From its early beginnings, the Foundation engaged with a range of charitable initiatives in Baltimore City. Through educational booths at the annual Baltimore City Fair and Flower Mart, and community health fairs, the Foundation provided health resources to attendees.
Health organizations, such as Shepherd’s Clinic, Health Care for the Homeless, Action for Community Enrichment Coalition (flu shot clinics) were supported with financial contributions and in-kind donations. Additional support was given to the Baltimore City Summer Jobs Program, the College Bound Foundation, the Police Athletic League, the Boys and Girls Club of Central Maryland, Forest Park Little League and Forest Park Junior Golfers. Partnering with the Baltimore City School System, the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, and the Baltimore Fire Academy, students interested in health careers, received training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Additionally, the Maryland Society for Sight partnered with the Foundation to provide vision screenings for elementary and middle school students; the Foundation provided funding for purchases of eyeglasses.
Members of the City Bar Association, teamed with BCMS physicians for C.H.I.L.D. (Children’s Health Involving Law and Drugs), class presentations on the health and legal consequences of drug use. With funding from CareFirst, Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School students participated in “Choose Wisely: Live Healthy,” a program that explored the benefits of food choices, food preparation, and exercise. Through physician donations and corporate support, the Foundation has continuously offered medical school scholarships and a patient newsletter, BCMS Report.
BCMS members address a range of health and medical topics in group sessions with community, education, and business organizations.
The Foundation has offered Pre-med internships for students interested in becoming physicians. A successor to this program has been the Foundation’s Physician-Student Exchange, where medical, pre-med and high school students, in one evening, meet one-to-one with physicians in varied specialties to discuss pathways to careers as physicians. Medical Career Pathways, a one-day conference, focuses on what is needed to prepare to seek admission to medical and allied health professions’ schools, to do well in school, and to select an area of career interest. BCMS members have spoken to elementary school students as part of the American Medical Association’s “Back-to-School” initiative. The Foundation also held a program for elementary school-aged girls to increase their awareness of careers as physicians.
The Foundation’s Physician Community Service Award is presented to a Maryland-licensed physician in recognition of his/her volunteer engagement with a Baltimore-City based organization. The Foundation gives a financial donation to the organization for its programs.
To underscore the importance of keeping physician and other health-related appointments, even more during COVID-19, the Foundation initiated KYDA to encourage patients to continue physician visits, especially for patients with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart or lung disease, hypertension, and cancer.
Building on KYDA, the Foundation will offer information and tools to enhance the physician-patient relationship. From scheduling an appointment, to initial and follow up visits, patients will gain a better understanding of their responsibilities for their care.
In partnership with the Association of Black Cardiologists, the Foundation assisted in presenting a virtual community forum featuring members of the faith, education, business sectors to share how they are assisting in educating Baltimore City residents about the importance of heart health. The next phase of “Spirit of the Heart” will be development of patient and community health advocates.
The Foundation is seeking funding and partnerships to offer a remote patient monitoring (RPM) program. RPM allows physicians to monitor patients with certain health conditions. Patients use their cellular devices to securely transmit key data, such as blood pressure readings, to their physicians. The data enables the physician to monitor and adjust individual patient treatment plans.