Breakthrough Winter 2014

David B. Hellmann, M.D., M.A.C.P.

David B. Hellmann,
M.D., M.A.C.P.

Our Public Trust

We dreamed and we believed. But we didn’t anticipate how tremendous it would be, 10 years after we started the Center for Innovative Medicine, to see how far we’ve come.

I hope you’ll read this issue of Breakthrough cover to cover, but you may want to start with the Milestones on Page 23. By no means is it everything we’ve accomplished over the last decade, but it’s close. You may notice that we’ve grouped our initiatives into three categories: The Good Doctor, Medicine for the Greater Good, and Precision Medicine. Although there’s certainly overlap, these are the major areas where the CIM is making a huge difference – at Johns Hopkins, in academic medicine, in our community, throughout the country, and beyond. The projects we’ve started have created ripples: Other medical centers are looking for ways to “Aliki-ize” their young doctors, for instance. Other academic institutions, inspired by our Miller-Coulson Academy, are setting up their own programs to honor clinical excellence. Our Cores and our Precision Medicine programs are changing the way clinicians and scientists work together, and that is disseminating throughout the Johns Hopkins culture, as well.

All of this falls under our guiding belief that Medicine is a Public Trust. This is our inspiration to think differently, to change the way we interact with each other, and to dedicate ourselves to doing more for our patients and our community. We believe the Public Trust exists within our walls and that it extends far past them.

The rest of the issue, as always, gives you a glimpse of what’s happening here. To see more, I invite you to visit our website at, and to look through the back issues of Breakthrough. They’re all there, and I hope you will be as excited as I am to celebrate our history and imagine the great things we can achieve together.

Finally, I’d like to mention our writer, Janet Farrar Worthington. Hiring Janet was one of the best decisions we made. I met Janet years ago when her husband, Mark, was one of my medical residents. I discovered that she was an extremely talented writer who had a great love for history, medicine, and animals; I was also impressed that Patrick Walsh, the renowned Johns Hopkins urologist, chose Janet to co-author their bestselling book on prostate cancer. Many of you have told me how engaging and readable Breakthrough is. Janet’s clear prose and exceptional ability to tell a good story have allowed Breakthrough to be the only Hopkins publication that does not use photos. We knew CIM was different and that our supporters were different, too, in their deep level of engagement. We thought we could tell you our stories best through prose, not pictures. What is striking about Janet is that she also believes passionately in what the CIM is doing: “It has been my privilege to write about profound ideas and exceptional people,” she says.

It has been my privilege to share our work with you, and I look forward to our next decade together.




Aliki Perroti Professor of Medicine;
Vice Dean, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center;
Chairman, Department of Medicine