SRH begins planning for new hospital in Easton
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,
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.