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Certificate of Need officially filed for new regional medical center in Easton

An artist’s rendering of the proposed Regional Medical Center at Easton. The proposal is to build a new facility to replace its current hospital on Washington Street, parts of which date back to the early 1900s. (File photo)

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 Jan. 6.

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

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.

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.

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 health care 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 past several years laying the groundwork 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 rooms in the region, urgent care centers in Denton, Easton and Kent Island, and numerous major equipment upgrades have totaled more than $150 million in capital investments. Plans are also moving forward in Chestertown with the construction of an Aging & Wellness Center on its current campus.