MedStar Franklin Square Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary
In 1969, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center opened as a four-story 305-bed hospital in eastern Baltimore County. Within the first 18 months, the new hospital had treated more than 100,000 outpatients.
As our community has grown, so have we. Since opening our doors, we have expanded to offer the latest, most innovative, and comprehensive treatments for individuals with a wide range of medical conditions. Today, as a proud member of MedStar Health, we offer a diverse array of specialties and advanced technologies not traditionally found at community hospitals and are recognized for our expertise in medicine, surgery, oncology, cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, behavioral health, and ambulatory services, to name a few.
In early 2019, we will initiate construction on our two-story 75,000 square foot Surgical Pavilion. Scheduled to open in the Fall of 2020, this facility was designed by those who will work in it daily: our dedicated team of Associates. The Surgical Pavilion will house 14 operating suites, pre-operative and post-operative recovery areas and associate support spaces allowing us to provide advanced technology in a healing and compassionate environment.
The photos above demonstrate how much our campus has physically changed over the years. Scroll through each photo and see how our center has transformed since our opening on the Franklin Square campus 50 years ago. To see more images of our campus, click here.
The people who are part of the MedStar Franklin Square team have helped us maintain a strong sense of community that our organization was founded on, and continues to make a priority, today. View each photo to see some of our leaders in action, over the years.
Celebrating Our Associates
35 years and counting!
In January 1984, I started out as a medical technologist in the Blood Bank. I eventually became team leader then supervisor of the Blood Bank. I am currently working as a Clinical Laboratory Manager, overseeing Blood Bank, Quality, Point of Care, Accessioning and Phlebotomy.
My favorite memory happened about 27 years ago in 1992 when seven of us in the laboratory were pregnant. Three of us in the Blood Bank were due in February, March, and April! A busy year!
Where will I be 10 years from now? While nothing is certain in life, there are two possible options. I could continue in the job I love, or I could retire and keep my husband working so that he can support me in the lifestyle I am accustomed to (hah)!
Regardless of where I am, I wish for MFSMC to continue to grow and prosper while providing excellent service and healthcare to the surrounding community.
Joyce Berkley, MAM, RN, CAPA
43 years of service and still going strong!
“In 1974, I started at Franklin Square and held positions on 4 NE 3-11 as a charge nurse. In the 1980s, I was the hospital Stroke Nurse for five years. I then became a PRN/float for ICU/CCU, Med-Surg / Peds and Psy (for one day due to a major snow storm). I always worked a 40-hour week and did pre-post-op nursing, Radiology and Pre-Admission Testing.
I retired in July 2018 but returned to work under zero hours and am currently in Ambulatory Surgery. I also volunteer on 6T once a week as part of the Halo program. This is great because I can work the day before in ASC pre-op. Then as a volunteer, I can visit patients in post-op and ask about their journey through our system. I ask about their plan of care, medications, discharge planning, etc. and can give feedback to their assigned nurse that day. 6T is so excellent that usually plans are already in motion to meet the patient's needs.
Best memories: Stroke unit under the late Dr. Nicolas Buendia: FSH sent me to New York for training at the Rehabilitation Center. I had a 4-bed coed unit of Stroke patients that stayed about 2 weeks with FSH and could then transition to the old Montebello hospital or Good Samaritan Hospital. I met weekly with the Stroke team and re-examined each patient's progress. I was also able to visit and follow-up with the patient at the Rehabilitation facility to review their progress.
I was also able to establish, with the help of Betty O., the first Same Day Surgery admits that were called EMA (Early Morning Admission). Patients came in on the same day as their surgery, not the night before. They would sit in chairs, lined up in a day room with one family member and their suitcase. I would bring each patient to a desk, ask them questions, then eventually move them to a stretcher to start IV. As the patient census increased, more staff were added and we moved to a larger space."
Lisa Waggy, RN
35 years of service and counting!
"I began working at MedStar Franklin Square in 1983 as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). I worked part-time during a 3 pm to 11 pm shift. Six years later in 1989, I became a registered nurse (RN) and continued to work as a staff nurse on 3CB. The hospital moved to 12-hour shifts, so I consequently started working from 6:30 pm to 7 am. I worked as a preceptor to the first nursing residents, and through some of my suggestions, helped to mold the program to what it is today.
I currently work nights on Tower 5 as a staff and charge nurse (part-time) and occasionally precept new employees. I have also been a chair and co-chair to our unit-based committee.
I have been through many changes at the hospital such as transitioning from paper charting to computer charting; the building of the Tower; and the many changes in the style of nursing care.
One memory that has stayed with me is when I was caring for a stroke patient on 3CB. The patient’s husband would try to give me gifts because he was thankful that I was caring for his wife. He told me the only reason he felt comfortable leaving his wife alone in the hospital was that I was there to care for her. When she was discharged, he sent a very kind letter to my nurse manager thanking me for how well I took care of his wife. THIS is the reason why this job is so special to me, along with the teamwork I have been involved in with all my co-workers. I look forward to caring for patients at bedside for many years to come. "
Eileen Opdyke, RN
"I started my career at Franklin Square in 1980 as a Certified Surgical Technologist in the Operating Room. I became a Registered Nurse in 1998 and stayed in the OR. I advanced from Staff Nurse, to Charge Nurse in 2000, to Resource Nurse in 2002, then Assistant Nurse Manager or "PCC" in 2009-2018. I love the Operating Room at Franklin Square and I am still here as a PRN nurse. I am looking forward to our new Operating Rooms in the new Surgical Pavilion.
One of my favorite memories was being on the original investigation committee to determine the feasibility of MedStar Franklin Square being Magnet. It was fun being there at the very beginning. I was so proud of all the work we did to gain our Magnet designation.
I also like that I worked with Doctor Ferris’ and Doctor Gupta’s fathers. Both of their fathers were awesome doctors and the sons have kept up the tradition of extraordinary patient care. In the next 10 years, I would like to see the hospital continue to grow and provide exceptional care to our patient population. I also want to do more volunteer work and travel with my husband. We have been married 43 years and we are looking forward to seeing the world."
Kristen Hartman, RN, BSN
36 years and counting!
"My favorite memory is when the new ED Physician team from Washington Hospital joined our ED Team. Dr. Pipkin’s group made great improvements in care and treatment of our ED patient population. They collaborated with our nurses and multidisciplinary staff to work together as a true team approach.
In the next ten years, I hope MedStar Franklin Square continues to be a Magnet Hospital and provides excellence in care and new technologies. I hope MedStar Franklin Square continues to provide opportunities for growth and education of staff. I look forward to continue working with Patients and Families, doing direct patient care or education."
Throughout the Years:
- 1983-1988 - 3 Central med-surg LPN (1982-1986 RN)
- 1988-1998 - CCU Staff/ Clinical Leader
- 1998-2006 - ED Staff RN / Charge Nurse
- 2006-2008 - PACU RN
- 2008-Present - 2019 ASC / Pain Management ACLS Certified Professional Development Committee Preceptor/ Mentor
Mary Bylen, BSN, RN
39 years and counting!
"My employment at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center began in 1980. Having worked at MFSMC for the last 39 years has been outstanding. Initially, I worked in Labor and Delivery for nine years as a staff and charge nurse. For the last thirty years, I’ve worked in Ambulatory Surgery as a staff and charge nurse as well. My first nursing council was the original Recruitment and Retention Council. I was co-chair and then chair. I then became a member of our very first Magnet Council. I served as a council member, co-chair, and chair.
One of the highlights in our council was feeding the homeless. Many staff members in the hospital participated in the homeless dinners we would prepare. We also held a toiletry drive for the homeless. I am proud that I was instrumental in assisting MFSMC to obtain our very first magnet designation, and help with our continued success in maintaining Magnet certification.
In our Ambulatory Surgery Center, I spearheaded a group of eight nurses to become CAPA certified! A certification of the Ambulatory Professional Association is a National Professional Certification!
I am proud and truly enjoy coming to work in the Ambulatory Surgery Center each and every day. This past May I retired, but returned to work in September as a zero-hour employee in the Ambulatory Surgery Center. I am looking forward to working in our new Ambulatory Surgery Pavilion in the Fall of 2020."
Jenny Della Rose
38 years and counting!
"I began working at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in December 1980. Back then, it was known as Franklin Square Hospital. I submitted my application the old-fashioned way and kept waiting for the phone call that said I was hired. Finally, it came. I was hired as a Phlebotomist for Pathology.
I have been here ever since and have seen many changes over my 38+ years here. I have drawn blood from thousands of patients, worked on every shift, and worked in every building on this campus including doing Donors, babies in the nursery, and elderly patients in several nursing homes. I currently work as a Phlebotomist in the Anticoagulation Clinic seeing an average of 40 patients a day, 5 days a week.
I have a lot of special memories at MedStar Franklin Square – too many to mention – but, I always loved coming to work and enjoyed my co-workers. We had a lot of good times but always did a good job.
In the next 10 years, I hope MedStar Franklin Square is still on top, and I hope I am retired – enjoying life outside of work. Oh, and on a lighter note, we always had the best parties at Martin’s East, back then known as The East Wind! Many Good Memories Too!!"
37 years and counting!
“I started working at Franklin Square Hospital (the name at that time) in 1982. I was a new mother and wanted only part-time work in the laboratory. I began on June 2, working in the Blood Bank as a Medical Technologist. After 37 years, I am still in the Blood Bank working in the same capacity, but now I am full-time.
I work with several techs who have also been in this department for over 30 years, and the best part of having long-time co-workers is that we have shared a lot of life together. We have seen each other through marriages, children, loss of loved ones, and so much more! We know where our kids are working and all their troubles and achievements. Being connected with those whom you share workspace is a huge blessing! We live through each other’s vacations and hobbies as well as have interesting discussions on life and what is for dinner! Those are the best memories of working here for so long!
In the next ten years, I pray I will be enjoying retirement and living a healthy life with my family–traveling and knitting as much as I have time for! I wish for Franklin Square to continue to provide the best care possible for its patients but to never forget the person. Both the patient and employee should have total respect and appreciation. Without the human element, a job here would be mundane and without lasting purpose. May this be the focus of the hospital from top to bottom and may every face be greeted with kindness and understanding!”
Lynn Stricker-Heckrotte, RN
45 years and counting!
"Since 1974, I have held positions in PRN, ICU, Head Nurse 3NW, IVT, ER, ER Assistant Manager, and PACU at MedStar Franklin Square. I have been in the PACU since 2007. A favorite memory from my past is when Ms. Ossman, RN, our staffing coordinator, managed every unit’s staffing needs. All nurses were expected to be flexible and float to other units. ICU nurses were expected to be the most flexible and were floated to the ER, Nursery, L&D and Pediatrics. During this time, I was able to expand my skills during those years and everyone seemed to know everyone.
On September 4, 1988, my late husband was involved in a terrible accident. Every unit in this hospital took up a collection to provide me, my four-year old, and my 8-year-old with food, money and, so many Christmas gifts that they wouldn’t fit under our tree. My coworker, Susan Comotto Powell, RN, nominated me through a radio station and won a gift certificate for a $500 shopping spree at the Hecht Company store. This certainly helped me and my children during this very difficult time. Many of my coworkers also offered to watch my children during my nightly visits to Shock Trauma. I cannot thank them enough for their emotional support during this time."
36 years and counting!
"I started volunteering in high school at Franklin Square in 1977 because my sister, Brenda Kyger, was an RN in the IV dept – she was my ride on Saturday mornings. One of the many places I volunteered was the lab. I was intrigued by the work the techs performed. So, after I earned my BS degree in Medical Technology (while working in Medical Records) I was able to transfer to the Stat Lab on August 1,1983 when a position became available.
A few years later in 1986, I became a Medical Technologist and worked in the Stat Lab, Chemistry, ER Lab, POC, and Core Lab (where I am today). As I look back throughout the years, all of my good memories at Franklin Square involve the people I work with in the lab. I feel blessed to have worked so many years with truly caring people. Hospital picnics and the holiday parties at Martin’s East were events that were not to be missed!!
In the next ten years, I hope we are still providing continued good service to our community and hope to still be at MedStar Franklin Square."
38 years and counting!
"I started Franklin Square Hospital on July 13, 1981: One week after graduating from the LPN program at Eastern Vocational Technical High School. I worked as an LPN from 1981 to 1991, when I became an RN. After 20 more years, I went back to school for my BSN, finishing in 2016. I have worked in the surgical, geriatric, and oncology units. I am proud to have been a charge nurse and held an OCN while in oncology.
Currently, I am working in the Float Pool, and I love it! It's something different every day. My favorite memory was when I had my children here. It was the most wonderful thing that happened to me. What a joyous event!
In the next ten years, I hope that MFSMC continues to grow and support the community. I also hope to be planning for retirement (if I haven’t retired already). I have made some WONDERFUL friends here, many whom I consider to be FAMILY. That is the second best thing that has happened to me here at the Square!"
38 years and counting!
“I started at MedStar in 1981 in the Inpatient Pharmacy at Franklin Square Hospital (FSH). In 2004, the Weinberg Center was completed across the street from FSH, and I was chosen to work in the AOC pharmacy preparing chemotherapy.
In 2017, a pharmacy position became available at the new MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center (MFSMC) facility in Bel Air in the oncology infusion center. Leaving the MFSMC campus was a huge decision for me; however, I’m happy to be working close to home and within my community.
When I first came to FSH in 1981, IV solutions were prepared in glass bottles, and labels were typed on a typewriter. Physician orders were written on carbon copies and were picked up routinely from the nursing units. We were in the early stages of a computerized pharmacy system. The pharmacy was not open 24 hours, and we closed the pharmacy window at 11 p.m. Some of the best memories were of the nurses and other hospital staff that visited that window. You knew everyone.
A few minutes before 11:00pm, there was a mad rush as nurses would come to the pharmacy for any nighttime meds they might need. It was pretty risky as we were anxious to slide and buckle down that metal shutter and go home.
The pharmacy was a family, and I still see and willremain lifetime friends with some of the same people who welcomed me back in 1981. Staff and students who became nurses, teachers, pharmacist, and even the director of pharmacy. I have so many wonderful memories.In 10 years, I see myself retired. I will remain grateful to MedStar Health and the pharmacy department for accommodating me over the years. I worked full-time and they provided me a part-time position while raising my children. My wish for everyone at MFSMC is that you don’t become too big or too busy that you miss out on the small things that are so important to all of us.”
35 years and counting!
“I have worked for MedStar Franklin Square since January 9, 1984. Prior to that, I was an RN at GBMC for approximately 2.5 years. I graduated with an AA degree in 1981 from Harford Community College at the very young age of 21 (still lived at home with my parents).
I knew I wanted to be a nurse from a very young age. I helped my Grandmom battle bone cancer and was there to help and support her in her last days, so she could pass on with dignity.
I have always worked Medsurg my entire career and love the variety of patients we encounter. From young to old with every diagnosis from A to Z. While nursing in general is very challenging, it is also very rewarding. I feel blessed to have worked for the same organization for so many years and have gone from staff nurse to charge nurse to Permanent charge nurse. I currently work Tower 1 night shift as Permanent Charge and hope to continue working for many years to come…unless I win the lottery of course.
Through the years, I have formed many special bonds with my colleagues and that is what keeps me at the Square. It’s like family and while we all have our moments, when it comes right down to it, we are all there for each other. It’s very humbling to run into an elderly couple at the grocery store and they say out loud, "Debbie, I remember you! You took care of me about 20 years ago and were so nice and caring.”
This is how I want MedStar Franklin Square to be portrayed to the public and this is my wish for the future. Stay grounded, provide excellent care, and mentor our young because one day they will be caring for us.
Some of my favorite memories come from working with the "old crew." You guys know who you are. We worked hard, but also played hard. Best advice I can give our new generation of health care workers is to stay true to yourself and strive to be better every day."