BWI Marshall Airport unveiled a new in-house medical center this week that will offer urgent care, first aid, as well as COVID-19 vaccines and tests at the airport.
The FirstCall Medical Center, opening Aug. 26, is located inside Concourse C before security at BWI and will provide emergency and everyday medical services on top of COVID testing and vaccines. The center’s five patient rooms and range of services are open to the general public as well as travelers and airport employees.
Dr. Ron Elfenbein, medical director and owner of FirstCall Medical Center, said plans for the center have been in the works for five years, but the pandemic sped up the process.
“I reached out to the airport and said ’we got to get this moving,’ and they were in agreement. We really did try to light the fire to get this going because we realized the need,” Elfenbein said.
Starting Thursday, any visitors who log on to airport Wi-Fi will receive a notification for medical and COVID resources available at the center. The center is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and offers self-pay options for uninsured patients.
Ricky Smith, executive director/chief executive officer for BWI, said he is excited the center will help provide services for the airport’s thousands of employees and daily passengers.
“The airport is a small city in and of itself,” Smith said.
During the grand opening of the center Tuesday, Gov. Larry Hogan said he hopes the facility will help Maryland maintain its high vaccination rate.
“Having this new urgent care facility inside BWI Marshall sends a powerful message to promote safe and healthy travel for Marylanders and all those visiting our region,” Hogan said in a statement.
Before the center’s official opening, it began serving medical needs for U.S. military members and a few patients, serving more than 30 people between Aug. 23 and 24.
Based on how much demand the airport sees for the center’s services in the coming months, Smith said the airport is looking to expand the currently 1,600 square-foot medical center into a larger-scale facility.
“It’s probably smaller than will be needed down the road,” Smith said.
Gary Gilliard, vice president of Fraport Maryland, the managers in charge of retail projects at BWI, said an expansion would be likely in the next 16 to 18 months.