Building and Strengthening Neighborhoods and People

Sponsor Spotlight: Seawall Development Company

The GHCC Blog Team recently checked in with Thibault Manekin of Seawall Development Company to talk about the importance of community-driven development and how Seawall is making Baltimore a Strong City. 

Tell us a bit about Seawall Development… Seawall uses the built environment to make neighborhoods better places. We do that by breathing a new life back in to abandoned old historic and industrial buildings. We then take the finished product and fill it with the people who in their everyday lives are out there making our cities better places.

Seawall has been instrumental in the redevelopment of Remington, and GHCC has been proud to be your partner in this work, can you explain your approach to community-minded development? It’s all about listening. None of these projects are our idea. We pride ourselves on developing projects from the inside out, where the end user is actually dreaming up their own space.

Miller's Court was one of Sewall's first Remington projects and now houses low-cost living options for teachers, Charmington's Cafe,  and a variety of nonprofits including Wide Angle Youth Media.

Miller’s Court was one of Sewall’s first Remington projects and now houses low-cost living options for teachers, Charmington’s Cafe, and a variety of nonprofits including Wide Angle Youth Media.

Tell us about some of your upcoming or current projects. We are really busy in Remington with our Remington Row project. We are also really excited about some charter schools we are helping to build and the Parkway Theatre project in Station North.

Why did Seawall choose to sponsor the 2015 Neighborhood Institute? We love GHCC and the great work they do in this part of Baltimore and are honored to be a partner in anything they are doing.

As you may know, GHCC is changing our name to ‘Strong City Baltimore’… tell us what you think makes Baltimore a Strong City. Baltimore is strong because of the passionate people that make up this great city and their never give up attitude.

Many, many thanks to Thibault and the whole Seawall team for sponsoring the 2015 Neighborhood Institute at the Baltimore Design School back in April. If you would like to sponsor a Strong City Baltimore event, please contact Emma Simpson at or 410-261-3507.

Sponsor Spotlight: Pessin Katz Law

The GHCC blog team recently checked in with Pessin Katz Law (PK Law) about giving back to the community and the 29th Street Community Center. 

Can you please tell us a bit about PK Law?

Pessin Katz Law, P.A. (PK Law) is the tenth largest law firm in the Baltimore area and has been serving clients for over twenty-five years.  The firm has offices in Towson, Columbia, and Bel Air and is comprised of over 60 lawyers, paralegals and law clerks, whose practices span the legal field. Practice areas include corporate and business law, real estate, education law, estate planning, elder law, labor and employment, litigation, insurance law and medical malpractice defense.

Why did you choose to sponsor the 1st Annual Oktoberfest Fundraiser for the 29th Street Community Center?

Adam Konstas was the driving force behind PK Law’s decision to sponsor. Adam is an associate at the firm and got involved with the 29th Street Community Center through his involvement in Baltimore Volunteer Maryland’s GIVE Program.

PK Law's Adam Konstas (right) and another BVM GIVE team member.

PK Law’s Adam Konstas (right) and Exelon’s Brian Bauder (left) both participated in the 2014 BVM GIVE Program to support GHCC’s 29th St Community Center.

PK Law is proud of its community involvement.  As a firm, PK Law participates in quarterly community involvement activities. PK Law attorneys are encouraged to serve on boards and committees, and volunteer their knowledge to help nonprofit organizations, religious groups, recreational teams and civic groups.

Even though your firm is located in the county, why is supporting efforts in Baltimore City important to PK Law?

The firm certainly considers Baltimore City part of its local community and is happy to give back there.  Many of the firm’s clients are in the city, a lot of the firm’s legal work is done in the city, many of the organizations the firm supports help those in the city and many of its attorneys live in the city.

Many thanks to PK Law and BVM’s GIVE Program for their support of GHCC’s 29th Street Community Center! 

If you or your business would like to sponsor a GHCC  signature event, please contact Emma Simpson at or 410-261-3507. 

Sponsor Spotlight: MedStar Union Memorial Hospital


The GHCC Blog Team caught up with MedStar Union Memorial Hospital to talk about community health, the 29th Street Community Center, and hand and heart care. 

You happen to be neighbors with GHCC – our main office is located just across the street from Union Memorial – can you tell us a bit about MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s philosophy towards community engagement?

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital recently celebrated our 160th anniversary in service to our community. Through the years, we have cared for generations of families in the neighborhoods surrounding the hospital and, as a healthcare provider, one of our roles is to be actively involved in our communities, providing information and expertise. We are involved in a number of neighborhood programs to actively support our communities.

What do you enjoy most about working in the Greater Homewood area?

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital has a long history in this community and we take our role as a healthcare community resource very seriously. Helping neighbors with health screenings, attending health fairs, creating events that provide education and expertise, and supporting community events are just some of the outreach efforts we participate in to help keep our communities and its residents healthy.

Why did MedStar Union Memorial choose to sponsor the 1st Annual Oktoberfest to support GHCC’s 29th Street Community Center?

MedStar Union Memorial established a relationship with the 29th Street Community Center and is proud to support its efforts on behalf of families in North Central Baltimore.

Can you tell us a little more about the history of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and what you are best know for?

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a regional specialty and teaching hospital that has been a member of this community since 1923. It is known nationally for The Curtis National Hand Center, cardiac care and orthopaedics, and developed the first hospital-based sports medicine program in the nation. The hospital offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services, including a diabetes and endocrine center, general surgery, oncology, thoracic surgery, and vascular surgery.

The MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s number one heart program, have recently announced that they are now working together to develop and share treatments, therapies, and clinical research opportunities to benefit all patients who reach out to us for heart care.


Sponsor Spotlight: Miss Shirley’s Cafe

miss shirley'sNoted for beautiful presentation, exceptional service, and award-winning dishes, Miss Shirley’s Café has grown into a Baltimore landmark sought out by both locals and visitors alike. 

Tell us about your company and the restaurants you operate?

Our company, Miss Shirley’s Management Company, owns and operates three Miss Shirley’s Café locations: in Roland Park, Inner Harbor and Annapolis. Miss Shirley’s Cafe offers our guests a unique award winning culinary experience for breakfast, brunch and lunch.  Our specialties are rooted in Southern fundamentals and the abundance of fresh ingredients from the Chesapeake Bay region.  We pride ourselves in beautifully presented plates, prompt and professional service, as well as clean, comfortable and well-maintained premises for our guests.

Established in 2005 by restaurateur and Baltimore native Eddie Dopkin, Miss Shirley’s Café was created as a tribute to an inspirational employee and personal friend, Miss Shirley McDowell. McDowell, a food professional at The Classic Catering People, was known for her sassy charm and sheer joy of preparing dishes for those she loved. Corporate Executive Chef Brigitte Bledsoe has crafted a bold menu that reflects both McDowell’s southern flare and Bledsoe’s love of fresh Maryland ingredients.

We will be celebrating our 10-year anniversary in May of 2015, and we couldn’t be more excited to share this occasion with our loyal guests, friends and colleagues.

You have been a Roland Park landmark for a long time, what do you love about being in that neighborhood?

We love the small town community feel that the Roland Park neighborhood exudes, while still being in Baltimore city. It is a warm welcoming, family friendly neighborhood, and that is exactly what Miss Shirley’s is all about. The Dopkin family has lived in or close by, and built businesses in the area for years.

We take pride in helping to beautify the neighborhood, by regularly planting flowers and hanging baskets along Cold Spring Lane, picking up trash off of the street and sidewalk, decorating the block for the holidays with pumpkins & hay stacks in the Fall, and holiday wreaths & decorations in the winter, as well as maintaining not only our premises but helping others to do the same.

What inspired you to sponsor this year’s neighborhood institute?

We are inspired to sponsor this year’s neighborhood institute, because we love our city and we value the importance of the GHCC’s mission to improve and strengthen Baltimore City neighborhoods. It is essential that we support each other in this effort; if our urban communities thrive so do the business districts.

As a business owner, how do you stay involved in the community?

Miss Shirley’s Café stays involved with the community in many ways!  We support dozens of local charities and foundations, including The Roland Park Community Foundation, Roland Park Baseball, Roland Park Library, Roland Park Fire Station, Church fundraisers, Gilman Bull Roast, Baltimore Child Abuse Center, FARE Allergy Walk & Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Loyola University, Maryland SPCA, American Cancer Society, American Heart Society, Maryland Library Association, Centerstage, Keswick Foundation, as well as many more!

In addition, we organized a clean up of Stony Run Park with our staff, we have five Sponsor A Highway signs in the area, and we plant the flowers along Cold Spring Lane year round.

What is your favorite thing to order for brunch?

That’s a hard question, since my favorite meal is brunch!  However my absolute favorite brunch item on Miss Shirley’s menu is the Crab Cake & Fried Green Tomato Eggs Benedict!  Two perfectly poached eggs, mini jumbo lump crab cakes on fried green tomatoes, roasted corn & grape tomato relish with asparagus & Old Bay hollandaise – It doesn’t get any better than that for a true Southern style Maryland brunch!

Miss Shirley

Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Sponsor Spotlight: Evergreen Health Center


Evergreen Health Care is a non-profit that operates a number of health centers in he Baltimore area. Dr. Manisha Sharma, who shared Evergreen’s story with us, is the Medical director and a practicing physician at their Rotunda location. 

Just to get started, tell us a bit about yourself personally?t

I am a  family medicine physician and Medical Director at Evergreen Health Care, a network of non-profit health care centers that exist as part of a progressive health reform effort spearheaded by Dr. Peter Beilenson, former Baltimore City Health Commissioner and now CEO of Evergreen Health Co-op, our affiliate insurance company. I am new to Maryland, coming from New York City but now currently living in Baltimore City and loving it!

I am motivated by treating every person or family that I encounter with dignity, respect, the utmost compassion, and individualized attention. I’ve been a patient myself, and I know what it is like to be overwhelmed by an incredibly complicated system and up against insurance companies and bureaucracy!  Now, as Medical Director of our four health centers and as a practicing Physician at our Rotunda location (733 W. 40th St) I feel proud that we are raising the standards of care for Marylanders by providing comprehensive medical care that pays attention to health of individual people and their families but also the health of our community, as health is not only about the absence of disease, but it is about where people, live, work, and play.

Evergreen health centers offer a new kind of health care;  can you tell us a little bit about what you do and what makes Evergreen  different?

We give patients access to a multidisciplinary healthcare team, which includes a medical assistant, a health coach (who is a social worker), a care coordinator (who is a nurse) and a provider (a medical doctor or Nurse Practitioner).  One of the big differences is that we “flip the script” in terms of how a visit works. We don’t make our patients wait longer than five minutes, and patients get up to an hour with their healthcare team at each visit.  This allows for us to really address what matters to you and your health.


Additionally, we are a comprehensive and family centered primary care center meaning that we can see everyone in your family from age 0 up; we do the full gamut of care, including women’s health, family planning, prenatal care, HIV primary care, LGBTQ primary care, chronic disease management, and more. And if you need a specialist, we have an excellent care coordinator who can take care of the “hassle” to get an appointment for you.

Obviously there is a lot of conversation and confusion around the Affordable Care Act, how does Evergreen work with ACA, can I get my ACA care at your clinic?

The Evergreen Health Co-op was “borne” out of Section 1322 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The Co-op is about getting people covered;  whereas the Evergreen Health Care Centers are about improving care.  This responds to the “triple aim” of the ACA to make sure patients have access to health care, have quality health care that matters and improves patients’ health, and can help keep costs down for patients and healthcare in general.

What do you think the most important thing for people to know about health care is?

I personally believe that the most important thing is for people to feel that healthcare is their right, not  a privilege.  Everyone should have access to quality care.  It is fundamental.  You can’t have a healthy community if you don’t have healthy people living in it and with healthy surroundings.  We at Evergreen Health Care believe in this and continue to strive and advocate for communities to have healthcare access and health as a right, not a privilege.

Why did Evergreen choose to be a sponsor of Greater Homewood? What does it mean to you to be involved in the community?

Community is the heart of where health is. GHCC finds a way to bring people from the community together and to educate them about resources and notable activity in their backyard, which is directly in line with our mission. Our mission is to be an integral part of the community and the “go-to community health center.”

What do you love about being located at the Rotunda?

I am new to Baltimore, so I love the history of the Rotunda and surrounding area. It is fascinating to watch the renovation of the Rotunda and to know that we are “anchors” amidst a great deal of growth for the neighborhood!

Our doors are open M-W-F from 7am – 3pm and Tues/Thurs 11am-7pm.  So come on by and visit us or call 443-451-4993!