For Immediate Release January 27, 2023


Tiffani Washington:

old black and white drawing of the infirmary building

This week, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) kicks off a year-long celebration marking its 200th year caring for Marylanders. In October 1823, UMMC was founded as the Baltimore Infirmary in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine. With just 60 beds, the modest hospital at the corner of Lombard and Greene streets in downtown Baltimore opened its doors – not only as a place of healing for local residents, but as an institution for medical discovery and training – becoming the nation's first publicly established teaching hospital.

In the two centuries since, UMMC has significantly grown, today offering dozens of specialty services, ambulatory care centers and nearly 1,000 inpatient beds, and serving as the flagship academic medical center for the University of Maryland Medical System.

"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," said Bert W. O'Malley, MD, President and CEO of UMMC. "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."

Throughout 2023, UMMC will host a series of celebrations for employees at its Downtown and Midtown campuses. To further honor this important milestone, prominent 200th anniversary banners have gone up at both campuses, along with a new bicentennial celebration webpage highlighting some of the medical center's most notable achievements and first-of-its-kind advancements. From its world-renowned Shock Trauma Center and the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, to its award-winning transplant, heart and vascular, neurology and neurosurgery programs, and its regional leadership in primary care, behavioral health and community health, UMMC's impact is vast and far-reaching.

Alison G. Brown, MPH, President of UMMC's Midtown Campus, said, "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. The core of what we do is to improve the health of the people and communities we serve."

This year also marks the University of Maryland Children's Hospital's (UMCH) 75th year providing compassionate, family-centered care for kids. While UMCH's roots go back to UMMC's beginnings, it wasn't until 1948 that the dedicated pediatric hospital within the medical center was formed. It too has helped transform care for young Marylanders. UMCH is widely recognized for its distinct multidisciplinary approach and broad range of support services for children with critical and chronic illnesses from across Baltimore and the region.

200 Years Pioneering Medical Advancements

Over the last 200 years, UMMC has pioneered many significant innovations and medical "first" including:

2022 – First successful transplant of porcine heart into adult human with end-stage heart disease

2020 – First in Maryland to provide centralized, comprehensive care for adults with autism, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities

2019 – First in the world to use a drone/unmanned aircraft to carry an organ for transplantation (kidney)

2019 – First in the U.S. to treat a patient with focused ultrasound for bilateral essential tremor

2019 – First Heart-Lung transplant in a pediatric patient in Maryland

2019 – First in Maryland to perform aortic valve surgery with an improved tissue valve that lasts two to three times longer than other valves and does not require daily blood thinners

2018 – First in the U.S. to open the blood-brain barrier to treat brain cancer with chemotherapy

2018 – First in the U.S. to open the blood-brain barrier in a patient with infiltrating glioma/brain tumor

2018 – First in the U.S. to treat chronic pain with focused ultrasound

2018 – First in the Baltimore/Washington area to offer CAR-T cell therapy for B cell lymphomas

2018 – First in the world to create and use GammaPod™ to treat early-stage breast cancer with less radiation to healthy tissue

2018 – First to offer both deep-tissue external hyperthermia therapy in combination with high-precision proton-beam radiotherapy in the same facility

2016 – First STEM cell use in pediatrics in Maryland

2015 – First in the U.S. to treat a patient with focused ultrasound-guided pallidotomy for Parkinson's disease

2013 – First in the world to create and use the HARPOON™ System that enables minimally invasive beating-heart mitral valve repair

2012 – First in the world to complete the most comprehensive full face transplant

2007 – First in Maryland to offer a newly approved artificial cervical disc to patients with degenerative disc disease in the neck

2007 – First in Maryland to perform combined heart and liver transplant

2006 – First in the Mid-Atlantic region to perform minimally invasive, beating heart, multiple-vessel coronary artery bypass surgery with the assistance of a surgical robot

2006 – Hair, Heart and Health was developed, a program initiated by UMMC cardiologist Dr. Elijah Saunders that received international attention and continues to train barbers and hairstylists to pre-screen their clients for hypertension, and make referrals for medical care

2005 – First in the world to develop aromatase inhibitors, a new class of drugs used worldwide, that help prevent a recurrence of breast cancer in post-menopausal women by limiting the amount of estrogen their bodies produce

2005 – First in U.S. to have performed 1,000 minimally invasive kidney removals from living kidney donors

2004 – Maryland's first accredited Primary Stroke Center

2000 – First in world to develop compact system that works similarly to V-V extracorporeal mechanical oxygenation (ECMO), small enough to permit ambulation

1996 – First Center for Celiac Disease

1977 – Created the state's first neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

1968 – The world's first Shock Trauma Center

1965 – Elijah Saunders, MD, became Maryland's first Black cardiologist when he completed his fellowship at UMMC

For more on UMMC's historic advancements, visit

About the University of Maryland Medical Center

The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is comprised of two hospital campuses in Baltimore: the 800-bed flagship institution of the 11-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and the 200-bed UMMC Midtown Campus. Both campuses are academic medical centers for training physicians and health professionals and for pursuing research and innovation to improve health. UMMC's downtown campus is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurosciences, advanced cardiovascular care, and women's and children's health, and has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country. All physicians on staff at the downtown campus are clinical faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The UMMC Midtown Campus medical staff is predominately faculty physicians specializing in a wide spectrum of medical and surgical subspecialties, primary care for adults and children and behavioral health. UMMC Midtown has been a teaching hospital for 140 years and is located one mile away from the downtown campus. For more information, visit

About the University of Maryland Children's Hospital

The University of Maryland Children's Hospital at the University of Maryland Medical Center is recognized throughout Maryland and the mid-Atlantic region as a resource for children with critical and chronic illnesses. UMCH physicians and staff excel in combining state-of-the-art medicine with family-centered care. More than 100 physicians specialize in understanding how to treat conditions and diseases in children, including congenital heart conditions, asthma, epilepsy and gastrointestinal disorders. The Drs. Rouben and Violet Jiji Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides the highest level of care to the tiniest newborns. To learn more about the University of Maryland Children's Hospital, please visit

About the University of Maryland Medical System

The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is an academic private health system, focused on delivering compassionate, high quality care and putting discovery and innovation into practice at the bedside. Partnering with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Nursing and University of Maryland, Baltimore who educate the state's future health care professionals, UMMS is an integrated network of care, delivering 25 percent of all hospital care in urban, suburban and rural communities across the state of Maryland. UMMS puts academic medicine within reach through primary and specialty care delivered at 11 hospitals, including the flagship University of Maryland Medical Center, the System's anchor institution in downtown Baltimore, as well as through a network of University of Maryland Urgent Care centers and more than 150 other locations in 13 counties. For more information, visit

Multimedia materials including photos and B-roll are available for download.