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Chief of critical care at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore dies of COVID-19

Dr. Joseph Costa (Mercy Medical Center - Baltimore)

Dr. Joseph J. Costa who served as the chief of critical care at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore passed away over the weekend from COVID-19.

"We lost another physician. ICU doc, Joe Costa at Mercy in Baltimore to #covid19. You were so dedicated and always came down to the ED when we needed you. Lesson- never let your guard down, even in a state with ok covid numbers," Dr. Kinjal Sethuraman tweeted on Saturday. 

Costa joined Mercy in 1995 and served as the chief of critical care for 15 years, according to the hospital. 

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Mercy Medical Center shared the following statement with FOX 5 on Monday: 

"Dear Mercy Family, 

It is with profound sadness that we must inform you of the passing of Joseph J. Costa, M.D., Chief, Division of Critical Care at Mercy. Joe was more than a trusted colleague; he was also a true friend to many. He dedicated his life and career to caring for the sickest patients. And when the global pandemic came down upon us, Joe selflessly continued his work on the front lines—deeply committed to serving our patients and our City during this time of great need. His memory will live on as an example to us all. Joe has been a special, beloved member of the Mercy Family for more than two decades.  He joined Mercy in 1997 and became Chief of Critical Care in 2005. From 2010 to 2016 he served as an officer of the Mercy Medical Staff, culminating with his 2-year tenure as President of the Medical Staff. 

Joe was also deeply dedicated to Mercy’s mission and values in so many ways, including serving as Chairman of our Medical Morals Committee and as a member of the Mercy Health Services Board of Trustees Mission and CorporateEthics Committee. Joe was admired and respected among providers throughout the Baltimore region for his clinical expertise.  

He was beloved by his patients and their family members—known for his warm and comforting bedside manner as well as his direct and informative communication style. When he counseled our patients and families, he did so with great compassion and empathy. For all the nurses and staff who worked closely with Joe on the Intensive Care Unit, he was like an older brother that all admired and revered. 

During a recent interview discussing the pandemic, he remarked about how proud he was to be a part of the Mercy family, expressing his love for his co-workers and his appreciation for all we are doing to care for our patients. He will be missed greatly. This is an incredibly difficult time for Joe’s family, friends, and colleagues. We encourage you to extend a hand of comfort to employees and physicians who are grieving and please say a prayer for his family and loved ones. Think of the ways Joe would comfort patients and families and do the same for one another.  

A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. Planning is underway now for a memorial service and details will be shared as soon as possible. We will grieve together and we will get through this challenging time together. 

Thank you and God Bless. 


Sister Helen Amos, RSM 

Executive Chair, Board of Trustees       

David N. Maine, M.D. 

President & CEO"