In Memoriam: Portrait Unveiling Event Honors Dr. Mickey Foxwell and Ida Jane Baker
Milford Mace "Mickey" Foxwell, MD, and Ida Jane Baker, distinguished lifelong residents of Dorchester County, were honored in memoriam at a reception on October 27, 2022 at University of Maryland Shore Regional Health at Cambridge.
Led by University of Maryland Shore Regional Health Board President David Milligan and attended by more than 50 family members and former colleagues of the honorees, the event commemorated the many years of dedicated service Dr. Foxwell and Mrs. Baker devoted to advancing health care in Dorchester County and beyond. The occasion included the unveiling of portraits of both honorees, both painted by Laura Era, well-known local artist, also a friend of the Foxwell and Baker families. Dr. Foxwell's portrait was donated by the Cambridge High School Class of 1971. Mrs. Baker's was commissioned and donated by the Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary.
Mr. Milligan began by welcoming the guests and noting that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the occasion marked the first time an event could be held inside UM Shore Regional Health at Cambridge and on the eve of the anniversary of the new facility's opening.
"The completion of this wonderful facility was a key step in our ongoing transformation of health care delivery throughout our five-county region," he said. "On behalf of the Board, I share our appreciation to everyone who made this facility possible, to those who now arrive here each day to care for our patients, and to those whose tireless work, over several decades, has supported the continued advancement of health services in Dorchester."
Testimonials about the life and service of Dr. Foxwell were provided by Ken Kozel, UM SRH President and CEO; and Eugene Newmeier, MD, and Adebowale Prest, MD, of Rose Hill Family Physicians.
Born and raised in Cambridge, Maryland, Dr. Foxwell was a member of the Cambridge High School in 1971. After graduating from the University of Maryland at College Park in 1975 and the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1980, Dr. Foxwell completed his internship at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, after which he returned to Maryland and served as Chief Resident in the Department of Medicine of the University of Maryland Hospital Veterans Administration Medical Center. He remained with the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) throughout the duration of his career, serving in teaching, clinical and administrative capacities.
In 1989, Dr. Foxwell was named Dean of Admissions for the medical school, and continued to serve and lead in that role for nearly three decades before his death in 2020. During his tenure, he oversaw the acceptance of more than 4,000 students. Remaining a resident of Cambridge throughout his life, he was known for encouraging many Eastern Shore natives to attend the School of Medicine and likewise, for actively recruiting UMSOM graduates to practice in Dorchester and surrounding counties. He received numerous awards and accolades, but was most proud of the Golden Apple Award for best clinical teacher, awarded to him by UMSOM Class of 1988.
Ida Jane Baker's decades of leadership and service in fundraising and volunteerism were highlighted by Kozel, Dorchester General Hospital Auxiliary member Debbie Thomas and Dorchester General Hospital Foundation Secretary Tom Merryweather.
Kozel thanked the Foundation Board for their generous donations to cover the cost of furniture and AV equipment for the community room in the new facility, now known as the Ida Jane Baker Community Room, and for the Foundation's funding of the building's exterior roof signage. He also acknowledged the Dorchester Auxiliary's ongoing fundraising and volunteer support for the advancement of patient care in the county.
Like Dr. Foxwell, Ida Jane Baker was born and raised in Dorchester County. She joined the hospital Auxiliary in 1959 and helped establish the Dorchester General Hospital Foundation in 1988. For more than a half-century, thanks to her strong organizational and leadership skills as well as her unwavering dedication to the betterment of health care in her home county, the Foundation and the Auxiliary successfully raised funds for important hospital renovations and medical equipment purchases, and also to support nurses in advancing their skills through specialized training and certifications.
In recent years, as population and health care trends pointed to a critical need for greater outpatient health services in the region and also for a new emergency department, Mrs. Baker made sure that the Foundation and the Auxiliary continued their important work benefitting patient care programs in Dorchester County.
"Dr. Foxwell and Ida Jane Baker exemplified the talent, dedication and leadership that all team members serving patients at UM Shore Regional Health at Cambridge can appreciate," Kozel said. "Having their portraits on view will remind patients and visitors, as well as providers and staff, of their significant contributions to the advancement of quality health care in Dorchester County."
Pictured at left, Foxwell family members with Dr. Mickey Foxwell's portrait: (standing and seated, left to right) Lauren Smart, Suzanne Foxwell, Kathy Foxwell, Will Foxwell, Larry Foxwell, Louis Foxwell, Mike Smith, Iris Foxwell and Andy Reitz; (kneeling) PattiCarol Foxwell Smith and Rachel Maynard. The portrait will hang in the entrance lobby of Shore Medical Pavilion at Cambridge.