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This rendering depicts the new Liberty Center, whose opening was celebrated Friday.  It contains an urgent-care center.  Image submitted by LifeBridge Health courtesy of Hord coplan macht.

LifeBridge opens $5 million Liberty Center; more to come

LifeBridge Health says its new medical building in Randallstown is just the first stage of a plan to expand health care access and help revitalize the community.

Officials celebrated the opening of the redeveloped $5 million Liberty Center, located near LifeBridge’s Northwest Hospital, Friday morning. The building was expanded from 8,000 to 13,800 square feet, and will be anchored by an ExpressCare urgent care center, slated to open its doors Monday, on the ground floor.

Above that will be a primary-care practice with six examination rooms, and above that will be a yet-to-be-determined specialty clinic, Brian White, president of Northwest Hospital, told The Daily Record.

Nationwide, hospitals have been opening or partnering with urgent care centers, which treat illnesses and injuries that aren’t serious enough to merit a trip to the ER and tend to be open evenings and weekends, to reduce the unnecessary – and expensive – use of their emergency departments.

The new ExpressCare location will be open seven days a week and will be able to provide X-ray and basic laboratory services, according to LifeBridge.

Having urgent care and primary care in close proximity to the hospital’s emergency department will help ensure that patients have enough options for their health care needs, White said.

“It allows patients to get the right kind of care at the right time,” he said.

The second phases of the redevelopment plan is the 45,000 square foot Old Court Center, expected to open by the end of 2017, which will be constructed on the site of several outdated buildings across the street from the hospital, White said.

That facility will house clinics to provide both wellness care and ambulatory, outpatient services for people with chronic illnesses, White said.

It will also be used as a student center for a new magnet school, developed by Baltimore County Public Schools and LifeBridge, that will focus on health professions. Students will be able to learn about different jobs in health care and then to watch those professionals in action, White said. LifeBridge expects to see its first students from the program in about two years, he said.

The combined development projects have a price tag of between $20 million and $25 million, White said.

“As the corridor’s largest employer, NorthwestHospital is the institutional anchor of the Liberty Road communities,” Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said in a statement. “The commitment goes well beyond economic health. LifeBridge Health extends its medical mission to community partnerships and engagement that improve the quality of life for thousands of county residents each year.”