Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins Health System, has been awarded the 1999 Excellence in Mentoring Award for Program Leadership from The National Mentoring Partnership. The award will be presented at a ceremony Sept. 29, at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Peterson will receive the award for his support of the program, which began at Hopkins in 1991. Since 1993, the Hospital Youth Mentoring Network has expanded to 15 hospitals throughout the country, according to Geoffrey T. Boisi, chairman of the board of The National Mentoring Partnership.
"I cannot stress enough how important the contributions of Johns Hopkins, under Mr. Peterson's leadership, are to mentoring America's young people," he said. "Mr. Peterson richly deserves this award and the recognition that comes with it."
"Hospitals have always had a deep and abiding commitment to their communities, and the mentoring program at Hopkins is one important example of our commitment to our community," Peterson said. "And, as honored as I am to receive this award, it really belongs to the dedicated and caring faculty and staff who have given so freely of their time and talents to help our neighbors."
Hospitals participating in the program join with middle schools and high schools to identify students most likely to benefit from a mentoring relationship. Each Hospital Youth Mentoring Program site reaches at least 50 students, who are teamed with mentors, who could be physicians, nurses, technicians or administrators.
As the Hospital Youth Mentoring Network administrator, Hopkins oversees all 15 Hospital Youth Mentoring Programs, which have exposed hundreds of youths from low-income families to careers in health care. Many of these young people have gone on to further their education, often including staying in the health care field; entering the ranks of employees at sponsoring institutions and increasing the diversity of local workforces; and created bonds with caring adults that have make a real difference in their lives, according to Deborah Knight-Kerr, director of community and education projects at Hopkins.
In addition to serving as president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and 10th president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital -- rated the nation's best for nine consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report, Peterson is executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Johns Hopkins Medicine is the collaboration between the Johns Hopkins Health System and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also serves as chairman of the Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corporation, which provides primary and secondary health care at 18 centers throughout Maryland, and as a director of the board of the Johns Hopkins Home Care Group.
A 1970 graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, with a master's degree in hospital administration from George Washington University, Peterson arrived at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1973 as an administrative resident and became administrator of the Henry Phipps Psychiatric Clinic in 1974 and later of the Hopkins Children's Center and of The Johns Hopkins Hospital's Cost Improvement Program. In 1982 he started the process of transforming the troubled Baltimore City Hospitals into what is now known as The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, directing a $100 million physical redevelopment program and turning a $7 million a year loss under city ownership into a positive bottom-line performance averaging $5 million a year. In 1995, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations honored Hopkins Bayview by awarding it "accreditation with commendation," a level attained by only 6 percent of American hospitals. Peterson was president of Hopkins Bayview from 1985 through 1999, and also has served as a director of the Administrative Board of the Council of Teaching Hospitals, a component of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
A native of New Brunswick, N.J., Peterson lives in Bel Air, Md., with his wife, Elizabeth "Rooney" Peterson, and their son and daughter, Joey and Susie.
A biography and photograph of Ronald Peterson is available on the Johns Hopkins Medicine Web site at http://hopkins.med.jhu.edu/BasicFacts/gover/petersonbio.html.