Residents on Baltimore’s west side have something new to celebrate. My Brother’s Keeper is launching a comprehensive medical clinic in the Irvington neighborhood, in partnership with Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital.

To commemorate the milestone, the partners held a small ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 5.

The addition of the clinic allows neighbors to come to My Brother’s Keeper to address critical health care issues, including diabetes and high blood pressure. The well-known and respected program already offers various services including behavioral health and psychiatry services, case management, daily meals, job training and support, job placement, a GED program, legal aid with expungements, and connections to numerous other supports.

Vital partnership

“I am pleased and grateful for this partnership between Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital and My Brother’s Keeper, as we are responding to meet the healthcare needs of the west Baltimore community,” said Kevin Mason, program director of My Brother’s Keeper. “Before we had this clinic, clients had to go across town to get healthcare and they couldn’t always go due to a variety of issues including transportation. Now, it’s right in the community, making it readily accessible.”

Kevin Mason, program director at My Brother’s Keeper, speaks at the ribbon-cutting of a new on-site clinic.

Ascension Saint Agnes CEO Ed Lovern and Catholic Charities Executive Director Bill McCarthy expressed similar sentiments at the October 5 event.

“This ribbon cutting is culmination of years of work, listening to the community, working with the community and deciding what’s needed,’ said McCarthy. “The absence or the lack of primary health care in the community was one of the greatest needs. Last year we added behavioral health and substance abuse, now this addition of primary care is really going to help and meet the needs of the community.”

Lovern said, “This is a way for us to bring healthcare into the community and we’ve really tried to be creative in thinking of all the ways that we can be where people live and need us the most and this is a great example of that. My Brother’s Keeper is such a wonderful program and healthcare is something that I think they need to be able to offer the people who use the services here.”

Archbishop Lori and Ascension Saint Agnes CEO Ed Lovern cut the ribbon at the new clinic.

Services to begin this month

The clinic promoting healthy lifestyles and preventive healthcare is expected to begin serving the community October 26, via a telemedicine platform. Clients will schedule their appointments before-hand by calling 667-234-8732.

“I’m really pleased Catholic Charities and Ascension have been able to push this to the next level to bring this clinic to fruition,” said Mason. “I am just absolutely humbly thrilled about it and excited about the impact it’s going to make in the lives of the people we serve. Imagine if you are already feeling overwhelmed by life, and there are three major things you need to do today, and they are all in different directions. It’s easy for the person to say, ‘I can’t do it.’ Now imagine if that person is using or abusing a substance, it fires up their need to use and self-medicate. So here, we will be able to physically take them from one station to the next, to address every need they may have.”

My Brother’s Keeper opened as a meal provider in the Irvington neighborhood in the 1980s. It integrated with Catholic Charities in July 2018.