SRH be­gins plan­ning for new hos­pi­tal in Eas­ton

Kent County News - - NEWS - By CHRISTINA ACOSTA ca­costa@ches­pub.com

EAS­TON — Pa­per­work has been filed with the state for a new hos­pi­tal in Eas­ton.

Ken Kozel, pres­i­dent and CEO of Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health, gave an up­date on the new hos­pi­tal Sept. 25 at the Tal­bot County Coun­cil meet­ing.

Shore Health filed a Cer­tifi­cate of Need last month for the hos­pi­tal that will re­place and relocate Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Eas­ton. The ap­pli­ca­tion was filed with the Mary­land Health Care Com­mis­sion on Sept. 7 and is be­ing re­viewed be­fore be­ing dock­eted for for­mal re­view.

“Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health and its pre­de­ces­sors have been serving the peo­ple of this re­gion for more than a cen­tury,” Kozel said. “We are uniquely pre­pared, with our re­gional ac­cess points of care, to pro­vide com­pas­sion­ate, qual­ity and ef­fi­cient health care for our com­mu­nity into the next cen­tury.”

The Mid-Shore cur­rently has a pop­u­la­tion of 175,000 peo­ple that spread out over nearly 2,000 square miles. The Shore Health net­work serves Caro­line, Dorch­ester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Tal­bot coun­ties.

The new med­i­cal cen­ter will fea­ture 135 in­pa­tient beds, all pri­vate rooms, cov­er­ing 334,000 square feet in six floors. The hos­pi­tal will in­clude 26 emer­gency depart­ment treat­ment rooms, 16 ob­ser­va­tion beds, six op­er­at­ing rooms and a car­diac in­ter­ven­tional suite.

A 14-bed acute phys­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ter and 12-bed acute be- hav­ioral health cen­ter are in­cluded in the to­tal bed count. A he­li­pad de­signed for the largest air am­bu­lances will be built ad­ja­cent to the emer­gency depart­ment.

The to­tal project cost is about $350 mil­lion. This will in­clude site de­vel­op­ment, con­struc­tion, equip­ment and re­lo­ca­tion costs.

“We have de­fined the ar­chi­tects as HKS and we will do a fit­ting for the con­struc­tion project when we get the ap­provals for state agen­cies,” Kozel said.

The hos­pi­tal will be built in Eas­ton, just off U.S. Route 50 and Long­woods Road near the Tal­bot County Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, ap­prox­i­mately four miles north of the cur­rent site. It will oc­cupy a part of the nearly 220 acres pur­chased from Tal­bot County by Univer­sity of Mary­land Med­i­cal Sys­tem in 2015.

The Cer­tifi­cate of Need re­view, ap­provals and fi­nan­cials are an­tic­i­pated to take up to 24 months, fol­lowed by fi­nal con­struc­tion and in­fras­truc­ture plan­ning. Ground break­ing is pro­jected for sum­mer of 2021, fol­lowed by a three-year con­struc­tion pe­riod. The new hos­pi­tal is ex­pected to open in the sum­mer of 2024.

Although it is not part of the Cer­tifi­cate of Need ap­pli­ca­tion, UM Shore Re­gional Health also plans to build a med­i­cal of­fice build­ing ad­ja­cent to the new hos­pi­tal. It will be used for med­i­cal spe­cial­ists, a re­gional lab­o­ra­tory, and staff and com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion and training fa­cil­i­ties.

“All com­mu­ni­ties have sup­ported and sent gen­er­ous let­ters of sup­port from com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­di­vid­u­als, cham­ber rep­re­sen­ta­tives. Nearly 60 let­ters of sup­port keep com­ing in and we are very pleased with that,” Patti Willis, se­nior vice pres­i­dent for strat­egy and said.

UM Shore Re­gional Health worked on three other reg­u­la­tory ap­pli­ca­tions, known as Cer­tifi­cates of Ex­emp­tion. This re­gards the con­ver­sion of Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Dorch­ester to a free­stand­ing med­i­cal fa­cil­ity.

The fa­cil­ity will in­clude an emer­gency depart­ment, ob­ser­va­tion beds, di­ag­nos­tic ser­vices and an ad­ja­cent med­i­cal pavil­ion pro­vid­ing ac­cess to spe­cial­ists, out­pa­tient ser­vices and am­bu­la­tory surgery.

The ap­pli­ca­tions in­clude pro­pos­als to relocate the in­pa­tient beds and the be­hav­ioral health in­pa­tient ser­vice from the cur­rent hos­pi­tal to the ex­ist­ing Eas­ton hos­pi­tal. The ren­o­va­tions could hap­pen as early as spring 2021. Those same in­pa­tient beds are part of the to­tal that will move to the new Shore Med­i­cal Cen­ter at Eas­ton in 2024.

While the Cer­tifi­cate of Need re­view process is un­der­way at the state level, UM SRH will con­vene a special work group to im­ple­ment a cam­pus re­de­vel­op­ment plan­ning process for the ex­ist­ing Washington Street hos­pi­tal site.

“Thank you not just for your pre­sen­ta­tion, but for also try­ing to bal­ance the po­lit­i­cal, busi­ness, com­mu­nity side of it,” said Tal­bot County Coun­cil Vice Pres­i­dent Corey Pack. “I think you have done very well al­ways keep­ing in fo­cus of the fore­front, and of what the mis­sion of Shore Health is to pro­vide, in­clud­ing qual­ity med­i­cal ser­vices to the com­mu­nity. Hope­fully we move for­ward this year and get some­thing back.” com­mu­ni­ca­tions,

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

This ar­chi­tec­tural ren­der­ing shows the ex­te­rior of a pro­posed Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health-owned hos­pi­tal in Eas­ton. Ac­cord­ing to UM Shore Re­gional Health lead­er­ship, the hos­pi­tal could be open by 2024.

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