Public officials, health care leaders, community leaders, project partners, and Ward 7 residents joined Sharon Baskerville and Vincent Keane on July 11 at the groundbreaking celebration for the Unity Health Care - Parkside Health Center.
The soon-to-be-constructed health center will be a three-story building, approximately 80,000 square foot, which will include two floors of underground parking. It will be LEED-certified Silver and have a green roof. The new center replaces Unity's Hunt Place Health Center, which is a 13,500 square foot, run-down building with no windows, delivering services to 15,000 patients per year. Officials anticipate that the new facility will have the capacity to schedule more than 50,000 patient visits, representing a major transformation in primary health care for the District.
"This city's been on a tear for health care centers, I've never seen anything like it," said District Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. "Of late, there have been nothing but groundbreakings and ribbon-cuttings for health care facilities; nothing could give me more pleasure. Ever since the stimulus funds came down, and the first lady came to [Unity's Upper] Cardozo, the city has kept going to see to it that everybody has a medical home. And Parkside was not to be overlooked!"
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray remarked that the new development probably has the greatest potential of any tract of land in the District of Columbia.
"This [facility] is going to be a wonderful addition to health care. "We have done the right thing with Tobacco Settlement dollars," Gray said. "We have invested all of our dollars in the District of Columbia in health care purposes, and that is why we're going to have this [Parkside] clinic here." "This is a dream come true."