Medical treatment will become more readily available for area residents as Kaiser Permanente prepares to open its new 24-hour medical facility in Lansdowne.
The four-story, 130,000-square-foot South Baltimore County Medical Center is scheduled to open April 8 in its new location off Washington Boulevard at Lansdowne Road.
It will offer specialists, primary care and pediatrics as well as urgent care and an overnight observational unit.
"All of the specialty services are co-located in one location so that if a patient is sent from any one of our eight other medical buildings in the Baltimore area, they can get all of their care coordinated in one visit," said Dr. Michael Dias, Kaiser's physician-in-chief for the Baltimore area.
There is no emergency room at the new facility, Dias said, but the urgent care unit will be able to address acute injuries, such as small cuts that require stitches. There will also be an MRI machine, a CAT scan machine and two operating rooms within the facility on Twin Springs Road.
"We want to ensure that we're as efficient and convenient to as many members as possible," Dias said.
Dias said Kaiser chose Lansdowne for the new facility based on current and expected membership.
"The primary driver is where our current membership is and where our expected growth is," Dias said of choosing Lansdowne for the new center.
He said the new facility will also about 200 jobs, Dias said.
"Many of those jobs will be new," Dias said. "The spectrum of jobs includes doctors, physician's assistants, nurses, clinical assistants to all of the support staff that keeps the building operating 24 hours a day."
Lorna Rudnikas, vice president of Greater Bloomfield Community Association, is looking forward to seeing those new jobs come into the area.
Bloomfield is the community adjacent to the new building and.
"We're delighted that it is a medical building," Rudnikas said. "We're excited about that. We feel very comfortable with it."
Del. James Malone, who represents District 12A that includes Lansdowne, is also excited about the new center and worked to ensure public transportation would be available for those utilizing its services.
Malone, who serves on the Motor Vehicles and Transportation Subcommittee in the House of Delegates, said he altered the public bus route so that it will now stop at the medical center.
He said he felt very strongly about the bus route stopping right in front of the building, instead of just on Washington Boulevard near the building, so that patients who may be sick or injured would not have to walk any farther than necessary.
"It's more safe to be able to right there at the building and walk in," Malone said.
Malone said he worked with Kaiser throughout the construction phases to make sure a bus stop would be an option.
I "worked with Kaiser Permanente before they did the final concrete work for the entrance ... because we wanted to make sure we had enough room for a bus to make a turnaround in that area," Malone said.
First District Councilman Tom Quirk said the new medical center could provide a boost to the area.
"It's one of the biggest projects we have going in all of Baltimore County," Quirk said.
"When people look back five or 10 years from now, and (they will) realize this was such a huge transformational type of project for that entire Southwest Baltimore County area," he said.
"Lansdowne will be a shining example of what private investment and jobs can do for an area," Quirk said later.