Loyola University Maryland

Commitment to Justice

Baltimore Health Justice In Action

About the Event

Baltimore Health Justice In Action Baltimore Health Justice in Action Poster

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 at 7 p.m., Fourth Floor Program Room

In 2012, Rev. Fred Kammer, S.J., declared that “Those who stand with the poor are to erect structures of social, economic, and health care justice.” So, too, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated in 2017 that health care is a fundamental human right, one which we all share and which we have a duty to promote for the common good. As a Jesuit, Catholic university anchored in Baltimore, how does Loyola leverage its resources in a responsible, collaborative way to support community partners who are committed to this work? Come hear personal and community stories about health care justice and join in discussions on how we all may contribute to positive change in Baltimore. 

Visit http://www.loyno.edu/jsri/bio/fr-fred-kammer-sj-j-d for further info on Fr. Kammer’s work and books. 


  • Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, Director of Pre-Health Program and Health Outreach Baltimore
    Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, Ph.D., grew up in Finland. She has lived, learned, and taught around the globe, in Scotland, Italy, Sweden, Boston, Philadelphia, Flagstaff, and Baltimore, among other places, and she began teaching theology at Loyola, which she calls "my home away from home," in 2000.  A registered nurse in both Maryland and her native Finland, Dr. Gardner serves as the director of Loyola’s Pre-Health Programs. Dr. Gardner speaks seven languages and has run 18 marathons since turning 40. She has two sons, one a current student at Loyola.


  • Flor Paniagua-Peart, ’21 
    Flor is a Junior (class of 2021) majoring in Biology and Writing with a minor in Forensic Science.  She is a Campus Ministry intern working to teach the RCIA program for Loyola and am also one of the Clinical Coordinators in Health Outreach Baltimore.  Health Outreach Baltimore focuses our outreach work in Mercy Hospital whereby they attempt to address some of the health discrepancies in our own Baltimore community.  Because Flor is bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English, she tries to focus most of her health justice work in addressing certain barriers that comes with language and health.


  • Eddie Martin, Jr, Director of Engagement, Health Care for the Homeless
    Eddie is a Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserve. As an emerging Marriage and Family therapist, he has provided therapy and counseling to military and civilian personnel in the areas of couple’s therapy, family therapy, pre-marital counseling, trauma, addiction, grief/loss and stress management. He also provides religious support and leads trainings on cultural diversity and suicide awareness, among many other things.
    Prior to joining Health Care for the Homeless, Eddie was the Director of the Center for Positive School Climate & Supportive Discipline at the University of Maryland School of Social Work where he oversaw outreach and engagement. He also has lots of experience working with the federal government on faith-based community initiatives. He was the Director of the U.S. Department of Justice Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and a Religion and Foreign-Policy Working Group Member of the Office of Religion and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Eddie is currently working on his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Eastern University where he’s evaluating behavioral health programs in the U.S. Army.    


  • Dedra Lane, Director of Safe Streets
    Dedra Layne works in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice as the Director of Safe Streets Baltimore.  Safe Streets is an evidence-based health approach to address violence by reducing shootings and homicides; it is the first and longest running replication of Cure Violence.  She is responsible for providing leadership, oversight and technical assistance to the five Community Based Organizations sponsoring the 9 Safe Streets community sites in targeted areas of Baltimore City.  
    Prior to joining Safe Streets Baltimore in 2014, Ms. Layne spent more than 30 years administrating a variety of Human Service programs in Baltimore and the District of Columbia. She has performed in roles including Director of Roberta’s House Family Grief Support Center, Director of Homeless Services and Community Support for the University Of Maryland’s Division of Community Psychiatry, Division Director for Casey Family Services, and Director of Homeless Programs with Volunteers of America Chesapeake.  Since joining Safe Streets, Dedra has worked to elevate the work and the staff of the program.  Under her tenure, SSB is on track to expand from four sites to ten in fiscal year 2020.  SSB has expanded to include a Hospital-Responder component currently in two hospitals and a third soon to be added.   The program also works in partnership in two high schools in Baltimore City. Dedra has earned a degree in Gerontology with a specialization in Death and Dying, a Bachelor of Social Work from Coppin State University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a specialty in Mental Health and Substance Abuse from the University of Maryland.    Her areas of focus include Death and Dying, Grief and Loss, End of Life Care, Trauma-Informed Care and Youth Violence Prevention.   Dedra is a native Baltimorean and a city resident. In her spare time, Dedra enjoys cooking, reading and engaging the practice of silence.  Dedra has committed herself to perpetual self-reflection as a practice of “being still and knowing." 


  • Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA
    Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, is the president and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center, the two-campus, flagship academic medical center of the University of Maryland Medical System. Prior to this role, he served as president and CEO of the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center from 2012 to 2016.  Dr. Suntha first joined UMMC as a resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology in 1991. He has been a member of the faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine since 1995. Based on his clinical and academic accomplishments, he was awarded the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Professorship in Radiation Oncology in 2008. As CEO, Dr. Suntha is focused on strengthening the unique benefit that UMMC offers to Maryland residents, bringing unparalleled expertise in treating complex, critical illnesses close to home. He is also advancing UMMC’s mission to support neighbors facing chronic illness and health disparities, working with an array of hospital and community-based programs to improve access to preventive care, manage chronic illness, and promote workforce development in the health care field.  Dr. Suntha earned his B.A. from Brown University in 1986 and his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in 1990. He received his MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009.

Sponsored by Loyola's Commitment to Justice Committee, Messina, Common Text Program, Pre-Health Programs, Health Outreach Baltimore, Baltimore Health Immersion, Loyola Clinical Centers, Center for Community Service and Justice, Campus Ministry, Department of Biology, Law and Social Responsibility, Mission Integration, Society for Underrepresented in Pre-Health Students and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Follow the conversation on social media @LoyolaJustice and #livejustice


Reflection Questions

  • TBD