Magothy Health Center office and thrift shop temporarily closed after car crash

The Magothy Health Center, an Anne Arundel County Health Department office that offers breast and cervical cancer screening referrals, is closed after a car crashed into the back of the building Wednesday, said health department spokesperson Megan Pringle.

The crash left a hole in one of the walls of the building located on Mountain Road in Pasadena, police said. The driver was injured in the crash and taken to a shock trauma center. A police report indicated there was a “contributing circumstance,” that caused the crash, such as the driver falling asleep or fainting, said Marc Limansky, a police spokesperson.


A thrift store in the same building sustained no structural damage, said Julie Lopez, president of the Magothy Health Association Board of Directors. The nonprofit owns the health center and thrift store. It rents the health center space to the county’s health department through a $1 lease.

Lopez said the building shut down its power for safety reasons until a structural engineer can assess the damage next week. The first priority is making sure the building is safe, Pringle said.


Eight employees who work at the health center help low-income, uninsured or underinsured residents find a place to get mammograms, pap smears and other screening services. The Magothy staff is working out of Baymeadow Health Center in Glen Burnie, Pringle said.

This is the third time a car has crashed into the center, Lopez said, though the other two incidents occurred prior to her arrival in 2018.

“The other two times were from Mountain Road, because we sit on the corner of Mountain and Catherine road. This time was very unique because the lady came up from Catherine Avenue and jumped the curb of the parking lot,” Lopez said.

Another board member, Carl Kellenbenz, and his wife saw the crash at the center that morning, Lopez said. Kellenbenz and his wife declined to comment. After the incident, Lopez said the nonprofit is considering putting a barrier like poles or cement blocks around the building.

In 2018, the health department considered closing its operations at Magothy and instead directing people in need of services to its Annapolis and Glen Burnie facilities. The community pushed back, Lopez said.

“Most of the clientele come from Glen Burnie or Pasadena, a lower income area, and forcing them to drive down to Annapolis to get services [is a hassle],” she said.

Both then-County Executive Steve Schuh and his opponent in the 2018 election, current County Executive Steuart Pittman, rallied around the center, arguing it was necessary to serve people who live close and can’t easily get to Annapolis. Though Schuh said he had stalled the closure, Pittman hosted a protest at the site in August 2018.

John Clark, left, president of the Magothy Health Association, speaks, as Steuart Pittman, Democratic candidate for Anne Arundel county executive, and rally goers, listen. Concerned citizens and political hopefuls rallied at the Magothy Health Center in 2018 to show their support for the center, which they fear Anne Arundel County will close and relocate services farther away.

While the center and its staff are small, it’s critical for the nonprofit’s function that the county’s health department continue services out of Magothy.


“Our nonprofit status is based on supporting women’s health in the Magothy area so we have to stay within that vision in order to function as a nonprofit,” Lopez said.

The nonprofit uses the money it makes from the thrift store to maintain the building. It has made some significant investments lately, including having a new roof installed and repaving the parking lot.

“The Magothy Health Center is an important connection with the community and they have been steadfast partners,” Pringle said. “We have to go to where people are; we can’t expect them in a county this big to come to us.”

From 1938 to 1980, Magothy Health Center helped residents with tuberculosis treatment, supported child health assessments, offered dental services, nutritional services and drug counseling, as well as women’s healthcare services, according to a fact sheet compiled by Kellenbenz.

While the nonprofit’s main focus now is almost exclusively on women’s health, Lopez said the facility has recently added referrals for lung cancer screenings.

Though much of the work done at the health center can be done over the phone, having a friendly face for people at the start of a journey through cancer can be critical in making residents feel comfortable and informed about their options.


While the center is closed, residents in need of screening referrals can visit: