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Hospitals expanding services


Baltimore County hospital centers are reporting improvements in their facilities this year.

Franklin Square Hospital Center in White Marsh recently opened a 20,000-square-foot Medical Surgical Specialty Center on the third floor of its Cancer Institute.

Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in October, opened its third on-campus medical office building this spring. Another recent addition is the Sleep Center, which offers evaluations for people with sleep problems. The hospital also opened a surgical services unit.

Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown opened a Multidisciplinary Center for Breast Health in May. The center offers a single treatment location for women with a variety of breast health problems.

St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson broke ground in April on a 60,000-square-foot, four-story medical office building where all cancer services will be located. Completion is expected by next spring.

Sheppard Pratt Health System, a mental care facility based in Towson, celebrated the opening of its new hospital in May. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building contains 192 acute psychiatric beds. The former hospital building will be used for selected programs, such as the Center for Eating Disorders.

Senior centers

The age limit for American Idol contestants is 28. For Senior Idol, Baltimore County's version of the popular TV show, there is no age limit. But there is a minimum age requirement: Contestants must be 60 or older.

Auditions for Senior Idol are being held at county senior centers throughout the summer. The celebrity-judged final will be held Sept. 13 at Ateaze Senior Center in Dundalk. To find an audition site, call 410-887-2040.

Senior Idol is one of many events for county seniors this summer, said Jean Feher, regional manager for the Baltimore County Division of Senior Centers and Community Services.

Many of the 19 Baltimore County senior centers are expanding their facilities.

The Ateaze and Catonsville senior centers recently opened fitness centers.

Director Helen Bronstein said the Catonsville center offers "state-of-the-art" equipment for members at $52 for a 13-week session. The fitness center, open four days a week, has an on-site trainer at all times.

The Bykota Senior Center in Towson plans to open a fitness facility by the end of the year.

Parkville Senior Center recently announced a $2 million renovation to increase its space by one floor, Feher said.

There is also talk of expansion at the Pikesville Senior Center.

Edgemere Senior Center recently enclosed a deck for additional programming space.

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