FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 17, 2009
Contact: Joan Shnipper, University of Maryland Medical System
Patti Willis, Shore Health System
Rose G. Spik, Office of the QA County Administrator
Queen Anne’s County to celebrate August 17th groundbreaking for new emergency care center
Residents of nearly every Maryland county have access to emergency medical care within their own borders, but residents of Queen Anne’s County have always had to travel out of county to access emergency departments at hospitals in Easton, Chestertown or Annapolis. That situation will soon change as the University of Maryland Medical System, joined by Governor Martin O’Malley, First District Congressman Frank Kratovil and other elected officials, breaks ground on the Queen Anne’s Emergency Care Center on Monday, August 17 at 11 a.m.
The Queen Anne’s Emergency Care Center, to be located on U.S. Route 50 at Nesbit Road in Grasonville, is expected to be ready to accept its first emergency cases in 2010. Unlike most emergency centers, this facility will be freestanding, meaning it will not physically be part of a hospital. There are two freestanding emergency care facilities in the state already, in Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties, but this will be the first freestanding emergency facility in a rural area.
Queen Anne’s County is one of only two counties in the state without a hospital or emergency room within its borders (the other is Caroline County), and county residents have long sought better access to emergency care. Legislation enabling the development of the emergency care facility, sponsored by Eastern Shore Senator E. J. Pipkin, passed during the 2007 legislative session. In 2008, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and its affiliated Shore Health System (SHS) creating a public/private partnership. UMMS is developing the center on 15 acres of donated land. SHS, which operates hospitals in Easton and Cambridge, will staff and operate the emergency facility.
The Queen Anne’s Emergency Care Center will be approximately 16,000 square feet with 11 treatment rooms and onsite diagnostic imaging and laboratory services. It will operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year, treating patients with acute illnesses, injuries and trauma as well as minor injuries. The center will be staffed by board-certified emergency medicine physicians, experienced ER nurses and hospital-experienced radiology and laboratory technologists. Patients requiring hospitalization will be transported from the emergency center by ambulance or helicopter.
The groundbreaking will be hosted by Gene M. Ransom III, President of the Queen Anne’s County Board of Commissioners. Joining the Governor and Congressman at the event will be Speaker of the House of Delegates Michael Busch; Maryland Senator E. J. Pipkin (District 36); Robert A. Chrencik, President and CEO of the University of Maryland Medical System; E. Albert Reece, M.D., Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine; John Dillon, Chairman of the Shore Health System Board of Directors; Joseph P. Ross, President and CEO of Shore Health System; and Guy Schelhouse, Ambulance Committee Chair for the Queen Anne’s County Fire and EMS Commission.
For more information about the Queen Anne’s Emergency Center project, visit www.erforqa.org.
ABOUT UMMS: The University of Maryland Medical System, a not-for-profit health system, is an 11-hospital network that includes the University of Maryland Medical Center, Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital, University Specialty Hospital, Maryland General Hospital, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Shore Health System (Memorial Hospital at Easton and Dorchester General Hospital in Cambridge), Chester River Health System and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, which is owned jointly with the Johns Hopkins Health System. In July, UMMS announced a strategic affiliation with Upper Chesapeake Health System that is expected to lead to a full merger by 2013. Upper Chesapeake Health includes Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air and Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace.
As the third-largest private employer in the Baltimore metro area, the University of Maryland Medical System generates nearly $3.5 billion in economic activity in Maryland and has $2.1 billion of operating revenues. UMMS employs 15,000 people, has more than 1,900 licensed beds and more than 90,000 annual patient admissions.
ABOUT SHS: Shore Health System was formed in 1996 with the affiliation of Dorchester General Hospital in Cambridge and the Memorial Hospital at Easton, which have served their communities for a century. The system includes a total of 179 acute beds in the two hospitals, a 20-bed acute rehabilitation center and a complete range of outpatient diagnostic and treatment facilities throughout the Mid-Shore. Shore Health System also includes a Regional Cancer Center, Joint Replacement Center, Birthing Center, Sleep Disorders Center, Wound Healing Center, Home Health and Hospice, Behavioral Health and other specialty services that provide comprehensive care for the region. More than 2,000 employees and 200 physicians are part of Shore Health System, which has annual revenues of more than $237 million.
This architectural rendering shows the Queen Anne’s Emergency Center as it will be visible from U.S. Rt. 50. The full service emergency facility will operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year, on Nesbit Road in Grasonville. The Emergency Center is scheduled to begin serving Queen Anne’s County and the surrounding areas in 2010.