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MedStar Federal Hill.(Photo submitted by Medstar)

MedStar unveils multi-specialty health center in Federal Hill

Bob Gilbert likes to give people what they want: convenience, variety, efficiency and good value.

That’s the formula he had in mind when designing MedStar Health’s new health care clinic in Federal Hill, which brings primary care physicians, a variety of specialists and an urgent care center — MedStar PromptCare — under one roof.

The $4.5 million, 28,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open July 7. It’s the first of its kind in the area, according to Gilbert, president of ambulatory services for MedStar, the largest health care system in the Baltimore-Washington area.

Although there are a few primary care offices and a handful of walk-in urgent care clinics nearby, Gilbert said none are as comprehensive as the new facility, an expansive brick building on the corner of Key Highway and Lawrence Street.

Gilbert said he thinks the center will fill a void in the neighborhood by providing health care in a way that fits residents’ busy schedules.

“There are [about] 25,000 people who live within a couple miles of here, and we serve many of them at our hospitals,” he said, referring to MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and MedStar Harbor Hospital.

“We think part of our responsibility is to stretch the continuum of care, and also provide outpatient services. But people want it to be convenient. They want it to be efficient.”

In addition to visiting the PromptCare clinic, which is open daily for walk-ins, patients can make appointments with primary care doctors, cardiologists, orthopedists, sports medicine physicians and OB/GYNs.

The facility also includes radiology and laboratory services, a physical therapy/rehabilitation center and a “community room” where people can take health-related classes, receive various screenings and participate in similar community wellness activities.

There’s also space to bring in additional specialists on a rotating basis, depending on what services the primary care physicians say they’d like to have on-site. Fifty people will work in the center, including 25 new MedStar hires.

“Think of it like a medical mall,” Gilbert said. “It takes the best elements of our hospitals and consolidates them into one location.”

MedStar occupies the second and third floors of the building, which was developed by Towson-based Caves Valley Partners. A Walgreens store will open later this year on the ground level.

Gilbert said MedStar was pleased to cohabitate with a pharmacy — “it’s just another convenience,” he said.

MedStar operates eight other PromptCare centers and has another in the works in Bel Air. But this is the first facility with many services integrated into one location, Gilbert said.

The collaboration is evident throughout the facility, which has wide, glass-windowed hallways that lead from one specialty area to another. There are 27 exam rooms and two procedure rooms, but no individual physician offices.

Instead, doctors share common work areas. Small consultation rooms are available for private discussions, but Gilbert said MedStar tried to use space as efficiently as possible.

That strategy not only makes patients feel like the priority, Gilbert said, but encourages different specialists to work together and share expertise.

“The beauty of this is that the primary care doc can grab a patient’s X-ray from the radiologist, and then walk down the hall to the orthopedist and say, ‘Hey, take a look at this,’” Gilbert said. “And if necessary, the patient can go straight from their primary care appointment — or from an urgent care visit — and be seen by the right specialist that same day.”