On a comfortable, sunny morning last week, Baltimore City leaders, Chase Brexton officials and supporters as well as a marching band were on hand to officially open Chase Brexton Health Careâ€™s new primary care facility in Baltimoreâ€™s Mount Vernon neighborhood.Â Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Council President Bernard C. â€śJackâ€ť Young and Chase Brexton Health Care CEO Richard Larison were among those who offered remarks and cut the ribbon for the grand opening.
The new facility in the former Monumental Life building at 1111 N. Charles St. will allow Chase Brexton, a nonprofit provider, to expand its services. The Mount Vernon Center sees about 9,000 patients annually; the new Center will allow for more than doubling that number to about 25,000 based on projections. It features a patient-centered â€śpodâ€ť design and space for new obstetrics/gynecology services.
â€śBeginning in just a few months, hundreds of thousands of uninsured Marylanders will have access to new health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act,â€ť Larison said. â€śWe look forward to meeting increasing demand and educating patients with the same compassionate care weâ€™ve provided for 35 years.â€ť
As part of this expansion and evolution of its services, the organization is changing its name to Chase Brexton Health Care to more accurately reflect the comprehensive primary care services that it provides.
Founded in 1978 as a volunteer-run health clinic for Baltimoreâ€™s LGBT community, Chase Brexton has a history of providing care to underserved members of the community and helping patients manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and HIV. Since then, it has expanded to a total of six locations in the region, annually serving nearly 25,000 patients from all walks of life.
Along with the newly relocated main Baltimore location, Chase Brexton has primary care offices in Randallstown, Columbia and Easton, as well as with Sheppard Prattâ€™s Way Station facility in Columbia. It is also provider of the student health services at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). The new facility replaces its former location a few blocks away on the corner of Cathedral and Eager Streets.
â€śChase Brexton is a model of healthcare equity in Baltimore and around the region,â€ť said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. â€śFor decades, it has played a critical role in our area by providing high-quality care to anyone who needs it, no matter their ability to pay. With this new facility in the heart of Mount Vernon, Chase Brexton is poised to serve many more people, including many who will be newly insured.â€ť
Building on its comprehensive care menu that includes dental, pharmacy, mental health and substance abuse services, Chase Brexton has recently added obstetrics and gynecology care.
With Chase Brextonâ€™s â€śpodâ€ť design, patients are literally at the center of their own care. Treatment rooms line the perimeter of each pod and medical staff move among the rooms to visit patients, who are able to remain in a single room for their entire visit.
Chase Brextonâ€™s leaders two years ago purchased the Monumental Life building and began renovations to transform the 192,000- square-foot property into its new headquarters.
â€śThe primary goal of the renovation was to respect and preserve historically significant features of the ornate Monumental Life complex while adapting and reconfiguring the property to provide much needed health services for the downtown Baltimore community,â€ť said Kim Price, president of Chase Brextonâ€™s board of directors.
The expansion of services does not change its mission with respect to the LGBT community, according to Dr. Julie Eastin of the Behavioral Health department.
The facility is outpatient only, and appointments are needed. To schedule an appointment, call 410-837-2050. For more information, visit ChaseBrexton.org.