September 7, 2010

Physician/community advocate receives prestigious city award

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot announced last week that Barbara Cook, medical director of the Access Partnership, also known as TAP, at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, is the winner of the 2010 Dr. Sebastian Russo Memorial Award.

The award was created by the city’s Health Department in 2007 to recognize health care providers who have made significant contributions to their fields by providing dedicated and compassionate service to low-income individuals and families. Sebastian Russo, who died in 1980, was a family physician known for his tireless and devoted service to his patients. He made house calls, learned multiple languages to communicate more effectively, charged only when patients were able to pay and was embraced by his community.

Cook, who retired from her role as president of Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, serves as the medical director for TAP, which provides free specialty-care access to uninsured patients who live in the neighborhoods around The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Bayview Medical Center in coordination with their dedicated primary care clinicians.

“Dr. Cook has dedicated her life to helping the less fortunate,” Rawlings-Blake said. “In the spirit of Dr. Russo, Dr. Cook established the first Hispanic Clinic at the East Baltimore Medical Center, providing a medical home to those without one and helping improve health outcomes in Baltimore City.”

Added Barbot, “By taking steps to improve access to quality health care services, countless Baltimore families have benefited from Dr. Cook’s work at TAP. She is a truly worthy recipient of this prestigious award.”