BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Following a series of break-ins in less than a month, a clinic in downtown Baltimore is down but not out. Instead, those working at the Eastern Health Center have taken the setbacks in stride and they’re focusing on their mission.
On Friday, the Baltimore City Health Department hosted a special day of appreciation in honor of those who serve the public at the clinic, which handles more than 30,000 patient visits a year.
As WJZ’s Jessica Kartalija reports, detectives do not suspect the burglars got their hands on any of the patients’ personal information.
The clinic, located in the 600 block of North Caroline Street, has been broken into three times in recent weeks, city police spokesman Jeremy Silbert said. In all three burglaries, someone got inside through a window; twice, staff reported property — including computers, televisions, even bus tokens — had been stolen from inside the building.
But you wouldn’t know the clinic has become a target for criminals based on the positive outlook from city health officials.
“We are here to provide services, including education about Zika, education about (sexually transmitted diseases) and HIV prevention, including training about how to stop overdose deaths,” said city health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen. “This is what we do.”
Workers and volunteers could be seen on Friday picking up trash littering the center’s exterior, clearing out weeds and enjoying the weather.
“Our response is that we want to do a day of service,” Dr. Wen said. “A day of service to show our community that we are here to serve them, and a day of appreciation for the community to come join us in beautifying our clinic.”
City police still want to track down those responsible for the rash of break-ins. Anyone with tips is asked to call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.
But though Dr. Wen acknowledged the burglaries have been traumatic for staff, she remained undaunted. “We are not going to stop what we do because of individuals who are hurting us.”