lance rosenfield

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The Baltimore health system put Robert Peace back together after a car crash shattered his pelvis. Then it nearly killed him, he says.

A painful bone infection that developed after surgery and a lack of follow-up care landed him in the operating room five more times, kept him homebound for a year and left him with joint damage and a severe limp.

“It’s really hard for me to trust what doctors say,” Peace said, adding that there was little after-hospital care to try to control the infection. “They didn’t do what they were supposed to do.”

Pushed by once-unthinkable shifts in how they are reimbursed, Baltimore’s famous medical institutions say they are trying harder than ever to improve the health of their lower-income neighbors in West Baltimore.

But dozens of interviews with patients, doctors and local leaders show multiple barriers between the community and the glassy hospital towers a few blocks away.

In Freddie Gray’s Baltimore, The Best Medical Care Is Nearby But Elusive

Photo credit: Doug Kapustin for Kaiser Health News; Nora Tarabishi/Courtesy of Capital News Service; Iman Smith/ Courtesy of Capital News Service;Lance Rosenfield/The Washington Post/Getty Images.