The University of Maryland Medical Center’s Midtown Campus plans to break ground at the end of this month on a new ambulatory care center in West Baltimore.

According to officials the $70 million health facility to be built at the corner of Linden Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard will further the medical mission of the Midtown Campus focused on preventative care to some of the city’s most vulnerable communities.

“We are trying to centralize ambulatory services here on this campus,” said Brian Bailey, senior vice president and executive director of the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown Campus.

“The midtown campus is frankly more accessible to this community and this building that we’re putting together will have many of the ambulatory services that will address chronic needs of the community,” he added.

Health disparities and challenges in impoverished communities of color have been widely chronicled and Bailey believes the new addition to the Midtown Campus will provide greater service to West Baltimore residents.

“What is prevalent in our community are diseases such as diabetes, such as HIV, such as infectious disease…pulmonary issues,” Bailey said. “This building is going to house all of those chronic illnesses that are prevalent in our community so they (patients) can come to this center as their medical home, so you don’t have to travel all around the city to see all these specialists…to have those needs met,” he added.

Bailey says the facility, which will be completed in about 22 months will provide at least 100 jobs to community residents.

The new seven-story building will include a garage expansion, which would add 244 parking spaces to accommodate 525 cars. There are also plans for a pedestrian bridge. The ambulatory center will house a metabolic clinic and physician offices in addition to the clinical centers for the various diseases Bailey alluded to.

“We’re here to try to improve the health of the community so that they don’t present themselves in episodic care in our emergency department and then have to get admitted,” Bailey explained.

“The purpose of this building is so they will use this building as a regular touchdown space to come see their specialists to avoid all of those unnecessary emergency room visits or those unnecessary admissions because we want to manage their care on a more concurrent, chronic basis,” he added.