Shore Health breaks ground on new medical facility
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.
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.