Terry Langbaum, a Johns Hopkins Hospital administrator who used her own experience as a cancer patient to help others being treated for the disease, died of cancer Nov. 14 at her Canton home. She was 71.
“Terry was a compassionate and inspiring leader. During her remarkable and highly productive 44-year career with Johns Hopkins, Terry gave her heart and soul to our institution and the patients and families we serve,” said Dr. Redonda G. Miller, the hospital’s president.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Pikesville, she was the daughter of Frank Solomon, a men’s clothing retailer who later went to law school, and his wife, Leah Solomon, a sign language interpreter. She was a 1966 graduate of Pikesville High School and earned a business administration degree at the Johns Hopkins University.
In 1968 she married Elliott Langbaum. They met in Baltimore through mutual friends.
Mrs. Langbaum worked in Legg Mason’s investment banking division for several years until she decided she wanted to enter a field where she could assist others.
“To learn more about her options, my mother volunteered at the Johns Hopkins Hospital,” said her daughter, Robin Langbaum Hopkins. “She was placed in the pediatric specialty clinics and worked with children with cancer, asthma, cystic fibrosis, autoimmune diseases, heart disease and other chronic diseases.”
Mrs. Langbaum became interested in hospital administration and in 1975 was named coordinator for the Cystic Fibrosis Clinic. She worked closely with Dr. Beryl Rosenstein and assisted in clinical research in the early years before the cystic fibrosis gene had been identified.
She co-authored scientific publications on diagnostic testing for cystic fibrosis and on the early detection of the disease, and co-wrote 18 other scholarly papers.
Her daughter said that during this period, she had started her own family. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, and underwent successful treatment. She went back to school and in 1988 earned a master’s degree in administrative science from Johns Hopkins.
Mrs. Langbaum was assistant administrator of the department of pediatrics, director of hospital affiliations for the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and administrative director of the comprehensive transplant center.
She was chief administrative officer of cancer services for the Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center for 16 years. As a cancer survivor, she showed ways to improve the experience of cancer patients during their diagnosis, treatment and survivorship.
During her tenure there, she was diagnosed with three additional rare cancers.
“She sometimes found herself sitting side by side in the treatment rooms with patients she supported through their own cancer journeys,” her daughter said. “She rarely missed a day of work.”
Dr. Miller said: “Terry viewed her job as a combination of opportunity and solemn responsibility to advance the mission of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Her accomplishments over four decades were many, and she inspired others to achieve their best.”
The doctor described her as a “principal driver” behind the Hackerman-Patz Patient and Family Pavilion, a short-term housing site for cancer patients and their families.
Mrs. Langbaum assisted in survivorship programs, including one called Managing Cancer at Work.
Her daughter said she mentored new administrative fellows and enthusiastically supported them as they began careers in hospital administration.
In 2016, Terry left her role at the Kimmel center to become the administrative director for the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center, supporting patients in need of solid organ transplants.
In 2019, she and colleague Dr. Tom Smith co-wrote an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled, “Time to Study Metastatic Cancer Survivorship." The article addressed the effect a cancer diagnosis has on families, employers and the health care system. The article was also used by The Associated Press in a story that discussed the personal, financial and societal costs of long-term survivorship.
Family members said Mrs. Langbaum worked long hours, and never stopped working.
“She loved solving problems, and make things work efficiently,” her daughter said. “After her death, we have heard from so many of the people she helped.”
Mrs. Langbaum cooked family dinners and hosted holiday gatherings.
"She loved bringing people around the table,” her daughter said.
She led an annual summer vacation for her grandchildren. She belonged to the Canton Cove book club.
Mrs. Langbaum was a board member of the Directors of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the Maryland Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and she was a U.S. Military Cancer Institute adviser.
She is a lifelong member of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.
In addition to her husband of 51 years and daughter, survivors include another daughter, Caryn Langbaum Abramowitz of Philadelphia; a brother, Robert “Bob” Solomon of Pikesville; a sister, Sue Seis, of Philadelphia; and six grandchildren.
Services were held Nov. 17 at Sol Levinson and Brothers.