Thomas J. O'Neill (1850-1919), a big, red-headed Irish immigrant and benefactor of MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, was a self-made Baltimore merchant and philanthropist. Throughout his life, he lent considerable support to a variety of charitable and civic causes. A devout Catholic, he was especially loyal to the poor and underprivileged. Upon his sudden death from a heart ailment on April 6, 1919, he bequeathed funds from his multimillion-dollar estate to build both a Cathedral and a Catholic hospital in Baltimore. At long last, his final wishes were honored: In 1954, The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen was solemnly dedicated. In 1968, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital - which, at Mr. O'Neill's own request, did not bear his name - was opened to provide compassionate, expert care for its neighbors.
It was Mr. O′Neill′s wish, as a generous and unassuming man, that all who crossed his proposed hospital threshold be cared for with dignity, respect and consideration.
If you were a patient at MedStar Good Samaritan in 1968, chances are you suffered from kidney disease, arthritis, stroke, lung disorders or had a similar chronic health problem requiring long-term care. You would have been cared for by nuns from the Sisters of Bon Secours (who ran the hospital), and your doctor would have been appointed from the Johns Hopkins medical staff. Depending upon your illness or course of treatment, you may have been involved in an experimental medical study taking place at the hospital's brand new, spacious O′Neill Labs. And, chances are, your stay lasted around three months!
But times - and the healthcare needs of our community - have changed, and so has MedStar Good Samaritan. While we still continue our leadership in the fields of rehabilitation, orthopedics, renal dialysis, and rheumatology, the hospital has expanded its range of health services to meet the needs of patients of all ages.
Within the past 15 years, we′ve added two professional buildings to house office space for more than 200 physicians, to make sure our neighbors could receive good medical care right in their community. The hospital also has established full-service inpatient and outpatient physical and occupational therapy programs, which are nationally and world renowned.
In the past decade, we′ve added a cardiac cath lab, intensive and critical care units, and an emergency department - which has consistently achieved "premier status" for its excellent patient satisfaction ratings - to help care for our neighbors who need immediate medical attention.
In the past several years, the hospital has added a number of programs and services to care for entire families: pediatricians and gynecologists are now on campus, in addition to our growing roster of primary care doctors and specialists. We renamed the Emergency Building the O′Neill Building, in honor of our founder, and added an orthopedic, medical/surgical unit. The hospital also features a geriatric medicine program, as well as three beautiful facilities for seniors: Belvedere Green and Woodbourne Woods, independent living facilities, and FutureCare at Good Samaritan (formerly Good Samaritan Nursing Center).
Countless lives have been touched, comforted and saved because of Mr. O′Neill′s faith and commitment to service. we have continued his mission through the vigorous support of medical research and education, and by providing care and services to our neighbors in need. Since our founding, we have granted millions of dollars through the Thomas J. O′Neill Catholic Health Care Fund to benefit the poor and needy, and to fund life-saving medical research and development.