Shore Health submits new hospital application
EASTON — University of Maryland Shore Regional Health officially submitted its modified application to the Maryland Health Care Commission for a new hospital in Talbot County to replace the Shore Medical Center at Easton.
The hospital system’s modified certificate of need was submitted to the state on Tuesday, Oct. 11. The original was submitted to the state was in 2012.
According to Shore Regional Health, the modifications to the application reflect “the continuing changes in health care — particularly inpatient services — in Maryland and the nation, where hospital admissions are declining due to advanced technology, the shift of procedures and surgeries to outpatient facilities, and improvements in quality and preventative care that reduce unnecessary admissions through better chronic disease and post-discharged management of care.”
Shore Regional Health’s new hospital is planned for three miles north of Easton between the Talbot County Community Center and the Easton Airport/Newnam Field, west of Longwoods Road.
The new hospital, estimated to cost about $350 million, is planned to house 109 beds — 95 acute and 14 acute rehabilitation — all of which will be in private rooms. There are also plans for 10 observation beds, state of the art patient care units and support services, 28 emergency department treatment rooms and six operating rooms.
The new hospital’s scope of services includes all present Easton services, plus a new PCI program — percutaneous coronary intervention, or heart blockage diagnosis and intervention/stenting.
The history of a new hospital venture began before 2007, when the county council offered to buy 78 acres and donate it to what was then Shore Health System.
Since then it has been an up and down project, with the hospital’s application for a certificate of need facing what the county hoped was only a temporary block in the offices of the Maryland Health Care Commission. The application was under review since originally being submitted.
Shore Regional Health called the existing Easton hospital, at 219 S. Washington St., “antiquated and inefficient in its design, with infrastructure needs, campus space issues and a landlocked location in the Easton neighborhood that grew around it, causing a barrier to access by the public and for emergency vehicles.”
The certificate of need review process by the Maryland Health Care Commission is anticipated to last at least a year.
According to Shore Regional Health, a process will soon begin to consider the best use of the existing hospital site in Easton, once a new hospital opens around 2022, pending necessary approvals, funding, infrastructure and permits. The process will involve members from the town and county councils, local businesses, community partners and neighborhood residents.
“We extend our sincere thanks to the UM Shore Regional Health board, medical staff, volunteers and the entire team at Shore Regional Health, and to the UMMS (University of Maryland Medical System) board and our many colleagues at UMMS for their diligent ongoing support, as well as to our architects and advisors who have worked on getting the project to this momentous day,” said Ken Kozel, CEO of UM Shore Regional Health.
“Our thanks are extended to Talbot County government, the Town of Easton and to neighboring counties, agencies and many community partners for their support,” Kozel added. “Thank you for your unwavering commitment to this important chapter in the life of Shore Regional Health.”