Shore Healths un­veils med­i­cal cam­pus con­cept

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health met with Dorch­ester County res­i­dents Wed­nes­day, May 31, and out­lined a plan to move the health care provider from Dorch­ester Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal to a new med­i­cal cam­pus along U.S. Route 50.

The plan is in the early stages, and noth­ing has been fi­nal­ized, but Shore Re­gional Health CEO Ken Kozel be­lieves the move would bring more valu­able and en­hanced med­i­cal care to Dorch­ester County.

The pro­posed med­i­cal cam­pus would in­clude

a 20,000- to 30,000-square-foot emer­gency cen­ter, des­ig­nated as a Free­stand­ing Med­i­cal Fa­cil­ity, and a two-story, 50,000-square-foot med­i­cal pavil­ion. The med­i­cal cam­pus would be at Cam­bridge Mar­ket­place, the site of the for­mer Kmart, a lo­ca­tion hold­ing a ground­break­ing next week for re­vi­tal­iza­tion and new busi­nesses.

Cur­rently, the emer­gency room at Dorch­ester Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal ser ves about 20,000 pa­tients an­nu­ally with an av­er­age of about 20 in­pa­tients a day. The new emer­gency de­part­ment would con­tinue pro­vid­ing 24-hour-a-day care, but would have 18 big­ger pa­tient rooms, doors for pri­vacy and bet­ter tech­nol­ogy.

Kozel said the new emer­gency de­part­ment would pro­vide bet­ter com­fort for pa­tients with a new des­ig­na­tion.

“The state has des­ig­nated a new cat­e­gory of health care, the Free­stand­ing Med­i­cal Fa­cil­ity,” he said. “Our emer­gency de­part­ment would earn that des­ig­na­tion. Dif­fer­ence is pa­tients would be able to stay in ob­ser­va­tion beds right on the cam­pus for up to 48 hours.

“That ben­e­fits the pa­tient,” he said. “That ben­e­fits the hos­pi­tal by not us­ing a bed un­nec­es­sar­ily. It lets the pa­tient stay lo­cal un­til a de­ci­sion is made whether they can be dis­charged or have to re­ceive ad­di­tional med­i­cal care.”

The sec­ond build­ing, the med­i­cal of­fice pavil­ion, would be home to out­pa­tient ser­vices and spe­cial­ists, in­clud­ing imag­ing, x-ray, lab­o­ra­tory, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, di­ag­nos­tic and an am­bu­la­tory surgery cen­ter.

The new med­i­cal pavil­ion build­ing also would in­clude the bal­ance cen­ter, car­dio-pul­monary re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ter, or­tho­pe­dics, di­a­betes, gy­ne­col­ogy and more.

“To­day’s health care and the fu­ture is not about vol­ume but about the value of med­i­cal care,” Kozel said. “This new fa­cil­ity would al­low us to pro­vide bet­ter, high-qual­ity care.”

Kozel said the big fea­ture would be telemedicine, which would al­low doc­tors and pa­tients to have ex­am­i­na­tions with doc­tors and spe­cial­ists in Bal­ti­more from Cam­bridge.

“At 3 a.m., your baby is sick and comes to the emer­gency de­part­ment,” he said. “If the child needs ad­di­tional ex­am­i­na­tion, we can con­nect with doc­tors and spe­cial­ists in Bal­ti­more for ad­vice and in­sight. That could save the child a trip to Bal­ti­more or save from be­ing ad­mit­ted to the hos­pi­tal. It keeps the fam­ily lo­cal.”

Kozel said re­plac­ing the ag­ing Dorch­ester Gen­eral struc­ture would help save Shore Health money. He said a re­cent study de­ter­mined main­te­nance costs for the Dorch­ester Gen­eral would be $37 mil­lion over the next five years.

Also, he said mov­ing to Cam­bridge Mar­ket­place would ac­com­plish three other goals.

“The first goal it ac­com­plishes is it helps re­vi­tal­ize a va­cated shop­ping cen­ter,” he said. “The sec­ond, it pro­vides us with a lo­ca­tion that is highly vis­i­ble on U.S. Route 50 and it is very ac­ces­si­ble to pub­lic and pri­vate trans­porta­tion, which was a key goal to us. The third, it al­lows for the de­vel­op­ment for the water­front prop­erty for Cam­bridge and Dorch­ester County.

“In this ex­am­ple, by free­ing up the water­front prop­erty, that al­lows for re­de­vel­op­ment for the city and county,” he said. “That al­lows for new busi­nesses, ex­pan­sion and jobs, which al­ways help the com­mu­nity and the health providers.

“It is all about part­ner­ships,” he said. “What is crit­i­cal th­ese days is that hos­pi­tals and com­mu­ni­ties and all of the providers within the com­mu­nity form strong part­ner­ships to ul­ti­mately pro­vide care for the area we serve. We are re­ally grate­ful for the city and county elected of­fi­cials for their sup­port, and our great physi­cians who have been with Shore Health and sup­port this con­cept to the state.”

Kozel said Dorch­ester County Health Of­fi­cer Roger Har­rell, Sen. Ad­die Eckardt, R-37-MidShore, and the Dorch­ester County Cham­ber of Com­merce have been strong ad­vo­cates for the pro­posed plan.

Shore Health has two more pub­lic ses­sions sched­uled on the re-lo­ca­tion plan. The next will be in Vi­enna from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thurs­day, June 8, at the E.A. Mur­phy Com­mu­nity Build­ing, 104 Race Street. The last meet­ing will be in Madi­son from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thurs­day, June 15, at the Madi­son Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment, 1154 Tay­lor’s Is­land Road.

“We have th­ese pub­lic ses­sions to get feed­back from the com­mu­nity,” Kozel said. “Then, we would of­fi­cially present the de­sign and con­cept to the state process.

“Goal would be to get state ap­proval within two years,” he said. “Con­struc­tion would be around 2020, and it would take be­tween 18 months and two years to build.”

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

This artist ren­di­tion shows a Shore Re­gional Health pro­posed med­i­cal pavil­ion at the fu­ture Cam­bridge Mar­ket­place along U.S. Route 50 in Cam­bridge.

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