For Immediate Release May 07, 2019

Six people stand behind a red ribbon, holding scissors and are preparing to cut the ribbon.

From left are University of Maryland Shore Regional Health President and CEO Ken Kozel, UM SRH Board Chairman Rich Loeffler, Caroline County Commissioner Wilbur Levengood, Dr. Kim Herman, Caroline County Commission President Larry Porter and Town of Denton Mayor Abigail McNich.

The University of Maryland Shore Medical Pavilion at Denton was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, May 2.

The 50,000-square foot, two-story building, at the corner of state Route 404 and Deep Shore Road, both brings together existing outpatient services that were scattered throughout Denton, and new ones previously unavailable in Caroline County.

Among those services are primary care, medical specialists, telemedicine, rehabilitation, laboratory testing, diagnostics and imaging, health education and behavioral health.

The centralized location should relieve logistical burdens for patients, who might have trouble arranging transportation to several offices for different services, and enhance collaboration between primary care physicians and specialists, improving care.

The medical pavilion began accepting patients in February, two years after ground was first broken for construction.

At the ribbon-cutting Thursday, representatives of Shore Regional Health, Caroline County and the Town of Denton remarked on what the new facility means for local residents.

“We now have a facility that compliments the outstanding care we provide here in our community,” said Ken Kozel, president and CEO of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health.

“What you see here will transcend the structure,” said Dr. Kim Herman, one of three primary care physicians based in the new building. “I want to see this as the community’s medical home, where we coordinate all aspects of comprehensive care.

“It’s a lofty goal, but we will achieve it,” Herman said.

“This is more than just a building,” said Rich Loeffler, acting chair of the University of Maryland Shore Regional Health’s board of directors. “This is part of a vision and mission to be the leader in patient-centered care.”

“We have had great providers in this community, but to see it all come to fruition in this comprehensive of a plan is tremendous,” said Denton Mayor Abby McNinch.

“This is a really good day for Caroline County, to look back and see how far we’ve come,” said Caroline County Commission President Larry Porter.

Porter said he, Commissioner Wilbur Levengood and Del. Jeff Ghrist, R-36, who was then a Caroline County commissioner, first analyzed the county’s health statistics in 2012. It was a bleak picture.
“We were last in all the things you want to be first in, and first in all the things you want to be last in,” Porter said.

Porter said it felt like Shore Regional Health, the area’s largest healthcare provider, did not pay much attention to Caroline County.

In 2013, Shore Regional Health brought on Kozel as its new president and CEO. Porter said he told Kozel he could either be Kozel’s best friend or his worst nightmare.
Kozel was immediately receptive to the county’s needs, Porter said.

“He said we might not be able to do everything, but we can certainly do better,” Porter said.

Porter said he has been proud to call Kozel a friend over the last seven years, as the county and Shore Regional Health signed a five-year MOU that led to, among other things, the county’s first urgent care facility, an updated ambulance fleet and health and wellness educational classes for residents.

The new medical pavilion is the next step in improving health care access.

“The services available here will save lives,” Porter said. “That is an incredible achievement.”

Porter thanked Kozel and Patti Willis, senior vice president of strategy and communications for Shore Regional Health; the Board of Directors, especially Caroline County members Wayne Howard and Keith McMahan; Dr. Leland Spencer, former Caroline County health officer, who put together the first statistical analysis of the county’s health; Howard Sollins, a Baltimore-based lawyer who worked nearly pro bono to help the county; and the commissioners’ Chief of Staff Sara Visintainer, who, among other things, helped write the initial MOU.

Kozel also thanked the county commissioners for the relationship they have built over the past seven years.

“Without your leadership, we wouldn’t be here,” Kozel said. “You held us accountable to the citizens of this county.”

Kozel also acknowledged Don Mulrine, Denton town manager, and his staff; Bob Frank, Shore Regional Health senior vice president of operations; Doug James, consultant; and Fisher Architecture and Willow Construction for their work on the project.

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, everyone was invited inside for a tour of the building and a light reception catered by Steve Konopelski of Turnbridge Point in Denton.