Janie Geer, community health advocate
Janie Geer, a retired nurse who founded a health center in Northwest Baltimore and was a community health advocate, died of a stroke March 25 at FutureCare Courtland in Pikesville. The Cylburn-area resident was 88.
Born Janie Craig in Durham, N.C., she was the daughter of Roy Craig, a limousine driver, and Susie Craig, who worked in health care.
A 1944 graduate of Hillside High School in Durham, she earned a diploma at the Duke Hospital practical nursing program.
She married Jesse D. Geer and moved to Baltimore, where she worked at Sinai and the University of Maryland hospitals. She also served as president of the Cylburn Neighborhood Association.
In 1971, she was a founding member of the Park West Medical Center on West Belvedere Avenue.
“She fought for people who couldn't afford health care,” said her granddaughter, Sharon Bratcher-Thomas. “She went to Annapolis and Washington, and lobbied for what she believed in.”
Mrs. Geer was a past chair of the Maryland Licensed Practical Nurse Association, and sat on the board of the Maryland Board of Nursing from 1984 to 1991.
In 1979, she joined New Shiloh Baptist Church and was president of its nurse ministry for more than 20 years.
Ordained a deacon, she was honored as New Shiloh's Woman of the Year in 1994, and received a doctorate of humane letters from the Determined Biblical and Theological Institute in 2008.
Among her awards was the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Community Health Centers. She also received the Urban Services Award in 1981, and was honored with resolutions from the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus and the Maryland House of Delegates. She also received an Unsung Hero Award from the spouses of Congressional Black Caucus members.
In 2002, officials at Park West Medical Center dedicated its Women and Children's Facility in her name.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at New Shiloh Baptist Church, 2100 N. Monroe St.
Survivors include a son, Marcus Yarborough of California; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandson. Another son, Ronald Mitchell, died in 1997. Her husband of 40 years died in 1990.