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John R. Burton

John R. Burton


Burton, director of the Johns Hopkins Geriatric Education Center Consortium and a director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine, was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor’s degree from Marietta College in Ohio in 1961 and his medical degree from McGill University in Montreal in 1965. After an internship and one year of residency at Baltimore City Hospitals, which later became Francis Scott Key Medical Center and then Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Burton served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at Clark Hospital in the Philippines. He then returned to Baltimore City Hospitals to finish his residency, followed by a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

In 1972, Burton joined the Johns Hopkins faculty as an assistant professor of medicine and a co-director of the Division of Nephrology at Baltimore City Hospitals. In 1977, he became director of the Division of Internal Medicine at the hospital; in 1979, he was named deputy director of the Department of Medicine at Francis Scott Key Medical Center.

In 1982, Burton became director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the hospital and later acting medical director of the Mason F. Lord Chronic Hospital and Nursing Home and acting director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at Johns Hopkins. In 1988, he was promoted to clinical director.

Burton nurtured and guided the geriatrics program at Johns Hopkins for nearly thirty-five years. Major clinical programs began or were developed under his leadership, including the Elder House Call Program, through which physicians and other health professionals visit patients in their homes; Hospital at Home, which provides hospital-level care to older adults in their homes; Program for All-inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE), a voluntary health program that provides and coordinates all needed preventive, primary, acute, and long-term care services so that older individuals can continue living as independently as possible; and the Orthopedic-Geriatric Medicine Hip Fracture Service. The division honored his work in 2003 by renaming the Johns Hopkins Care Center, built in 1991, as the John R. Burton Pavilion.

Burton remains an active member of the Johns Hopkins faculty as director of the Johns Hopkins Geriatric Education Center Consortium, which provides geriatric educational programs to health professionals in Maryland.

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