University of Maryland Capital Region Health Announces Progress on Temporary Expansion of UM Laurel Medical Center
System Engaged in Exhaustive Preparation to Increase Bed, Staff, Equipment Capacity – Adapting To COVID-19 Pandemic
The University of Maryland Capital Region Health today announced progress on the opening of the temporary expansion of UM Laurel Medical Center and provided additional details on the future use of the facility in response to COVID-19. At the direction of Governor Larry Hogan and in close partnership with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and UM Capital Region Health are currently in the process of temporarily expanding UM Laurel Medical Center in order to meet patient demand. At the current rate of progress, it is expected that the COVID-19 related expansion of UM Laurel Medical Center will open and start treating patients during the last week of April.
Under the leadership of CEO Mohan Suntha, the University of Maryland Medical System has been engaged in exhaustive preparation to increase bed, staff, and equipment capacity to adapt to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The ultimate goal of this project is to expand capacity by adding 135 additional beds at UM Laurel Medical Center in preparation for the high probability of volume surge due to COVID-19.
"We are proud to be the principal team activating this monumental surge response at UM Laurel Medical Center," says Joseph Wright, MD, MPH, President and CEO (interim), UM Capital Region Health. The dogged commitment and execution by the project management team is a testament to the inherent professionalism on display across the system as we respond to this unprecedented crisis
This temporarily expanded UM Laurel Medical Center will treat patients suspected of being infected with COVID-19 and those who have already tested positive. Importantly, the expanded UM Laurel Medical Center is not a community testing clinic and cannot be accessed by general referrals from Primary Care Physicians. Unless directly admitted through the emergency department, walk-ups will not be permitted. Patients will be transported to UM Laurel Medical Center through either emergency department or hospital inter-facility referrals.
UM Laurel Medical Center will be staffed by nearly 400 highly vetted contractual medical professionals / health care workers and will not reduce staff at UM Capital Region Health or other local UMMS facilities. The center and the all staff will be managed and overseen by UMMS and UM Capital Region Health leadership. The updated visitor policy for all UMMS health care facilities will be in effect.
On March 16, 2020, Governor Larry Hogan issued an Executive Order directing the Maryland Department of Health to work with health care facilities and providers to temporarily reopen closed facilities across the state and to take other measures necessary to immediately increase statewide hospital capacity. UMMS officially requested an Emergency Certificate of Need to establish a temporary remote location of UM Capital Region Health with 135 beds, which was quickly approved by the state.
Within UMMS, there has been an increase in patients with COVID-19 symptoms and the system has been actively planning for this increase and is refining detailed surge plans for each facility - including staff planning and implementing innovative models of care such as telehealth capabilities.
COVID-19 presents immediate hazards to the health of patients statewide, particularly in Prince George's County which currently has the highest number of confirmed cases in the state. Ensuring the safety of patients, front-line medical staff, and team members remains and will remain a top priority of the University of Maryland Medical System and all its leadership.
"We are beyond appreciative for the dedication and resilience of our employees during this COVID-19 pandemic," says Min Godwin, Chief Operating Officer (interim), UM Capital Region Health. "It is their sacrifices and putting the needs of our community and our patients first that is getting us though this pandemic."
UMMS will continue to plan for an increase in volumes while working as a system to ensure all patients receive the care and attention needed.
About University of Maryland Capital Region Health
Providing primary and specialty health care services to Prince George's County and the neighboring area, University of Maryland Capital Region Health was established in September 2017 upon formal affiliation with the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), and is committed to making a positive impact on the health and well-being of patients and families. University of Maryland Capital Region Health operates the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center, University of Maryland Bowie Health Campus, and the University of Maryland Family Health & Wellness Center in Suitland. Together, community physicians and University of Maryland School of Medicine (SOM) faculty provide clinical expertise across a range of specialties and programs including: acute rehabilitation; anesthesiology; critical and chronic ventilation care; emergency medicine; neonatology (including the County's highest level neonatal intensive care unit); orthopedics; vascular surgery; a certified and designated primary stroke center; and the State's second-busiest trauma center. University of Maryland School of Medicine faculty also lead the highly-regarded cardiac surgery program at UM Prince George's Hospital Center. A new state-of-the-art regional medical center is expected to open in Largo in 2021. For more information, visit www.umcapitalregion.org.
About the University of Maryland Medical System
The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is a university-based regional health care system focused on serving the health care needs of Maryland, bringing innovation, discovery and research to the care we provide and educating the state's future physician and health care professionals through our partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the UM Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Dentistry in Baltimore. As one of the largest private employers in the State, the health system's 28,000 employees and 4,000 affiliated physicians provide primary and specialty care in more than 150 locations and at 13 hospitals. UMMS' flagship academic campus, the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore is partnered with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and is recognized regionally and nationally for excellence and innovation in specialized care. Our acute care and specialty rehabilitation hospitals serve urban, suburban and rural communities and are located in 13 counties across the state. In addition, UMMS operates health insurance plans serving Medicare and Medicaid members. For more information, visit www.umms.org.