For Immediate Release January 09, 2023

Ken Kozel sits at a desk with a rendering of the new regional medical center in the background. He is signing the Certificate of Need document.

Ken Kozel, President and CEO of UM Shore Regional Health Signing the official Certificate of Need (CON) document.

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health (UMSRH) officially filed the Certificate of Need application for the Regional Medical Center at Easton project with the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) on January 6. This action marks another important step towards opening the new hospital and medical services building on the SRH-owned site near the Talbot County Community Center.

"Filing the CON application for the new Regional Medical Center is a significant accomplishment and an important next step in the advancement of our integrated health care delivery system for Maryland's Mid-Shore," said Ken Kozel, President and CEO of UM Shore Regional Health. "Our growing communities expect and deserve access to a state-of-the-art center with advanced clinical care."

UM Shore Regional Health's proposal is to build a new facility to replace its current hospital on Washington Street, parts of which date back to the early 1900s. The application proposes constructing a total of 142 beds (122 acute inpatient and 25 observation beds) and includes emergency, surgery, labor and delivery, and support services, all located on 230 acres off Longwoods Road near the intersection of U.S. Route 50. The number of inpatient beds is determined by 2022 data, analysis and projections made by MHCC and the state's Office of Health Care Quality.

"The filing of the CON marks a landmark moment for UM SRH and UMMS," said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO of UMMS. "Our investments over the last decade across Maryland's Mid-Shore counties have laid the groundwork for UMSRH to deliver better outcomes for patients from Hoopers Island to Rock Hall and everywhere in between, and this is the latest project to bring 21st Century care and technology to the Shore."

Building a replacement hospital has been identified as a need since Shore Health System's affiliation with University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) in 2006. As healthcare delivery models became more complex, particularly in rural areas, a subsequent merger with Chester River Health System to form UM Shore Regional Health in 2013 occurred. This led UM SRH and UMMS leaders to take a broader view and opportunity to work with community partners throughout the five-county region to create an integrated facility and clinical service delivery plan to reimagine and improve health care delivery across roughly 2,000 square miles of rural communities.

UM SRH has spent the last several years laying the ground work for the advancement of the new Regional Medical Center by making investments in other key supporting projects identified in the System's plan. The completion of the freestanding medical facility in Cambridge, several medical pavilions and stand-alone emergency centers in the region, urgent care centers in Denton, Easton and Kent Island, and numerous major equipment upgrades have totaled over $150M in capital investments. Plans are also moving forward in Chestertown with the construction of an Aging & Wellness Center on its current campus.

"We are so grateful for our communities' patience and trust as we have implemented key strategies to improve health care access and services to each of the counties of the mid-shore," said Kozel. "As part of our CON application, we are honored to include multiple letters of support from state, county, city and town officials, health departments, law enforcement, chambers of commerce, educational institutions, safety-net health care providers, and economic development agencies in all five counties of our service area. We are also incredibly appreciative of Governor Larry Hogan who earmarked $100 million in proposed funding for the project in his Fiscal Year 2024 budget recommendation."

Proposed Project Specifications:
Main Hospital Tower: 6 levels; 325,294 square feet
Adjacent medical office and outpatient services building: 60,000 square feet
Licensed Beds: 122 (all private rooms)
Adult Observation / Short Stay Beds: 25
Emergency Department Treatment Bays: 27
Operating Rooms: 7
Helipad (ground level)

Core Programs & Specialty Centers:
Acute Rehabilitation Center
Behavioral Health
Birthing Center
Cardiac Intervention Center
Critical Care/Acute Care Medicine
Emergency Services
Women's Service

The new Regional Medical Center campus is slated to occupy over 230 acres off Longwoods Road near the intersection of U.S. Route 50, adjacent to the Talbot County Community Center. This location is approximately 3.5 miles from the current hospital, and will provide greater visibility, easier and safer access for ambulance and helicopter transport as well as ample parking for patients, staff and visitors.

The timeline of the overall project will be dependent on many required regulatory steps, but the proposed schedule anticipates opening the new Regional Medical Center in the summer of 2028.