Catalyst Magazine

Meet UMB’s Public Servant of the Year

Photo by Matthew D’Agostino

Joshua M. Abzug, MD
School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Departments of Orthopaedics and Pediatrics

About Dr. Abzug

In addition to his role at the School of Medicine, Abzug is director of pediatric orthopaedics at the University of Maryland Medical Center; director of the University of Maryland Brachial Plexus Practice; deputy surgeon-in-chief at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital; and president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Faculty Senate. Abzug founded Camp Open Arms six years ago to focus on the emotional well-being of children with limb differences, such as brachial plexus birth palsy and congenital/traumatic deformities.


Abzug started Camp Open Arms with six children who took part in a day and a half of activities. This year, the camp hosted 32 children and their families in Monkton, Md., for a week. As camp director, Abzug oversees and interacts with the philanthropic donors whose support helps to make the day camp free; develops the activities to ensure the campers have fun safely, even during the COVID-19 pandemic; and coordinates the volunteers. He has raised over $500,000 toward support of the camp and associated research.


“Time and time again, families will comment that it’s a life-changing week for their child. The families have trusted us, and it has become a community of people and it has impacted and changed lives.” — Abzug

“Camp Open Arms is an opportunity for our daughter and many other kids like her to experience life to the fullest and be able to have the opportunity to have fun and be kids with no judgment. You can see the smiles under the masks and the joy.” — Ben Mortenson, whose daughter Sophia has attended the camp for five years

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Jen Badie

Jen Badie is the assistant director of editorial services in the Office of Communications and Public Affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

CATALYST magazine

Executive Board

Lynne Henry, Laura Kozak, Larry Kushner, Jennifer Litchman, Thomas Sullivan, Kate Ostrowski


Lynne Henry

Managing Editor

Chris Zang

Assistant Editor

Kate Ostrowski

Photography Director

Matthew D’Agostino


Michelle Baffuto

Web Director

Amir Chamsaz

Marketing Manager

Kristi McGuire