The Future of Health Care in Kent County
Redefining Rural Health Care Through Transformation
Over the next five years, University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown will become a model for providing health care resources specifically designed for the communities of Kent County and the region.
This expansion of health care services would include:
- Telemedicine to provide greater access to specialists
- Expanded patient access via improved transportation
- A dedicated Aging & Wellness Center
In an ongoing dialogue about the particular needs of Kent County, we are listening to the community. We know that we must take a new approach to health care that fits this vibrant community's unique character and evolving demographics.
Kent County – A Health Care Model for Maryland
Partnering with the State of Maryland and the local community, UM Shore Regional Health, backed by the University of Maryland Medical System, is proposing that our Chestertown hospital would be designated by the state as a Maryland Rural Hospital.
As an anchor point for hospital-based care, it would have up to 25 inpatient beds and continue to offer services like emergency care, inpatient and outpatient surgery, physical therapy and more. At the same time, it would bring more aging and wellness services to Kent County, making access to care even easier.
Extensive research on this new model and on the health care needs in Kent County have guided us:
- Options for Rural Health Care Delivery in Maryland - commissioned by the State of Maryland and prepared by The Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis at NORC at the University of Chicago in 2020
- Comprehensive Needs Assessment of Kent County - prepared by The United Way of Kent County in 2018
This research shows a clear opportunity to launch a new approach to how people in Kent County access health care within their community.
Our Journey: Next Steps
Our journey together with the community to expand health care options for Kent County is at its beginning. Here's what's next:
Finalizing the Model
First, we must advance our new vision and model with regulators and our team to define the opportunity and resources available to achieve success.
Refining the Approach
Next, we will continue to listen to our patients, local community, physicians and other leaders to refine and improve the plan.
Moving Forward as Partners
Finally, we move forward as partners. We recognize that the success of our new model depends on cooperation and understanding, as well as a shared commitment to change over the long term.