Archbishop Wilton Gregory offered the invocation at the Aug. 2 official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the Providence Urgent Care Center located in Northeast Washington at the site of the old Providence Hospital.

“I ask God’s presence on this building, those who are serve here and those who are serve here … especially the elderly, the poor, the neglected,” Archbishop Gregory prayed. He asked God to give “great success to this facility where people come for compassion, comfort, healing and hope.”

The Urgent Care Center opened in early July, but the celebration was held a month later. Prior to offering the invocation, Archbishop Gregory toured the facility and met with many of its physicians, nurses and other staffers.

Providence Hospital was founded by the Daughters of Charity in 1861 and had served patients in Washington for more than 150 years. Ascension, the healthcare organization that owns Providence, announced at the end of 2018 that it would close the main hospital but continue operating medical office.

It closed the hospital, but continued to operate its emergency room until last April. The urgent care center opened July 9. It will serve patients seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.

It is the first urgent care center in the city’s Ward 5. Emily Singer Lucio, a Ward 5 Advisory Neighborhood Commission member, said that many in the Brookland neighborhood depend on the services provided at the hospital, “and that is why this community is so passionate about keeping Providence.”

“We are so pleased to see Providence grow and adapt to the every evolving needs of our neighborhood,” she said.

Dr. Tamarah Duperval-Brownlee, a physician who is president and chief executive officer of Providence Health System, said the urgent care facility opening “is a major milestone in our commitment to serve the people of the District … (with) special attention to those most in need.”

Calling the center “a new and exciting frontier” for Providence, Duperval-Brownlee said the facility was created following a survey of Washington residents that found many in the city do not have a primary care provider who cannot get timely doctor’s appointments.

“We will serve people who want access to health care and who want to be healthy,” she said. “We want to be a superpower providing compassionate health care to this community.”

Dr. William Strudwick, a physician who has served at Providence Hospital and now Providence Urgent Care Center for the past 26 years, said “we are grateful we get the opportunity to continue to serve this community”

“This will be the very best urgent care (center) in the city, I promise you,” he said.

A statement from Ascension Health’s website said the new urgent care center “will provide treatment for a wide range of common, non-emergency illnesses. These services range from treating those suffering from the flu, strep throat, or asthma, to the treatment of sprains, strains, and broken bones, along with offering vaccinations, radiology and other lab services.”

Dr. Duperval-Brownlee said that in the first three weeks the Providence Urgent Care Center has been opened, the staff has treated about 350 patients. She added that the center will be able to attend to as many as 50 patients a day.

“This center with its incredible staff is here at the right place at the right time,” she said. “We are acting in the name of Jesus the healer, and we serve with dignity, respect and compassion, just as Jesus would.”