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The Next Big Thing: Odenton

Map of area JHM hospitals
The black star near “BW Corridor” denotes Odenton, site of a planned third, comprehensive ambulatory care center.

Take Hopkins’ three hospitals. Surround them with a few big ambulatory care centers, located in fast-growing Baltimore suburbs. What do you have? High-quality care within a 30-minute drive of all 2.5 million Baltimore metro area residents.

That’s the ideal, of course, but the concept of a well-defined system of hospitals and large, free-standing outpatient centers, which could provide a lasting source of referrals, has actually been part of Hopkins’ game plan for more than a few years. So far, there are only two big ambulatory care centers: White Marsh and Green Spring. Both so-called hubs are located north of the city. Now, a third, comprehensive outpatient hub is in the works, this to the south of Baltimore, in Odenton, Md.

“We looked at some 50 locations all over the Baltimore/Washington corridor,” says Gill Wylie, president of Broadway Medical Management Corp., the for-profit subsidiary of Hopkins Hospital that runs White Marsh and Green Spring. “It turns out that Odenton, where Johns Hopkins Community Physicians is already located, is actually the center of the entire market place. So we decided to focus on the place where our primary-care services originally developed.”

JHCP/Odenton was established more than 10 years ago to help serve the regional Uniformed Services Family Health Plan contract between the Department of Defense and the Johns Hopkins Medical Services Corporation (the corporate name for JHCP). The health plan and its Tricare product cover families of active-duty military personnel and retired service men and women and their beneficiaries.

Tricare patients account for more than half of the business at JHCP/Odenton, which is located just two and a half miles from the front door of Fort Meade, the 5,000-acre base that includes the National Security Agency. With Fort Meade slated for growth (a round of military base closings will bring some 40,000 new jobs to the base, and NSA will hire 1,500 people a year over the next 10 years) the Tricare patient population will surely expand.

Patients from huge, new, area residential developments like Piney Orchards and Seven Oaks are also discovering JHCP/Odenton. “We’re adding about 200 new patients a month and one primary care physician per year, on average,” says Lisa Hartge, Odenton practice administrator.

Growing JHCP/Odenton will mean adding more primary-care practitioners. Then, says Wylie, “the key will be to bring the infrastructure—lab and radiology services, for example—the specialists will need.” Hopkins specialists in OB, cardiology and ophthalmology (Wilmer) already are practicing at Odenton. These services will expand, and new ones, such as oncology, likely will be added.

Two primary care physicians formerly based at JHCP’s Marley Horizons Health Center, which closed last year, have already relocated to Odenton. Wylie says no further consolidation involving JHCP sites is planned for the foreseeable future. Annapolis and Signature Health Center in Elkridge, Md., will stay put; Laurel’s lease is not up until 2006.
Even as the expansion is under way, patients will continue to be seen at Odenton. The transformation will be complete by July 2005.

Anne Bennett Swingle


White Marsh II Grand Opening

Food, fun and remarks by Baltimore County Executive Janet Owens, White Marsh physicians, and JHM leadership.

Where: Johns Hopkins at White Marsh
When: Sunday, Oct. 3, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The innovative, $5.8 million addition is emblematic of White Marsh’s tremendous growth since it opened in 2000 in the northeast Baltimore corridor. It encompasses a large rehabilitation program, orthopedics suite, a new pharmacy, restaurant and a surgi-center—a first for any Hopkins suburban outpatient site. Today, its 25 primary care practitioners, along with some 45 Hopkins specialists, see about 85,000 patients a year. Patient volumes for 2005 are projected at over 100,000.



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