Barrier-Free Health Center Now in ‘Heart’ of East Baltimore

Wald Center Gets a Move and a Makeover

by Jennifer Walker

IOM Recommendation 2

The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) Wald Community Nursing Center is now “in the heart of the East Baltimore community that the School of Nursing has been reaching out to and working with over a number of years,” says Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of the East Baltimore Community Nursing Centers. “In this central location, we can more easily provide gap services and assist families to get to a regular medical home.”

Barrier-Free Health Center Now in 'Heart' of East Baltimore
Nurse practitioner graduate Shaina Farfel and physician Dmitry Kiyatkin are among the many nursing students, nurses, and physicians who volunteer at the Wald Community Nursing Center, providing barrier-free health services to the East Baltimore community.

The Wald Center has provided barrier-free health services to the East Baltimore community since 1994 and serves about 300 adults and children every year. As part of the East Baltimore Community Nursing Centers—which includes sites at the House of Ruth Maryland and Isaiah Wellness Center—the Wald Center offers community-based health services, such as immunizations, physicals, blood tests, health screenings, and education workshops. Staff also assists patients with filling out insurance forms and finding primary care providers.

The new location at 901 East Broadway “is more visible to the Johns Hopkins community. It’s like a safety net,” adds Patty Wilson, MSN, RN, assistant director of the East Baltimore Community Nursing Centers. “Those who are uninsured come to us—and now it’s much easier to do so.”

The community nursing centers are also service learning sites for JHUSON students. With the move, the Wald Center—which has five offices, two exam rooms, and conference space—is now housed closer to the campus and transit lines, making it convenient for undergraduate and graduate students to work and volunteer there.

On October 17th, the Wald Center’s re-opening event, “The Grand Performance of Wald on Broadway,” included a health fair complete with blood pressure screenings, health vendors, live music and activities such as face painting for children. Dean Martha Hill, PhD, RN, Sharps, and representatives from the Baltimore City health commissioner’s office and the mayor’s office led the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“We’ve had a long-term presence in the East Baltimore community and we want people to know that we’re still here,” Sharps said. “We hope that people will continue to see the School of Nursing as a good neighbor making valuable contributions to the community, as well as providing our students with real-life and important service-learning opportunities.”