East Baltimore Medical Center
The East Baltimore Medical Center is an essential part of the Medicine-Pediatrics Urban Health Residency Program. Residents work with multidisciplinary teams to serve East Baltimore's diverse community.
Continuity Clinic at East Baltimore Medical Center (EBMC) has been the core of the Med-Peds program since the program’s inception in 2010. Located in East Baltimore, approximately one mile from Johns Hopkins Hospital, community members started EBMC nearly 50 years ago by neighborhood leaders who wanted to ensure that all community members had access to high quality, community-based primary care. In the decades since, the clinic has grown substantially and now includes full-spectrum primary care from Med-Peds, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Ob-Gyn providers as well as a Rite Aid pharmacy, LabCorp lab site, and Quest dental clinic. Our interdisciplinary teams include social workers, case managers, and pharmacists. In June of 2020, the clinic became a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) run in partnership between Johns Hopkins and Baltimore Medical System. With the additional resources allowed by this partnership, the clinic is also in the process of hiring a dietician and diabetes health educator. Grant-funding will also allow us to soon add community health workers as well as some on-site psychiatric care.
Med-Peds residents each follow a panel of 100-150 patients throughout their 4 years of residency with supervision from Med-Peds faculty who also practice in the same clinic. Nearly all of our patients come from racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups who have traditionally been underserved and often actively discriminated against in the U.S. healthcare system. Although the clinic is located in a historically African-American neighborhood, it also serves a large number of Spanish-speaking immigrants from across the city as well as a smaller number of Arabic-speaking and Romanian-speaking immigrants. The vast majority of patients seen at the clinic have Medicaid, Medicare, or are uninsured. Through “The Access Program” (TAP), a Johns Hopkins community initiative, our uninsured patients are able toaccess specialty care and imaging as needed.
Our residents and faculty provide holistic primary care, including reproductive care, mental health care, and care for substances use disorders, including buprenorphine for opioid use disorders. Residents participate in office-based care, home visits, and, since the advent of the COVID pandemic, telemedicine visits. The program leadership continuously monitor resident visit data to ensure that residents are seeing a balanced number of pediatric and adult patients and that continuity is optimized from both resident and patient perspectives.
We feel privileged to work in such a wonderful community.
“When I think of our East Baltimore Community, here are the words/phrases that come to mind:- Incredibly kind, friendly, and selfless - Proud of East Baltimore and committed to making it a better place for everyone who lives there - Warm, community-focused - I think of the countless stories I remember of patients taking care of each other -- whether friends or family.”
Ashish Thakrar, MD UH IM ‘20
“The bounty of love our patients share is truly humbling. I still recall so many of our home visits, our patients’ hospitality and trust for us to join them at home. I recently visited a family of a patient who passed away - their care, resilience and strength is something from which I continue to learn not only how to be a better doctor, but also a better person.”
Angela Orozco, MD (Med-Peds Grad, UH Director of Diversity & Inclusion)
"Our patients are why we do what we do. Unfortunately, many of our patients live in a space that has been plagued by years of racism, discriminatory policies, and neglect. As a result, in clinic, we often witness their daily struggles and barriers to live healthy and full lives. Yet, our patients are remarkable and resilient. They often greet us with smiles and share their successes with us whether in tackling weight loss or substance use. It is an even more humbling experience when they bring their ongoing struggles to us and their frustration with the injustices that exist in their community. Many of the community members are already working to address systemic injustices and social determinants of health. It is a great privilege to care for these patients in clinic and partner with these community partners."
Jaime La Charite, MD MPH PGY4 (Med-Peds)
"I love caring for my patients at EBMC. As I've gotten to know them better throughout residency, I anticipate clinic days with joy and excitement-- excitement to see their smiling faces and give them a handshake or a hug. How sweet it is to have them say, "that's my doctor." Daily they model to me patience, resilience, resourcefulness, and compassion. Their Baltimore Pride and involvement in their communities reminds me why this truly is the Charm City."
Lindsay Sheets, MD MPH PGY2 (Med-Peds)
"I would love to talk about the resilience of the communities we serve. In my short time have already been amazed by the incredible strength and courage our patients demonstrate despite being stuck in a system that is stacked against them."
Wardah Athar PGY1 (UH IM)
“Our patients are strong, industrious, justice-oriented, mutually supportive, diverse, communal, and creative."
Kevin Klembczyk, MD PGY4 (Med-Peds)
“As the medical office assistant for the med/peds residents, I especially enjoy working with the diversity of patients. Many of our patients are very nice, friendly and truly care about the staff at EBMC”
Sulma Portilla, MOA