The Louis and Phyllis Friedman Building enhances the space where exceptional, compassionate care is delivered to the Greater Baltimore community

Baltimore, MD (November 2, 2023) – GBMC HealthCare announces the official opening of the Louis and Phyllis Friedman Building, one of two historic advancements to the Towson campus that create a physical space to match the amazing, patient-centered care skilled employees have been providing since the hospital’s founding.

“Almost 60 years ago, GBMC opened its doors to the Towson community, committing to putting patients first,” Faith Thomas, Esq., Chair of the GBMC Board of Directors, said. “Since then, that same principle serves as the driving heartbeat for everything we do. The Friedman building is a continuation of that promise and leads the way for the future of patient-centered care—creating space for patients and loved ones alike.”

First Lady Dawn Moore, “This investment in GBMC is about so much more than rooms and equipment. It’s about treating every patient as an individual. It’s about making sure no one goes overlooked and no one goes unseen.” 

The three-story addition features two acute care, medical/telemetry units with 60 spacious patient rooms, a modern lobby, interfaith Yvonne Kahlert Chapel, W. Lee and Mary G. Thomas Healing Garden, Women’s Hospital Foundation Conference Center, and John E. Savage Medical Library. The two clinical floors feature rooms that are double the size of original rooms to be able to accommodate patient and clinical staff needs more appropriately. These new spaces do not add to the registered bed count for GBMC as a hospital, rather allows for the space to enhance each room’s square footage. 

John B. Chessare, MD, MPH, “Today’s grand opening of the Louis and Phyllis Friedman Building is the next big step in GBMC’s commitment to our mission. Our physicians, who we know are responsible for GBMC’s excellent reputation in the community, along with our incredible nurses, serve as the very bedrock of this system.

For patients, this looks like:

  • Advanced sound proofing for a more restful stay
  • Family zones, including a sleep sofa for overnight visitors
  • More storage for patient belongings
  • Larger, ADA-compliant bathrooms
  • Family consultation rooms where clinical staff can meet with family members

For clinical staff, this means: 

  • State of the art technology in every room
  • More space for a coordinated, interdisciplinary medical team to meet at the bedside
  • Alcove area outside the room to observe the patient without disruption 
  • Digital board for telemedicine visits
  • Easier access to supplies 
  • Increased monitoring capabilities to care for a variety of patients

The ground floor is centered around providing a welcoming space to enter the hospital. Wellness spaces, a retail pharmacy as well as an updated medical library, chapel and gift shop are all available in this new space. 

In the W. Lee and Mary G. Thomas Healing Garden, longtime GBMC supporter Brown Advisory requested a sculpture that would stand against hate crimes. “We Hold Your Truth,” created by local sculptor Mary Ann Mears, is a symbol we are never alone in the face of adversity and intolerance.

The $108 million, 117,000 square foot project took five years from conception to opening and is part of a 10-year facilities plan that will also realize a new two-story, 70,000 square foot home for cancer care services—the Sandra R. Berman Pavilion—and a retrofit of all existing patient rooms to a larger size. 

“The facilities plan may have been written in 2018, but the vision for this type of patient-centered approach to care has been a focus for us long before,” John B. Chessare, MD, MPH, President and CEO of GBMC HealthCare said. “The entire approach of this project started with understanding who our patients are now and who they will be in the future. And then building a facility to respond to that need.

“In the decade since we created our vision—To every patient, every time, we will provide the care we would want for our own loved ones—our care teams have been holding themselves accountable for keeping people healthy, not just for delivering healthcare services. We know patients today face complex conditions, requiring the expertise of a team of medical specialists, but also a holistic approach where patients benefit from the presence and support of family, caregivers, and spiritual advisors. The Friedman Building—and the Berman Pavilion—bring that.”

The Sandra R. Berman Pavilion, which is currently under construction and slated to open in early 2025, connects to the Friedman Building, offering a single destination for cancer care services. The adjacent parking lot that connects to the Berman Pavilion will also be open for use soon. 

“We would be remiss if we didn’t thank the community for their unwavering support of this project,” John Saunders Jr., MD, Campaign Chair, said. “From the beginning, we had volunteer leadership leading the cause and a host of fiscal supporters along the way that brought this vision to life.”

Philanthropic support accounts for more than $50 million of the cost to build these two historic advancements, including lead gifts by Louis and Phyllis Friedman and Sandra and Malcolm Berman to name the buildings. 


About GBMC HealthCare

Since its founding in 1965, GBMC has been known as an outstanding, independent community hospital, validating the vision of our founders to combine the best of community and university-level medicine. Our 257 licensed bed, acute and sub-acute care hospital in Towson handles more than 23,000 admissions and more than 52,000 emergency room visits annually. With GBMC Health Partners, we have established 12 advanced primary practices throughout the region, working to keep people well by coordinating preventive care and the management of chronic disease. We are also committed, in every specialty, to provide culturally competent care and service of the highest quality to every patient, every time with the goal of health equity for all.