Exhibit: Women Who Dared
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Marla Oros
Community Health Care Activist

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What Else She Said

Open Gates is near and dear to my heart. It's the first clinical practice that the School of Nursing developed and it grew out of work that faculty have been doing for years and years in the Pigtown-Washington community of South West, Baltimore literally less than a mile from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. The community is very socio-economically depressed and the health care access particularly at the time, 8 1/2 years [ago], when the clinic was developed, was not very available. There were no physicians directly in the community except for a very large, busy practice that served primarily seniors; and although the University of Maryland Medical Center system was less than a mile, the Martin Luther King big thoroughfare was like the Mississippi River for the families that lived in South West Baltimore who needed to tow baby carriages and so forth, so they weren't going.

Women and children in addition to the homeless folks that we had been serving through a Band-Aid clinic that students had been operating in concert with Paul's Place, a soup kitchen in the neighborhood, began to access the services of the nursing students because they knew they were there. And it became apparent that there really was a health care need, so the school got together with residents of the community and some board members of Paul's Place to form a new non-profit organization called Open Gates Inc. (which I now Chair), to start the clinic.

And the School of Nursing was able to obtain federal funding to operate the clinic, and then the Mittendorf Foundation provided $250,000 capital grant to purchase two row houses on Washington Boulevard, to equip them with a clinic, and we've been in business ever since. And we've grown and grown and grown and we've grown to the point where we are bursting at the seams.

We just completed a successful $2 million capitol campaign and are under construction for a brand new Open Gates facility which will be located just a block from our current facility and it's scheduled to open in the Spring [2003] and so I'm really proud of that. I'm really proud of the community participation and the faculty and the staff that were involved in that, [and] certainly my board that I've had the privilege of working with.

How to Cite This Page
For a bibliography: Jewish Women's Archive. "Jewish Women's Archive - Women Who Dared - Marla Oros on IMPACT ON WORLD." <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/fullAnswer.jsp>.

For a footnote: Jewish Women's Archive, "Jewish Women's Archive - Women Who Dared - Marla Oros on IMPACT ON WORLD," <http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/jsp/fullAnswer.jsp>.