University of Maryland Shore Regional Health (UM SRH) filed a Certificate of Need application this 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 September 7 and is being reviewed for completeness before being docketed for formal review.
The new medical center is designed to have 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 state of the art cardiac interventional suite. A 14 bed acute physical rehabilitation center and 12 bed acute behavioral health center are included in the total bed count. A state of the art ground level helipad, designed for the largest air ambulances, will be built adjacent to the emergency department.
“When it opens, this new hospital will be the capstone of many years of planning that has gone on while health care has changed dramatically,” says Kenneth D. Kozel, president and CEO, UM SRH. “With the new regional medical center in Easton, our vision for a regional coordinated network of facilities and services will be further realized.”
“This new hospital, along with our comprehensive array of facilities, services and skillful medical professionals throughout the five county region, form the most important health care infrastructure in this rural region,” Kozel adds. “University of Maryland Shore Regional Health and its predecessors have been serving the people of this region for more than a century,” he says. “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 total project cost– including site development, construction, equipment, and relocation costs– is approximately $350 million. The hospital will be built in Easton, just off US Route 50 and Longwoods Road near the Community Center, approximately 4 miles north of the current site. It will occupy a part of the nearly 220 acres of land purchased from Talbot County by University of Maryland Medical System in 2015.
CON 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 36 month construction period. The new hospital could 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 for medical specialists, a regional laboratory, and staff and community education and training facilities.
“While we still have many months of ongoing efforts to reach this long-awaited milestone, this month’s Certificate of Need application is a significant step forward and we are celebrating its accomplishment,” Kozel remarks. “We are grateful for the tremendous support of the University of Maryland Medical System, its CEO, Robert Chrencik, and the Boards of UMMS and UM SRH as we work together toward achievement of our shared vision,” Kozel continues. “Our physicians, team members, volunteers, elected officials and community partners have helped bring us to this exciting day.”
UM Shore Regional Health had a busy summer with three other regulatory applications, known as Certificates of Exemption, regarding the conversion of Shore Medical Center at Dorchester to a freestanding medical facility, to include a state of the art emergency department, observation beds, diagnostic services and an adjacent medical pavilion providing convenient 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, with very minor renovations, possibly as early as spring, 2021, when the freestanding medical facility campus is complete. 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.