Shore Health breaks ground on new med­i­cal fa­cil­ity

Times-Record - - Front Page - By ABBY AN­DREWS aan­drews@car­o­line­times­record.com

DEN­TON — Ground was of­fi­cially bro­ken Thurs­day, Feb. 9, at the site of what will soon be the Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Med­i­cal Pavil­ion at Den­ton.

Sched­uled to open in about 18 months, the new 50,000-square foot, twos­tory med­i­cal fa­cil­ity, at the cor­ner of state Route 404 and Deep Shore Road, will bring to­gether ex­ist­ing UM Shore Re­gional Health ser­vices housed in mul­ti­ple smaller build­ings through­out Den­ton, and of­fer new ser­vices not cur­rently avail­able.

Among those ser­vices will be pri­mary and spe­cialty care, di­ag­nos­tic test­ing, lab and imag­ing ser­vices, telemedicine and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ser­vices.

The new fa­cil­ity builds on a com­mit­ment made by UM Shore Re­gional Health to in­crease and im­prove health care ac­cess in Caroline County when it signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with the county com­mis­sion­ers nearly four years ago, said UM Shore Re­gional Health Pres­i­dent and CEO Ken Kozel.

“This is such a spe­cial day,” Kozel said. “When I think back on the progress

we’ve made, there’s a strong sense of pride in our ac­com­plish­ments, but there’s a lot more to do.”

Kozel said the first step taken af­ter the sign­ing of the MOU was the open­ing of the county’s first con­ve­nient care cen­ter, in Den­ton in Oc­to­ber 2013. The cen­ter saw so many pa­tients, it trig­gered UM Shore Re­gional Health to part­ner with ChoiceOne and re­place the con­ve­nient care cen­ter with the county’s first ur­gent care cen­ter, which opened in May 2016.

Kozel said the ur­gent care cen­ter has seen an av­er­age of 34 pa­tients a day since it opened less than a year ago, pa­tients who oth­er­wise would have gone to an emer­gency depart­ment or, worse, stayed home and suf­fered in­stead of seek­ing treat­ment.

The new med­i­cal fa­cil­ity will pro­vide more op­tions for out­pa­tient care within the com­mu­nity, Kozel said.

“I thank every­one here for help­ing us get through the process, for cre­at­ing and see­ing through this vi­sion,” Kozel said.

UM Shore Re­gional Health Board of Di­rec­tors Chair John Dil­lon said the fa­cil­ity will be a big step to­ward more pa­tient-cen­tered care.

“This is the fu­ture of health care,” Dil­lon said. “Com­mu­ni­ty­based ser­vices, of high qual­ity, at the time they are needed.”

Dr. Kim Her­man, a UM Shore Re­gional Health pri­mary care physi­cian whose Den­ton prac­tice will move into the new fa­cil­ity when it opens next year, said it gave her great pride to stand on the site Thurs­day.

“This state-of-the-ar t pavil­ion will al­low us to pro­vide many ser­vices in a con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion,” Her­man said.

Her­man said bring­ing every­thing to­gether in one place will re­lieve lo­gis­ti­cal bur­dens for pa­tients, who of­ten have trou­ble ar­rang­ing trans­porta­tion to sev­eral of­fices for dif­fer­ent ser­vices, and en­hance col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween pri­mary care physi­cians and spe­cial­ists, im­prov­ing care.

Elected of­fi­cials from Den­ton and Caroline County ex­pressed their ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the new fa­cil­ity, and what it will mean to res­i­dents.

“I can feel the en­thu­si­asm in this room,” said Den­ton Mayor Abi­gail McNinch. “Thank you for mak­ing this im­por­tant and won­der­ful in­vest­ment in our com­mu­nity, that will take health care to the next level.”

Caroline County Com­mis­sion Vice Pres­i­dent Larry Porter first ac­knowl­edged his fel­low com­mis­sion­ers, Dan Franklin and Wil­bur Le­ven­good; county staff, specif­i­cally County Ad­min­is­tra­tor Ken Decker and Chief of Staff Sara Vis­in­tainer; and UM Shore Re­gional Health Board of Di­rec­tors mem­bers Wayne Howard and Keith McMa­han, rep­re­sent­ing Caroline County, for all of their work.

“Every­thing we do is geared to­ward mak­ing the county a bet­ter place to live,” Porter said.

Porter said he was grate­ful for every­thing that has come from the MOU, in­clud­ing grant money that has al­lowed the county’s Depart­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices to re­build its am­bu­lance fleet and a part­ner­ship with Com­pass Re­gional Hospice that re­opened the Caroline Hospice Home in Den­ton in 2016.

“We move into the fu­ture with re­newed en­ergy and pur­pose,” Porter said.

PHOTO BY ABBY AN­DREWS

Help­ing to break ground for the new Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Med­i­cal Pavil­ion at Den­ton were, left to right, John Dil­lon, chair­man of the Univer­sity of Mary­land Shore Re­gional Health Board of Di­rec­tors; Ken Kozel, pres­i­dent and CEO of UM Shore Re­gional Health; Dr. Kim Her­man, of Den­ton Pri­mary Care; Robert Frank, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of op­er­a­tions for UM Shore Re­gional Health; Lester Bran­son, Den­ton Town Coun­cil; Den­ton Mayor Abi­gail McNinch; Den­nis Porter, Den­ton Town Coun­cil; Caroline County Com­mis­sion Vice Pres­i­dent Larry Porter; Caroline County Com­mis­sioner Wil­bur Le­ven­good; and Caroline County Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Dan Franklin.

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