Hopkins names new president James A. Block will head hospital and health system.


Dr. James A. Block, president and chief executive officer at University Hospitals in Cleveland, was named today to be president of the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.

Dr. Block, 51, will succeed Dr. Robert M. Heyssel, who will retire July 1 after 20 years in the hospital's top post.

"We have found a president we believe will not only maintain the standard of excellence expected of Hopkins, but will also advance the quality of health care in the years ahead," said H. Furlong Baldwin, chairman of Hopkins' board of trustees.

"His vision of the way medicine will be practiced in the future complements our own," Mr. Baldwin said.

Dr. Block will become the ninth chief executive at the 103-year-old medical institution.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Dr. Block graduated from Haverford College in 1962 and earned his medical degree at the New York University School of Medicine in 1966.

After medical school, he worked in the office of the Surgeon General and the Mental Health Administration of the U.S. Public Health Service. His work included developing health programs for community, migrant and rural health centers and the Appalachian Health Program.

In 1969, he resumed his training with a residency in pediatrics and ambulatory medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester. From 1971 to 1979, he practiced pediatrics and headed ambulatory services at Genesee Hospital, a 400-bed hospital associated with the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Dr. Block also directed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Community Hospital-Medical Staff Sponsored Primary Care Group Practice Program. In 1979, he became president of the nine-hospital Rochester Area Hospitals Corp.

He moved to Cleveland in 1985 to become president of the University Hospitals Health System Inc., a teaching hospital of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

At Hopkins, he will take the helm of one of the largest private employers in Maryland. He will head the 1,036-bed Johns Hopkins Hospital and Outpatient Center, the Francis Scott Key Medical Center, the Johns Hopkins Geriatric Center and the Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corp., a physician group practice serving 18 outpatient centers.

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