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Growth at Hopkins' East Side


The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions' dedication this week of two buildings, one at each of its East Baltimore campuses, keeps Baltimore in the forefront of medical research.

Such developments create the nonprofit infrastructure on which industry and employment can grow. It is part of the unfolding vision reflected in the Greater Baltimore Committee's report, "Baltimore: Where Science Comes to Life," urging concerted development based on the biomedical research and medical care facilities in this region.

The $98 million, 11-story Richard Starr Ross Research Building, honoring the former dean of the Hopkins Medical School, has already filled its niche in the East Baltimore skyline, with its distinctive three bridges across East Monument Street to the Blalock Building of Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Hopkins' medical school had been running out of facilities with which to maintain its second-place rank among medical schools in federal research funding. With 220 new laboratory suites, the Ross building redresses that problem. The top floor is to be one of seven Child Health Research Centers in the United States established by the National Institutes of Health.

If youth is one of the growth areas in medical research, age is certainly another. On the Bayview Campus, otherwise known as the Francis Scott Key Medical Center off Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown (which for two centuries was the municipal City Hospitals), the Johns Hopkins Health System is opening its Geriatric Center.

This $17.5 million, 250-bed "teaching nursing home" will pioneer in care techniques and train professionals in giving that care. What is learned there should eventually improve the lives of people in nursing homes here and across the country.

The continued vitality of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions on the cutting edge of medical knowledge and practice is good for the economic health of the Baltimore Region -- not to mention the physical health of the American people.

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