Baltimore county collaborates with Set the Captives Free Outreach Center, reimbursing county for the renovations

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According to online property records, Set the Captives Free Outreach Center paid $4.75 million for the land at Security Square Mall, which had previously been home to Seoul Plaza and J.C. Penney. Dr. Gregory Branch said that the county is renting the facility, but the church is reimbursing the county for the health center's renovations.

Set the Captives Free Outreach Center, a non-denominational church, manages space in the mall where the new facility is located. Dr. Gregory Branch, Baltimore County Health Officer, said that the church would not be involved in the operation of the health facility.

The New Facility

The busiest health facility in Baltimore County has relocated to Security Square Mall. For its Woodlawn Health Center, the county is renting space in the mall from a church. “We will collaborate as needed with various programs and things like that,” Branch said, “but the department of health will operate this center.”

He said the county rents the facility, but the church reimburses the county for the renovations. On Tuesday, Baltimore County leaders and officials conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Woodlawn Health Center Tuesday, which cost over $1 million to design and build. The new clinic will offer general care, health counseling, immunizations, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of STDs, among other services.

The new clinic, which will be located in the O.W.E. Center at Security Square Mall, will provide primary care, health counseling, vaccinations, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, among other services.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski described the collaboration with the church as a "new, first-of-its-kind partnership."

“By partnering with a cornerstone of our community, Baltimore County will now become a one-stop-shop that removes significant barriers to treatment, improves the patient experience, and ensures that everyone in this region of Baltimore County has equitable access to health care.” Johnny Olszewski said. 

The O.W.E. Center's new 8,800-square-foot building more than doubles the size of the old Woodlawn Health Center.

According to a press release, work on the $1.5 million projects started in December 2020 after the collaboration was established.

Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Baltimore County Health Officer and Director of Health and Human Services said, "This new facility and the public-private collaboration will go a long way toward eliminating obstacles to essential services, enhancing community education/outreach initiatives, and improving health outcomes in this neighborhood." 

Thanks to the new location, patients will have easier access to public transit, more on-site parking, and other community amenities.

“We are not a church only,” Karen Stanley Bethea, senior pastor of Set the Captives Free Outreach Center, said. He describes the building as a “community center with a church on the second floor.”

The county has eight health care facilities. The original Woodlawn facility, which was housed in a small basement of a library, served about a fifth of the county's population. The Woodlawn Health Center's new home in Security Square more than doubles its capacity. It also makes catching a bus or finding parking simpler.

Family planning, vaccinations, and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases are among the services provided by the county's health facilities.

We are grateful to Pastor Karen Bethea and Set the Captives Free for their dedication to and collaboration in supporting public health,” Olszewski added.

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