Both Washington Adventist and Laurel Regional 'need to be strong'

Washington Adventist Hospital was very disappointed to see the Aug. 17 letter to the editor that contained serious inaccurate information regarding our proposed relocation and our plan to expand access to health care in the region ("Hospital's proposed move could hurt Laurel Regional Hospital"). Washington Adventist Hospital has never stated that our move would have a devastating impact on Laurel Regional Hospital. In fact, language about the future of Laurel as an in-patient facility that came up during hearings before the Maryland Health Care Commission came directly from the May 21, 2010, "Final Report and Recommendations" from the Prince George's County Hospital Authority. That report cites the potential of closing Laurel as part of the development of a new medical center in Prince George's County: "Consistent with the overall strategic plan, existing inpatient services at Laurel Regional Hospital and Prince George's General Hospital are transferred to the new inpatient facility."

The more important issue is that both Washington Adventist Hospital and Laurel Regional Hospital need to be strong in order to continue to provide the high-quality care our communities need and deserve. This is especially true as the population, in particular the senior population, is predicted to grow considerably in the next decade.

We are very grateful for thousands of expressions of support from residents and community leaders throughout the region for our plan to relocate our hospital to White Oak in Montgomery County, while continuing to provide healthcare services on our Takoma Park campus.

Washington Adventist Hospital and Adventist HealthCare fully support and welcome a strengthened healthcare infrastructure at Laurel Regional Hospital and Dimensions. Together with a new Washington Adventist Hospital, residents throughout the region can have continued access to the quality medical care they need.

Joyce Portela

President of Washington Adventist Hospital

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