Family, friends and colleagues gathered outside MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center on Friday to celebrate the life of longtime Emergency Department chairman Dr. Michael Pipkin.
Dr. Pipkin . More than 100 people turned out for Friday’s memorial service, many of whom reflected on his life and the impact he had at the hospital.
Several of those who spoke credited Dr. Pipkin for his instrumental role in the development of , which opened in November 2010. Dr. Pipkin was diagnosed with cancer not long after that opening. Last May, Franklin Square
Dr. Pipkin joined the hospital in 1999 before becoming associate chair of the emergency department in 2002 and chairman in 2004.
"This was a chance to celebrate the vibrant life he lived and while he is gone, his impact and legacy will live on here forever," said Christina Hughes, the director of health care system preparedness for MedStar Health.
"While it’s sad Dr. Pipkin never had the opportunity to enjoy the Emergency Department that bears his name, he got to know how much he was loved and respected. Helping develop the new Emergency Department was a labor of love."
Along with the hospital’s doctors, nurses and staff, many members of the Baltimore County Fire Department also attended the memorial service.
Emergency medical service personnel said Dr. Pipkin always treated them with respect and as an equal colleague. That respect for Dr. Pipkin was displayed last May when the fire department named him an honorary fire surgeon.
"There are many doctors that don’t understand what EMTs and paramedics deal with in the field," said Kyrle Preis III, the director of emergency medical services for the Baltimore County Fire Department.
"That was definitely not the case with Dr. Pipkin. He connected with us in a way I’ve rarely seen. He also took the time to explain to us decisions he made with patients so we could better understand patient care. He was also teaching and will be greatly missed."
Pam Pipkin, Dr. Pipkin’s widow, also spoke at the service. She thanked those at the hospital for helping ease her husband’s pain as he battled cancer over the last year of his life.
"We always felt blessed by the care Michael received at Franklin Square," she said. "It was a very difficult challenge for him to transition from being a physician to be a patient, but your spirit really eased the way.
"Every appointment, treatment, every trip to the emergency department, every hospital stay, your love and compassion was evident and I want to say thank you," she said.
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