BALTIMORE They came, they saw and they celebrated— Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh; Baltimore City Council President Jack Young; Bon Secours Community Works Board Member Dale McArdle; Brightview Senior Living President Marilyn Duker; Bon Secours Chair of Medicine Arsalan Sheikh; Bon Secours Health System President and CEO Dr. Samuel L. Ross; and Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States Director, Stakeholder Relations, Destiny-Simone Ramjohn, Ph.D. were among the dozens of local dignitaries, entrepreneurs and leaders who gathered at the Center Club to help ring in the holiday season with key stakeholders of Future Baltimore.
The program is the flagship partnership between Bon Secours and Kaiser Permanente, which was formed earlier in the year to help three of West Baltimore’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.
Held on December 13, 2017, the celebration followed Kaiser Permanente and Bon Secours’ 1.7 million commitment to launch Future Baltimore, a partnership that officials say will advance health equity and economic opportunity in West Baltimore.
Building on previous planning grants to Bon Secours Community Works of $140,000, the combined investment of more than $1.8 million cements a long-term partnership between Kaiser Permanente, Bon Secours and several communities in the 21223 ZIP code, according to a news release.
A key component of Future Baltimore is the construction of a community resource center that will serve youth and adults with economic, health and social services, supported by an array of local partners. The goal of the partnership between Kaiser Permanente and Bon Secours is to support the establishment of new businesses in the area that will help eradicate unemployment and to increase the availability of new mental health services for residents in the area within five years.
“Kaiser Permanente is eager to partner with Bon Secours to work toward making Baltimore City one of the healthiest cities in America,” said Kim Horn, the president of Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States. “Economic security has a tremendous impact on the health of individuals and communities. This partnership will create comprehensive support for this community, going far beyond what either of us could do alone.”
The Future Baltimore project is said to be the first of its kind in West Baltimore and will serve as a model for community health and development projects across the region and the country and for anchor institutions as agents of community revitalization, according to officials.
“Bon Secours is excited about the partnership with Kaiser Permanente and is truly grateful for the faith and trust they have placed in us,” said Dr. Ross, President and CEO, Bon Secours Health System. “We are committed to the long-term partnership that supports revitalization of West Baltimore.”
Residents of West Baltimore face significant societal barriers to health and wellbeing, identified in the recent community health needs assessments of both Kaiser Permanente and Bon Secours.
In West Baltimore, which includes the neighborhoods of Boyd-Booth, Fayette Outreach and Franklin Square, life expectancy is 68.3 years— a full 11 years lower than the statewide average.
As Kaiser Permanente’s presence in Baltimore grows, a commitment to addressing core drivers of health— comprehensive health care, supports for mental health and economic opportunity— is a top priority.