Kozel, Wil­lis give Shore Re­gional Health up­date

Record Observer - - News - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CEN­TRE­VILLE — The Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers signed the an­nual mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health dur­ing the Tues­day, Aug. 23, meet­ing after they lis­tened to CEO Ken Kozel and Vice Pres­i­dent Patti Wil­lis give an up­date on the health sys­tem.

For the past 18 months, the Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health board mem­bers, physi­cians, man­age­ment, elected of­fi­cials and com­mu­nity mem­bers gave feed­back on how to best de­liver care to pa­tients in the five county re­gion through com­mu­nity lis­ten­ing ses­sions and work­groups. Teams of mainly physi­cians from the five clin­i­cal ser­vice lines — pri­mary care, med­i­cal spe­cial­ties, sur­gi­cal spe­cial­ties, on­col­ogy and be­hav­ioral health — dis­cussed how to de­ploy ser­vices through­out the re­gion.

Some themes iden­ti­fied in the ser­vice de­liv­ery plan, which was ap­proved by the board of Shore Re­gional Health in June, in­clude trans­porta­tion, physi­cian and provider short­ages as well as re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion, telemedicine and tech­nol­ogy, ac­cess to spe­cial­ists, ex­tended ob­ser­va­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties and ex­pan­sion of com­mu­nity out­reach ed­u­ca­tion, screen­ings and sup­port groups, Wil­lis said.

Wil­lis said a pi­lot pro­gram is hap­pen­ing in the Shore Emer­gency Cen­ter at Queen­stown to ex­pand telemedicine ca­pa­bil­i­ties for be­hav­ioral health.

“That’s an ex­am­ple of how telemedicine can sup­port if you have one psy­chi­a­trist in a five­county area who serves your re­gional ser­vices,” Wil­lis said. “It’s a sched­ul­ing is­sue to be able to make that psy­chi­a­trist avail­able through­out the five coun­ties. Telemedicine is one so­lu­tion, and a proven one in other ar­eas.”

Wil­lis said spe­cific strate­gies to ad­dress the needs in the ser­vice de­liv­ery plan are bro­ken out over a five-year win­dow, which the sys­tem’s an­nual op­er­at­ing plan then ad­dresses. One spe­cific, Wil­lis men­tioned, was the Cer­tifi­cate of Need ap­pli­ca­tion as well as a re­place­ment hos­pi­tal in Eas­ton.

Kozel said the sys­tem’s board in June gave ap­proval to up­date its ap­pli­ca­tion on file with the Mary­land Health Care Com­mis­sion to in­clude a re­place­ment hos­pi­tal in Eas­ton to seek ap­proval.

Up­dates to the ap­pli­ca­tion re­gard­ing a re­place­ment hos­pi­tal per­tain to cost, square footage of the fa­cil­ity, the num­ber of beds as well as the types of ser­vices to be pro­vided. Kozel said the only dif­fer­ence to what was on file in its 2012 ap­pli­ca­tion was the in­clu­sion of Per­cu­ta­neous Coronary In­ter­ven­tion, which al­lows the ca­pa­bil­ity to place a stent in a ves­sel in the case of block­age.

Kozel said hav­ing that abil­ity is “crit­i­cal for our fu­ture suc­cess as a health care in­dus­try.” He said it will be a re­gional pro­gram sup­ported through the Eas­ton fa­cil­ity. Kozel said the re­place­ment hos­pi­tal, ex­pected to be in ser­vice in 2022, will not in­clude the trans­fer of beds from the Ch­ester­town or Cam­bridge fa­cil­i­ties. Kozel also said that the 2022 pro­jected com­ple­tion, in line with the six-year ex­ten­sion given to the Ch­ester­town hos­pi­tal, is no co­in­ci­dence.

The re­place­ment hos­pi­tal will only have the in­pa­tient, sur­gi­cal and emer­gency depart­ment ca­pac­ity to cur­rently ab­sorb what is in Eas­ton, Kozel said. “It will not have ad­di­tional beds, ER bays, [op­er­at­ing rooms] to ab­sorb any ad­di­tional ca­pac­ity from Ch­ester­town or Cam­bridge.”

If ex­pan­sion is needed in the fu­ture, he said, the re­place­ment hos­pi­tal site, lo­cated be­tween the Eas­ton Air­port and com­mu­nity cen­ter, has room to ac­com­mo­date the growth. In or­der to do that, though, the sys­tem’s board would first have to give ap­proval and then the state would have to ap­prove a Cer­tifi­cate of Need.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health CEO Ken Kozel, right, and Vice Pres­i­dent Patti Wil­lis, left, give the Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers an up­date on the sys­tem dur­ing the Tues­day, Aug. 23, meet­ing in Cen­tre­ville.

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