Israel Baptist Church, Unity Health Care partner to bring health, community services to Ward 5

MLS Community Life Center

Washington, DC — On June 4th, Israel Manor, Inc. and Unity Health Care are celebrating the grand opening of the Rev. Dr. Morris L. Shearin, Sr. Community Life Center (“MLS Community Life Center”). Confirmed speakers at the grand opening include District of Columbia Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie and DC Department of Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt.   

The MLS Community Life Center is the realization of the vision of the Pastor, Rev. Dr. Morris L. Shearin, Sr., to fulfill Israel Baptist Church’s mission to “reclaim the least, the last, and the lost” by expanding its community outreach efforts. Funded in part by the Department of Housing and Community Development, the MLS Community Life Center will include space for education, recreation, event space, and health services provided by Unity Health Care at the new Brentwood Health Center. At full capacity, the new Brentwood Health Center will serve over 10,000 patients annually. The construction of the health center was made possible through a $2.9 million grant from the DC Department of Health administered by the DC Primary Care Association (DCPCA) as part of DCPCA’s Medical Homes DC Initiative.

“Unity Health is proud of this partnership with Israel Baptist Church and through it, we will be able of offer our patients and community comprehensive medical services at a one stop shop”, said Vincent Keane, Unity’s President and CEO. The new Brentwood Health Center will provide adult, family and pediatric medicine, dentistry, OB/GYN, podiatry, and other specialty services and will be open daily. 

In addition to expanded and updated health services, the Capital City Hall of Distinction (The “Hall”), operated by Israel Manor Inc., will be located on the top floor of the facility and will offer access to a multi-purpose venue designed to support an array of managed uses.  Commenting on the occasion, Pastor Shearin states “Realization of the vision for a Community Life Center and our partnership with Unity is a mutual victory for the residents of this community, the ministry and mission of this church, and the citizens of Ward 5 in this great city.  Through this partnership, we hope to be a beacon of hope and empowerment to this community by providing access to much needed services and healing for the mind, body, spirit, and soul.” 

The grand opening is scheduled for Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. on the grounds of Israel Baptist Church located at 1251 Saratoga Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20018. The program will begin at 11:30 a.m.


 About Unity Health Care
Unity Health Care, Inc. is DC’s largest nonprofit health and social services organization.  In 2014, Unity served more than 108,000 individuals and families in all eight wards of the District through its network of more than 25 traditional and non-tradition health care service sites.  Unity serves the most medically vulnerable DC residents – including the uninsured, working poor, homeless, and the formerly incarcerated.  

About Israel Baptist Church 
The Israel Baptist Church provides a place for Christian worship that embodies compassion and community partnering.  It is a place flourishing with
activity that celebrates the strength of family and the advantages of social and restorative justice in the community.  The Church has been a pillar in the Brookland-Edgewood-Brentwood communities since 1984. Pastor Morris L. Shearin, Sr. has led the church for 27+ years with a mission statement that declares:  Israel Baptist Church (IBC) is called to be a witness for Jesus Christ in the District of Columbia and the world: reclaiming the least, the last and the lost and raising up a people made whole in Christ Jesus. 

About Israel Manor Inc.
Israel Manor Inc. (IMI) is the faith-based, non-profit development arm of Israel Baptist Church (IBC).  Incorporated in 1996 to expand the mission of IBC, IMI guides and administers the Church’s community development projects and programs intended to provide education, social services and affordable housing to build thriving, healthy, and stable communities in the District of Columbia with a particular focus on Ward 5 and its neighboring communities. 

About DC Primary Care Association
Founded in 1996, the DC Primary Care Association (DCPCA) is a non-profit health equity and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health of all DC residents by ensuring access to high quality primary health care–regardless of an ability to pay. DCPCA works to create healthier communities through advocacy and the development of the infrastructure to support a high quality, equitable, integrated health care system that gives every DC resident a fair shot at a full and healthy life. Our membership includes 15 community health centers and other community-based organizations, with nearly 60 health care delivery sites that serve approximately 200,000 District and suburban Maryland residents each year. For more information, visit

About DC Department of Health
The mission of the District of Columbia Department of Health is to promote and protect the health, safety, and quality of life of residents, visitors, and those doing business in DC.  DOH’s responsibilities include identifying health risks; educating the public; preventing and controlling diseases, injuries, and exposure to environmental hazards; promoting effective community collaborations; and optimizing equitable access to community resources.

About DC Department of Housing and Community Development
The mission of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is to create and preserve opportunities for affordable housing and economic development and to revitalize underserved communities in the District of Columbia.


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