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Baltimore County Teams Up With Church For New Health Center Location

Woodlawn Health Center Ribbon Cutting (2).JPG
Del. Pat Young, Set the Captives Free Outreach Center Senior Pastor Karen Stanley Bethea, County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Councilman Julian Jones cut the ribbon at the new Woodlawn Health Center at Security Square Mall. Credit: John Lee

Baltimore County’s busiest health center has a new home at Security Square Mall. The county is renting space from a church at the mall for its Woodlawn Health Center.

The new facility is housed in space at the mall managed by Set the Captives Free Outreach Center, a non-denominational church. Baltimore County Health Officer Dr. Gregory Branch said the church will have no role in the running of the health center.

“We will partner as it requires with different programming and things like that, but the running of this center will be done by the department of health,” Branch said.

He said the county is renting the space, but the church is reimbursing the county for the renovations necessary for the health center.

At Tuesday’s ribbon cutting, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski called the arrangement with the church a “new, first of its kind partnership.”

“By partnering with a trusted pillar of our community, Baltimore County will now become a one-stop-shop that removes critical barriers to care, that improves the patient experience and ensures that we have equitable access to health care here in this portion of Baltimore County.”

Karen Stanley Bethea, senior pastor of Set the Captives Free Outreach Center said, “We are not a church only. We are a community center that happens to have a church on the 2nd floor.”

The county has eight health centers. The old Woodlawn facility, which was in cramped quarters in the basement of a library, handled 25% of the people who sought services countywide. The new location at Security Square more than doubles the size of the Woodlawn Health Center. It also makes it easier to catch a bus or find parking.

Services offered at the county’s health centers include family planning, immunizations and treatments for sexually transmitted infections.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County.