April 24, 1995
Media Contact: John Cramer
Phone: (410) 955-1534
E-mail: jcramer@welchlink.welch.jhu.edu

Gabe Kelen, M.D., uses delicate medical instruments to repair damage to the human body, but Tuesday he will swing a sledgehammer to smash brick and mortar in the cause of medical progress.

With the goal of improving patient care, the Emergency Medicine Department at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions is renovating its physical design and streamlining its administrative systems.

Kelen, the director of emergency medicine, will strike the first blow at 1:30 p.m., April 25. The $875,000 renovation project is to be complete in six to eight months. Some administrative changes already have been implemented.

"It'll be a whole new look accompanied by a new orientation of service to our patients: better movement for patients and physicians, less waiting time, better patient privacy, better security, everything," Kelen says.

Emergency medicine in 1993 became The School of Medicine's newest full academic department, as the specialty became recognized nationally.

The present design dates from the facility's opening in 1981. The new design incorporates the department's present tasks and anticipates its future responsibilities, including rapid diagnosis and evaluation of emergency cases when other departments are closed after hours and weekends.

The department's long-range plans include moving in about five years to a new building that also will house cardiovascular services and new operating rooms.

To cover the "wall breaking" or to arrange an interview with Kelen, please call me at 410-955-1534.

-- JHMI --
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