Prince George’s County residents who reside in an area that lacks health care providers and considered a food desert will soon receive an oasis.
Local dignitaries, officials and community leaders attended a grand opening ceremony Tuesday in Temple Hills to celebrate a health and wellness center slated to service at least 5,000 people in its first year of operation.
A 12,000-square-foot building that housed various businesses such as Joe Theismann’s restaurant will now offer dental, legal, health and other social services. The three-acre property, known as the Susan Denison Mona Center, was donated by Vincent P. “Cap” Mona, which is named after his late wife.
“It’s a blessing from the good lord that Sue was endowed with the heart of a mom, a wife and a friend,” said Mona, owner of Mona Electric Group of Clinton. “We have the highest hopes that the beacon will continue shining its light on this community center in helping folks of all ages, of backgrounds … to provide top quality of care that this facility will provide for in this community.”
Mona highlighted “a team” effort to reform the building which more than two years to complete.
The two-story structure will be managed by the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, which receives about 65 percent of its clients from Prince George’s to receive various services at two centers in Northwest and Montgomery County.
The center in Temple Hill will provide legal services in practice areas that include family law, immigration and employment. Volunteers from Catholic Charities will still come out to the parking lot every Tuesday for “Saint Maria’s Meals,” which provides dinners for about 125 low-income families and individuals.
Also on the first floor, Doctor’s Community Hospital of Lanham will offer full-service medical and dental services that includes exams and extractions.
The University of Maryland’s School of Public Health will occupy the second floor to provide nutrition and fitness programs. Fresh produce will grow in a nearby garden for families to take home, as well as use to teach about nutrition.
Stephen B. Thomas, director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Health Equity, said it will take about six months to start the program.
“Because we all came together and because there were visions all around, we’re here,” said County Executive Rushern L. Baker III. “Hope is here.”
For more information on the center, go to https://www.catholiccharitiesdc.org/mona or call 301-615-0950.