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LIVE BLOG: Franklin Square Praised at PHIA Meeting

A new year of Perry Hall community meetings began at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Perry Hall Library.

Meeting updates were recorded live during the meeting.

7:46 p.m.

Janet Rafky, senior director of patient advocacy and community relations, spoke about parking concerns and programs and classes available for community members of all ages at the hospital.

"We are working to get re-stripping on the sidewalks and signs that say 'slow down,'" she said, related to parking concerns. Rafky added that the hospital is planning to build another parking garage.

"We pride ourselves on being a partner in the community, so we want to know what you have to say," she said.

7:49 p.m.

Dr. Scott Krugman, chair of the Pediatrics Department, began speaking.

"We are unbelievably committed to family care," he said. "We've partnered with the March of Dimes to have a family center March of Dimes representative in the unit." 

He attributes participation by the March of Dimes and other organizations to the hospital's commitment to family care.

"It's a great place for that kind of care, but it's small," he said, adding that it's expected to expand into the hospital's new tower complex.

"This is a great growing community and babies are being born," he said.

A Franklin Square pediatrics center is also available in the Perry Hall area behind Honeygo Village Center.

"You want to stay in your community ... why go to Hopkins? Talk about a parking problem," he said.

He said he has one of the highest trafficked children's units in the state.

"We churn the kids in and and out fast. They get better fast ... we're treating them so they're getting better faster," he said.

The hospital is rated among the best in the nation related to treated asthma in kids, he said.

"We have the busiest emergency room in the state ... about 110,000 visits this year," he said. "But that doesn't mean you'll wait long to be seen."

7:59 p.m.

The hospital sees a lot of children facing child abuse, sexual abuse and other special challenges, Krugman said.

"Because it's not fun to treat abused kids, we're much more committed to preventing child abuse ... we have parenting classes and programs ... our efforts have paid off ... since 2006, we have not had a baby born at Franklin Square suffer shaken baby syndrome," he said.

The hospital has a literacy effort, as well. "Every single kid who comes in for a checkup gets a book," he said.

The hospital is also working to prevent childhood obesity. "It's hard to hit everybody, but we try to impact those in need," he said.

He thanked those who participated in the release by the hospital.

"A lot of people don't know that infant mortality is a problem. We have a lot of kids sleeping in unsafe positions ... we, in this county, we have had up to 14 babies die suddenly in a year ... we've dropped that now and worked with county officials to bring that down ... to 6 or 7 a year now," he said.

"We're committed to the community and providing high quality care," he said.

8:04 p.m.

"[High quality care is] the same for the adults—that's the beauty of why we're such a good community hospital," Rafky said.

"For people of all ages, we have the ability to take care of them ... we hope we don't have to see you in the hospital ... but if we do, you're in good hands," she said.

8:06 p.m.

A woman asked if there have been enhancements on the heart unit since the mid-90s.

"I think it's stepped up a lot. I think the program has expanded greatly," Krugman said.

"It just gets better and better ... the only thing we don't do is offer open heart surgery ... if you need that, we'll send you to our sister hospital, Union Memorial," Rafky said.

A meeting attendee praised the hospital's doctors for being personable.

"We really have the finest doctors and clinical staff you'll find anywhere," Rafky said.

8:10 p.m.

An attendee asked about Ravens player Todd Heap's involvement in his namesake pediatric unit. Rafky said they are in contact with him since he has moved to Arizona, but they are hoping to expand new units with new "big name" donations.

8:12 p.m.

Jack Amrhein, a local EMT, said he has watched the hospital change from "Franklin Scare" to Franklin Square.

"It's a new hospital and I commend you for making the needed changes," he said.

"You gave out 18,00 free flu shots this year. ... You do a lot for the community," Amrhein said.

"We are a not-for-profit system ... we've been exceeding every standard ... and showing how the community is feeling better," Krugman said.

"We used to just drop people off ... Now we're seeing vessels open up and people becoming pink again," Amrhein said.

Rafky said that the hospital is prepared for emergency situations, including train crashes and chemical warfare.

She said that the hospital is going to open up a hospice unit.

8:17 p.m.

Meeting attendee said he switched from GBMC to Franklin Square. "It's a wonderful place to go ... I live in Perry Hall and I'm so glad this is where I go," he said.

8:19 p.m.

Attendee asked about the ages of those who go to pediatrics. 

Krugman said it's anyone under 18, a pregnant 16-year-old or a 17-year-old in handcuffs or a baby with jaundice.

An attendee asked where teens are taken who have sports injuries, why they are sometimes taken to Johns Hopkins instead of Franklin Square.

Krugman said the hospital been working with some sports teams at schools, but it's working to expand its programs.

8:22 p.m.

Rafky said that this year, the hospital's name will change to MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.

"We thought when there was a lot of negativity around our name, maybe we should change it to White Marsh or something else, but we thought, if there's negativity, we need to change our image ... this is who we are," Rafky said.

8:24 p.m.

"We're heard a lot of positive things about Franklin Square tonight, but let's not let it get lost in this room. Tell your friends about all of the positive things happening at Franklin Square," PHIA president Dennis M. Robinson, Jr. said.

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What is 's role in the ?

If you're curious, be sure to attend the 's first of the new year at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the .

Hospital representatives plan to make a presentation and take questions from community members during the meeting, the PHIA announced.

All are welcome to attend.

Do you consider Franklin Square Hospital Center to be your community hospital? Tell us why or why not in the comments. 

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