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Safety never blinks: Eye checkups during COVID-19

Ophthalmologist, engineer team up to make eye exams safer

Media Contact: Bill Seiler bseiler@umm.edu

It is not lost on Roni Levin, MD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, that an ophthalmologist working in Wuhan was one of the first victims of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The coronavirus has not stopped the need for eye exams. As a practicing ophthalmologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Dr. Levin continues to see patients with eye emergencies, babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital born prematurely and at risk of eye problems, and patients with retinal disease who need monthly injections to prevent blindness.

At the same time, Dr. Levin sees the need to reduce the risk of infection for both patient and doctor during a microscopic eye exam, as they face each other just inches apart.

Dr. Levin turned to a network of friends and colleagues on social media for ideas and one caught her eye. A college friend she had not seen in 20 years said her husband, an engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, could help. Blake Schreurs had access to the APL’s Maker Center, filled with a number of tools, including a laser cutter, freely available to employees to make what they want on their own time.

The video shows their solution.

Additional Resources for Reporters:

  1. Complete video with CGs
  2. No CG Version
  3. APL media contact
  4. Photos


University of Maryland Medical Center and City partner to establish the future of healthcare in Baltimore by bringing healthcare to home

First year sees decrease in re-admissions to ED and EMS utilization, improved patient health

An innovative community-based program to support the health of individuals in Baltimore City launched last year and is making a big impact on patient health and the healthcare system. Through a comprehensive, free, multidisciplinary care model for patients which provides care outside the hospital setting, and which is designed to reduce health disparities, decrease emergency department visits, and prevent hospital re-admissions, Mobile Integrated Health – Community Paramedicine has resulted in reduced emergency department visits, reduced readmission to the hospital and improved community health.

The University of Maryland Medical Center, the City of Baltimore and Baltimore City Fire Department, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore partnered to launch the new healthcare delivery model for selected areas of Baltimore City in an effort to advance patient centered care in the community and to incorporate a holistic approach focused on the improvement of patient outcomes. The goal is to meet the health care needs of our community members and to improve health disparities. It is a community-based, cost-effective and designed to provide effective and efficient care to patients outside of the hospital. Social and economic factors, weaknesses in primary care infrastructure, and lack of access to treatment for chronic conditions contribute to a high rate of potentially avoidable health care utilization and emergency medical service (EMS) responses in West Baltimore led to the program’s implementation.

At the inception of the program, more than 80% of Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) 911 responses are for EMS incidents, presenting a significant strain to the system. And, it is estimated nationally that 15% of persons transported to emergency rooms could be treated safely in non-urgent settings. Today, readmission rates are down, ED visits are down, and the health of those enrolled in the program is improved.

Learn more about how MIH-CP is transforming healthcare in Baltimore.


Swift Response Saves 22-Year-Old Suffering Massive Stroke

UMMC's Comprehensive Stroke Center is one of the nation’s top places to treat the most complex stroke patients and one of the few institutions in the region that offers a mechanical thrombectomy - placing a thin catheter through the groin and into the brain to remove a clot.

Once this procedure is performed, the blood flow through the treated vessel is restored.

This story shows stroke emergency response in action.

At just 22, Jamie was visiting Baltimore when she suffered a massive stroke. She was conscious the entire time, but could not move or talk. She was brought to the University of Maryland Medical Center, where a team led by neurologist Dr. Seemant Chaturvedi and interventional neuroradiologist Dr. Gaurav Jindal performed a thrombectomy.

Amazingly, Jamie regained all movement and speech, and now is back to living her life as though stroke never happened.

Additional Resources:


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