R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center Gala Celebrates "The Architecture of A Hero"

For immediate release: April 26, 2014


Karen Lancaster

[email protected] | 410-328-8919

Dramatic Stories Illustrate Rebuilding of Endangered Lives and Honor the Medical Heroes Who Heal with "High-Tech, Human Touch"

Baltimore – In a celebration of the "Architecture of a Hero," nearly 1,600 people gathered tonight for the annual R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center Gala.  The event paid tribute to 57 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel and medical heroes who represent Maryland’s highly coordinated trauma system.  Those in attendance heard the stories of a firefighter, a nurse, a police officer, and a physician – all whose professions help save lives every day, but like most of the 8,000+ people treated at Shock Trauma every year, didn’t expect to need to be saved themselves after life-threatening incidents.  

The four dramatic stories brought to life:

  • Jeffrey Novack, a Baltimore City firefighter, who became trapped in a burning building after rescuing its occupants; he was brought to Shock Trauma with his body broken and burned;  upon healing and recovery, he has returned to firefighting and saving lives.
  • Harold Hardinger, R.N., has taken care of thousands of critically ill and injured patients in his 43 years as a nurse in the Trauma Resuscitation Unit.  One evening on his way home from work, his car was "T-boned" by another vehicle in an intersection; EMS personnel transported Harold to the Unit he had just left, this time as a patient with life-threatening injuries. In intensive care for months, Harold spent a year recovering and rehabilitating, then returned full time to continue saving lives in the very place that saved his.
  • Detective Steven Mahan of the Baltimore City Police Department was hit by a car driven by a suspect.  Brought to Shock Trauma facing life-threatening injuries and the possibility of a leg amputation, Mahan -- and his leg -- were saved. He was fully rehabilitated and returned to the Police Department in the same role.
  • Dr. Alexander Pazoki, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital who did medical residency and head and neck surgery training at Shock Trauma, was critically injured in a motorcycle accident. After undergoing multiple surgeries at Shock Trauma and overcoming several setbacks, Dr. Pazoki has returned to caring for patients who depend on his expertise and compassion.  

Sponsor partners contributed over $1 million to support the ongoing work of the heroes honored at the event. Funds raised by the Gala benefit the continued expansion and enhancement of the Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower, which was formally dedicated in the Fall of 2013.

"The new Shock Trauma Critical Care Tower gives us additional capacity at the University of Maryland Medical Center – now over 800 beds -- for accepting transfers of patients with complex cases who can benefit from our expertise in time-sensitive critical care medicine," said Jeffrey A. Rivest, president and chief executive officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC).   "In complex and emergent cases, no hospital is better prepared than UMMC to give patients the best chance at survival and recovery," Rivest added.

"This evening we witnessed how heroes are built, and also watched how a tower was built to help heal the people of Maryland who come to us at their most painful and vulnerable moments," said Thomas M. Scalea, M.D., Physician-in-Chief, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, and the Honorable Francis X. Kelly Distinguished Professor of Trauma Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "It’s an honor to recognize these 57 heroes who represent the hundreds of dedicated EMS and medical staff who heal with a high-tech, human touch. It’s also an opportunity to remind our supporters and our citizens that we need their continued advocacy to sustain this ‘safety net’ that is unique to Maryland," said Scalea.

Senator Francis X. Kelly, chairman, Shock Trauma Board of Visitors, stated: "We are enormously grateful for our generous partners and our team of lifesaving professionals from across the state who help give everyone who endures a tragedy a second chance at life. We also celebrate that together, we have built a tower of excellence that’s a testament to the positive impact that Shock Trauma has had in Maryland and all over the world."

To learn how you can support Shock Trauma, visit: http://umm.edu/programs/shock-trauma/about/ways-to-help/critical-care-tower.

About the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center

The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center is a worldwide leader in trauma care, and the heart of Maryland's unique Emergency Medical Services System.  The first trauma center of its kind in the United States, Shock Trauma is an international model for civilian and military teams, and remains the epicenter for trauma research, patient care, and teaching, both nationally and internationally today.  Shock Trauma is where the "golden hour" concept of trauma was born and where many of the life-saving practices in modern trauma medicine were pioneered.

About the University of Maryland Medical Center

The University of Maryland Medical Center is an 800-bed teaching hospital in Baltimore and the flagship institution of the 12-hospital University of Maryland Medical System. As a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurocare, cardiac care, women's and children's health and physical rehabilitation, UMMC treats patients who are referred nationally and regionally for expertise in time-sensitive critical care medicine. UMMC also has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country, performing more than 400 abdominal and thoracic transplants a year. All physicians on staff at the Medical Center are faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine.