWMC is a 298-bed not-for-profit acute care medical center serving the residents of the Baltimore-Washington corridor. The hospital opened in 1965, and in 2000, became part of the University of Maryland Medical System.  It has 2,500 employees and serves more than 172,000 patients a year.