Hopkins Nurse Receives Rare Honor
by Sara Baker
Carol E. Ball, MAS, RN, made history on November 18, 2011, when she became the first nurse within Johns Hopkins Medicine to have an inpatient unit named in her honor. At a special dedication, the Bridgeview Unit in the John R. Burton Pavilion was renamed the Carol Ball Medicine Unit in recognition of Ball’s 47 years of service to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
Ball is the senior director of nursing and administration at Johns Hopkins Bayview and holds a reputation among colleagues and patients for being caring, genuine, collegial, loyal, and innovative. “She epitomizes what makes Johns Hopkins Bayview such a special place,” says Richard G. Bennett, MD, president of the Medical Center.
“It’s more common that a unit is named after a donor, a retiree, or some-one who is deceased,” explains Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins Health System, and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “It is a special and rare occasion that we honor a beloved colleague who is still working with us.”
Ball began her nursing career in 1964 at Johns Hopkins Bayview (then Baltimore City Hospitals). Through the years, she held many different positions, including staff nurse, head nurse in the emergency department, nursing super-visor, and director of nursing and support services. In each of these roles, Ball has upheld an unyielding principle—to provide the best care to patients. “Johns Hopkins Bayview’s commitment and dedication to nursing started with Carol’s leadership,” says Maria V. Koszalka, EdD, RN, vice president of patient care services at the Medical Center.
In addition to living out her passion of mentoring young nurses and managers, Ball also has collaborated with other disciplines to develop a team approach to patient care at Johns Hopkins Bayview. During her many years at the Medical Center, she remained nursing’s foundation through the transitions from Baltimore City Hospitals to Francis Scott Key Medical Center to today’s Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.
“People have often asked me, ‘how can you stay at the same hospital for 47 years?’” says Ball. “I tell them that this is not the same hospital. There have been remarkable transformations through the years, and I feel privileged to have played a role in those changes. This tribute is for all of nursing.”