The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) Wald Community Nursing Center, a provider of barrier-free health services to the East Baltimore community since 1994, has relocated in a renovated and strategically placed setting.
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.
“We’re now in the heart of the East Baltimore community that The [Johns Hopkins] School of Nursing has been reaching out to and working with over a number of years. In this central location, we can more easily provide gap services and assist families to get to a regular medical home,” said Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN, director of the East Baltimore Community Nursing Centers.
Prior to the recent move, the Wald Center was in a neighborhood further away, adds Patty Wilson, MSN, RN, assistant director of the East Baltimore Community Nursing Centers, referring to the center’s last location in the basement of a former school at 1600 Rutland Street. “This is more visible to the Johns Hopkins community. It’s like a safety net,” Wilson said. “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.
In addition to volunteer physicians and a clinical coordinator, two graduate students from the Nurse Practitioner program and several undergraduate students in the Community Outreach Program provide community health services at the center four days a week.
Sharps said that Wald’s barrier-free, service-learning model enhances students’ experiences during their time at JHUSON. “We are managed by nurses who concentrate on early case-finding assessments and getting individuals connected to appropriate resources and care,” she added. The Wald Community Nursing Center provides free health services to about 300 adults and children every year.
To engage the surrounding community, the Wald Center will host a re-opening event “The Grand Performance of Wald on Broadway,” at its new location, 901 East Broadway, on October 17th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The celebration will include a health fair complete with blood pressure screenings, health vendors, live music and activities such as face painting for children.
Martha Hill, Dean of The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Sharps and representatives from the Baltimore City Health Commissioner’s Office and the Mayor’s Office are expected to lead 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 [Johns Hopkins] 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.“