Glen Burnie center closes for repairs DTC New roof, heater to be installed GLEN BURNIE

October 07, 1992|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

Out with the institutional yellows, in with the rose and teal. Out with the mismatched furniture, in with the built-ins.

And the nursing staff at the Glen Burnie Health Center will be replaced by construction workers, as the 40-year-old community health building undergoes a much-needed renovation.

The center will close its A Street doors Oct. 16 so workers can gut the ailing building and turn it into a modern health clinic.

The health center will reopen in temporary quarters on the second floor of the county Department of Utilities building, 7409 Baltimore and Annapolis Blvd., on Oct. 20, said Maureen O'Brien, nurse manager of the health center. It will operate there at least until March, when the building -- where generations of Glen Burnie youngsters have been immunized -- reopens with a new roof and heating system.

Ms. O'Brien said the clinic has mailed notices about its move to patients. The Women, Infants and Children food program, which has its busiest office in the county there, serves about 700 women and families a month and has been giving maps to clients, said WIC coordinator Ellen Hisamoto. A computer printout banner hangs at the reception area announcing the temporary move.

"Their parents have come, the grandparents have taken the parents here," said Ms. O'Brien. "Yes, I think it will be difficult to some people."

The health center serves hundreds of people a year on a sliding-fee scale, clients who are not poor enough to receive federal Medicaid benefits but lack health insurance. This year, Ms. O'Brien estimated, it has provided care to 700 youngsters, family-planning services to 600 couples, and home prenatal and young-child visits by community health nurses to more than 200 more families. More than 1,000 children received immunizations there before they could start school in September.

For the next two weeks, the health center will drop a family-planning clinic and a well-child clinic to give nurses time to pack and settle into their new quarters, Ms. O'Brien said. Then the regular schedule of clinic time will resume.

Hours will remain the same: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

While the old building is structurally sound, it shows 40 years of wear, with peeling tan and brown linoleum floors, water-stained ceilings and efforts at making-do.

"The space is not very well utilized. We are going to make it quite different," Ms. O'Brien said. While the building will not be enlarged, more efficient use of the space will make it seem bigger.

Rooms will be changed to create a separate area for vision and hearing tests, nurses' offices will be in one area instead of two, and exam rooms will be against the rear of the building. A closet is being turned into an education center that will house a television, videocassette recorder and tapes.

Glen Burnie Health Care Association Inc., a non-profit organization that owns the building and runs the center, hopes to replace the county's old furniture, said Barbara Turner, association president.

Ms. Turner said the group has planned an art auction for Feb. 26, 1993, with hopes of raising at least as much as the $8,500 it raised in a similar auction last February.

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