Maria Baimas-George MD MPH was born in Boston, and raised in Hingham, Massachusetts – a coastal town south of the city. Dr. Baimas-George attended college at Colgate University in snowy, upstate New York, where she managed to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Molecular Biology despite nearly freezing. She decided to heat things up for medical school, attending Tulane University in New Orleans, where she had the pleasure of enjoying the most exquisite food (we’re talking beignets, chargrilled oysters with extra cheese, gumbo, and jambalaya – are you hungry yet?), while immersing herself in the medical curricula of course. Dr. Baimas-George earned a Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health at Tulane, and won the Gold Scalpel Award for Surgical Excellence, among other honors. Next on her journey, was a General Surgery residency at Carolinas Medical Center of Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina. Within her first year as a surgical resident, Dr. Baimas-George spent time on the pediatric surgery service.
She started to recognize how the stressful nature of childhood illness and the hospital environment can contribute to a lack of understanding for patients and their loved ones. In these situations of high anxiety and worry, it is particularly difficult to process and retain information. To address this challenge, Dr. Baimas-George set out to create informative and accessible children’s books to improve understanding and satisfaction, and to reduce fear, for patients and their families. These books would eventually become The Strength of My Scars series. As an artistic and creative person who has always loved writing stories and creating visual art, this was the perfect medium for Dr. Baimas-George. Throughout her books, readers will find whimsical analogies and delightful illustrations.
Dr. Baimas-George applied for a research grant and studied the impact of these books at Levine Children’s Hospital of Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina. She found that patient caregivers who were given a book in the hospital setting had greater understanding of the pediatric condition, felt less stress, and felt more satisfied with the care they received. Please see our Validated Research page for details.
Dr. Baimas-George founded a small business called TerryBooks, in order to market and distribute the Strength of My Scars books. TerryBooks is a small, family business run by Dr. Baimas-George's sister, Lianna Baimas-George. Maria and Lianna have learned that there is no better business team than a sister duo. Lianna worked in higher education for eleven years in Boston and Washington, D.C. before moving on to run the business side of TerryBooks. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Dickinson College, and a Master of Education and Master of Business Administration from Boston University.
TerryBooks is named in honor of Dr. Baimas-George’s late cat, Terry, who was by her side for the entire journey. On her first day in New Orleans, Louisiana, to attend medical school at Tulane University, Dr. Baimas-George discovered a homeless cat who was seeking shelter under the porch of the home she was renting. She slowly won over this cat, little by little, day by day, and named her 'Terry'. Eventually, Terry became a cherished member of her family, and moved with her to Charlotte, North Carolina for surgical residency. Terry passed away in May of 2021, but her memory lives on forever in the spirit of TerryBooks and the Strength of My Scars.
Dr. Baimas-George is currently finishing up her final years of general surgery residency, after which she hopes to train in a fellowship program to specialize as a transplant surgeon. Inspired by her pediatric patients and surgical mentors, she continues to write and illustrate books for the Strength of My Scars series from her home in Charlotte, where she lives with her husband, Adam, a geology professor and her "rock" (pun intended) and their three rescued cats: Beaux, Doug, and Archie.