University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Opens New $70 Million Outpatient Tower Designed to Radically Simplify the Healthcare Experience for People with Multiple and Complex Health Challenges
Located at medical center's Midtown location, Outpatient Tower will be the home of a premier academic medical team assembled to provide collaborative care under one roof for Marylanders with many health needs
BALTIMORE – For the millions of people with multiple, often related health issues like diabetes, lung, heart or kidney disease, eye problems and other challenges, streamlined care makes a profound difference in their physical and emotional health.
Today, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) at Midtown announced the opening of a new 10-story Outpatient Tower designed to meet the needs of patients with multiple health conditions under one roof. Connecting all the experts involved in their care—including some of the region's leading academic clinicians and social support professionals—the new Outpatient Tower will give back precious time previously spent seeing providers in different, often distant locations.
Such team-based, academic medicine is considered the top echelon of care, hallmarked by medical experts from different specialties who closely collaborate on a patient's care. In turn, this results in more accurate diagnoses and effective treatment plans, grounded in a holistic view of the patient's health and evidence-based interventions.
However, this type of care is often perceived as reserved mainly for the prominent and well-connected, due to the sheer difficulty of assembling a team from multiple specialties and geographic locations. Now, the UMMC Midtown Outpatient Tower makes an academic medical team accessible to all.
"People rightfully want collaborative, streamlined care—and health outcomes are better when they get it. Time to receive the right care is shorter, preventable hospital admissions are reduced, and much more that benefits a person's health. That is why we never paused in our commitment to completing the Outpatient Tower, even during a pandemic," said Alison G. Brown, MPH, BSN, President of UMMC's Midtown Campus.
She added, "In fact, COVID has only underscored why we set out to build the Tower in the first place--to significantly improve the health of Marylanders with underlying conditions and disparities that make them vulnerable to a host of physical and emotional health issues."
The building itself, which will be LEED-certified, is designed to promote the health of patients, employees and the surrounding neighborhood. Built by Clark Construction Group and designed by CRGA Design, the Outpatient Tower features elements such as a roof that will have implanted vegetation; bike racks and showers for employees who bike to work; and sediment ponds that prevent storm water runoff from polluting important waterways like the Baltimore Harbor.
A hub of connected, academic care for interrelated health needs
Even prior to COVID, the number of adults in America with multiple health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, asthma and other conditions was recognized as a major public health crisis. More than 27% of adults in America were diagnosed with two or more such conditions in 2018. The numbers were even higher in Maryland—with almost 30% of adults in the state diagnosed with at least two complex health conditions.
Those burdened with multiple health issues know all too well how hard these conditions are to manage within a patchwork system of specialists working miles or even cities apart. It is also difficult for their providers in disparate sites to regularly collaborate on the best plan of care. The new Outpatient Tower removes these barriers, offering the following specialties and services under one roof:
- Cardiology—Featuring advanced heart specialists; diagnostics including echocardiograms, stress tests; and pacemaker and defibrillator checks.
- Diabetes and Endocrinology—Broad range of treatment for endocrine disorders, diabetes and related comorbidities for adults and children; advanced thyroid program with onsite ultrasound and molecular testing for thyroid nodule evaluation; and the latest diabetes technologies including implantable continuous glucose monitors.
- Gastrointestinal—Comprehensive evaluation and treatment for patients with diseases of the GI tract including inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, colon cancer, ulcers, heartburn, hiatal hernia, gallstones and irritable bowel syndrome.
- Infectious Diseases—HIV care, including special focus areas for older and aging adults, LGBTQ+ populations, and people with substance abuse disorders; HIV prevention, including same day PEP and PrEP starts; Hepatitis care, including Fibroscan for liver disease staging; supportive services such as mental health, substance use, and employment counseling; and housing coordination.
- Ophthalmology—Services from initial eye evaluation to the most sophisticated subspecialty care; and advanced diagnostic imaging.
- Nephrology/Kidney Care—State-of-the-art methodology for slowing the progression of disease; arranging renal replacement therapy including kidney transplantation and home dialysis.
- Pulmonary Disease—A center of advanced health for people with asthma, COPD, bronchitis, pulmonary hypertension and interstitial lung disease. Pulmonologists and other specialists provide pulmonary rehabilitation, lung cancer screenings, help with quitting smoking, advanced diagnostics and testing, and more.
- Sleep Disorders—Treatment for medically-related insomnia or sleep apnea, and opportunities to participate in clinical sleep studies.
- Community Health Education Center—Free screenings for HIV and HEP C, pregnancy, cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and AIC for diabetes screening; lifestyle management programs; healthy cooking classes; flu shots and other vaccinations.
"There are few, if any, healthcare facilities in Maryland that bring together this level of expertise and capabilities for people facing a number of health challenges. We look forward to providing them with a refreshingly streamlined experience at the UMMC Midtown Outpatient Tower," said Bert W. O'Malley, MD, President and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical Center.
About the University of Maryland Medical Center
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is comprised of two hospital campuses in Baltimore: the 800-bed flagship institution of the 13-hospital University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and the 200-bed UMMC Midtown Campus. Both campuses are academic medical centers for training physicians and health professionals and for pursuing research and innovation to improve health. UMMC's downtown campus is a national and regional referral center for trauma, cancer care, neurosciences, advanced cardiovascular care, and women's and children's health, and has one of the largest solid organ transplant programs in the country. All physicians on staff at the downtown campus are clinical faculty physicians of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The UMMC Midtown Campus medical staff is predominately faculty physicians specializing in a wide spectrum of medical and surgical subspecialties, primary care for adults and children and behavioral health. UMMC Midtown has been a teaching hospital for 140 years and is located one mile away from the downtown campus. For more information, visit www.umm.edu.