University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute
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Cynthia Kelleher
Phone: 410-448-6447

Kernan Hospital Renames Progressive Care Unit in Honor of Kenneth F. Spence, Jr., M.D.

Dr. Spence (second from left) and his sons.
Dr. Spence (second from left) and his sons.

Baltimore, MD (January 1, 2011) - Kernan Hospital, its Board of Trustees and Endowment Boards recently hosted a celebration as the hospital's Progressive Care Unit was renamed in honor of Kenneth F. Spence, Jr., M.D.

"In my career, never have I seen where the mention of one's name has led to such a spontaneous outpouring of emotion, warmth, and affection," says Michael Jablonover, M.D., MBA, FACP, and CEO of Kernan Hospital. "Ken is described as a physician's physician, and truly an officer and a gentleman."

Dr. Spence, an orthopaedic surgeon, served his medical residency at Kernan in 1961, and continued his career at the hospital through 1999. Some of the roles he held at Kernan included Associate Director, Scoliosis Clinic; Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Director; Sports Medicine Clinic; Surgeon-in-Chief; Medical Director, Medical/Surgical Services, as well as members of the Board of Trustees and Endowment Board.

To celebrate Dr. Spence's achievements, over 100 people, including family, friends and former co-workers of Dr. Spence, attended the dedication of the Kenneth F. Spence, Jr., M.D. Progressive Care Unit at Kernan. Funds are being donated in Dr. Spence's honor to update the unit, currently home to total joint replacement patients and intensive care patients at the hospital.

The two-million dollar renovation project includes enhancements to 25 patient care rooms on the PCU- or Progressive Care Unit - where the hospital's intensive care, orthopaedic surgical, and rehabilitation patients are cared for.

The PCU enhancements will serve as a model for the other units throughout the hospital as well, by reflecting an environment that will be restorative, regenerative, inviting, competitive, and ultimately patient and family-centered. The PCU was suggested for the renaming by George H. Brouillett, Jr., M.D., Chief of Surgery at Kernan, who was mentored early in his career by Dr. Spence.

"The Kernan staff, most privileged to have worked with Dr. Spence, holds him in the highest esteem. He is one of the great giants of orthopaedic surgery," says Dr. Brouillet. "Dr. Spence is not only a man who possesses superior technical expertise as a surgeon, he is a man of great integrity, wisdom, honesty and respect for all. He, in turn, is very much respected and loved by all."

As the plans for the unit were revealed to the guests, Dr. Spence acknowledged those who made his efforts possible. "Kernan Hospital through the Endowment Board and the Board of Trustees has always allowed the staff at Kernan Hospital to be on the very cutting edge of new technology and therefore provide the newest and best care for our patients," says Dr. Spence. "This reflects back to the early ‘70s when we were one of the first hospitals to do knee arthroscopy and soon thereafter one of the first hospitals to do total joint replacement – common procedures today. That interest in expanding services and knowledge persists today."

Robert A. Chrencik, President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Maryland Medical System, and a Kernan Board of Trustees member, commended Dr. Spence on his vision for the hospital. "The William Donald Schaefer Rehabilitation Center is the largest and most sophisticated rehabilitation hospital in the state and, among its many strengths, partners with the Shock Trauma Center to provide care to the most severely injured citizens of Maryland," says Chrencik. "In addition to rehabilitation, Kernan has been and will continue to be known for its focus on and expertise in orthopaedics. Dr. Spence is a big reason for that and we will honor his work by continuing to strengthen the orthopaedics program here at Kernan."

To make a contribution to the Kenneth F. Spence Jr. MD Fund to benefit Kernan Hospitals' Progressive Care Unit please send checks made payable to Spence Fund/UMMS Foundation, 110 S. Paca Street 9th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201‑1534 or call the UMMS Foundation at 410.328.5770.

About Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation

A 132-bed rehabilitation and orthopaedic specialty hospital, Kernan specializes in joint replacements and treatment of sports injuries; neck, back, upper and lower extremity injuries; scoliosis; trauma reconstruction; plastic surgery; and dental surgery for adults and children. Kernan's William Donald Schaefer Rehabilitation Center provides the most technologically advanced therapy for orthopaedic injuries, brain and spinal cord injuries, stroke, multiple sclerosis and other neurologic disorders. Kernan is also the home of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine.