“It’s really special. There’s really nothing like it in the state or nation.”

So said Maryland Senator Ben Cardin today, at the Grand Opening of the Highlandtown Healthy Living Center, part of the Baltimore Medical System. Suits and scrubs alike mingled at the event, where the U.S. Green Building Council for LEED certification gave its highest award, the platinum certificate, to the HHLC. The Highlandtown Center is the first healthcare facility in Maryland to achieve it. Mayor Rawlings-Blake was present, as well as Rep. Sarbanes and other political leaders. At the core of this new Center is not only the desire to protect our environment, but the belief that surroundings contribute to patient health and that every patient must be treated with respect. The HHLC is, after all, for the patients, as Jay Wolvovsky, President and CEO of BMS, pointed out at the ceremony.

As part of the event, a medical assistant at the HHLC stood up and told the audience about her asthma, and how she no longer has to use her inhaler in the new building. The room exploded with applause.

The HHLC also has a 2nd floor garden terrace, as well as a rain garden out front, which enables rainwater to be absorbed in the ground, rather than running off into the sewers.

Mayor Rawlings-Blake said that she was confident that the HHLC is “going to be an anchor for this community.” We share her enthusiasm, and anticipate the Center’s continuing growth and limitless potential.