Hopkins launching new geriatric center $17.5 million center has 250 beds for seniors.


The new Johns Hopkins Geriatrics Center, which opens to patients today at the Francis Scott Key Medical Center in southeast Baltimore, is promising state-of-the-art care for the elderly to replace the hospital's Mason F. Lord building.

Some 230 elderly residents of the Lord building will move during a two-day period into the $17.5 million geriatric center on the medical center's campus, hospital officials say.

In leaving the Lord building, which housed the medical center's geriatric patients since 1960, the seniors are moving to a six-story, 130,000-square-foot building that has roomier accommodations, including single-, double- and triple-occupancy rooms. Lord accommodated six to a room.

Revenues generated by the new facility are expected to total $12.2 million the first year, with expenditures totaling $12.5 million, says Dr. Judy Reitz, vice president of nursing and clinical affairs. The shortfall is expected to continue for three to five years until the facility breaks even.

The new center was designed jointly by the architectural firms of Ellerbe Becket, which is based in St. Louis, and Helmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, based in Minneapolis.

The center combines nursing-home care with outpatient treatment, rehabilitation therapy and adult day care. It is also designed for the education and training of health-care professionals.

Ronald R. Peterson, president of Francis Scott Key Medical Center, calls the new geriatric facility a "national model" Hopkins physicians are constantly in attendance, he says, adding that it has been planned to provide patients with the best care efficiently in a setting that feels more like a home than an institution."

The design of the geriatric center allows 250 beds to be divided among the three wings.

The clusters converge on a community room that offers natural light from picture windows .The design is meant to encourage residents to socialize by organizing them in smaller groups.

Each cluster also has a central nursing station, a configuration that allows residents to live independently while maintaining close ties to health-care workers, officials say.

The center will employ approximately 240 medical-center workers, Reitz says.

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