Don't downgrade health care services with the Havre de Grace 'freestanding medical center' [Letter]



Harford Memorial Hospital has provided live-saving emergency hospital services to the residents of Havre de Grace and Aberdeen for generations. My entire family and I are grateful to those who go to work each day and night to provide these essential hospital services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Recent plans announced by University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH) to close Harford Memorial Hospital and open what has been [dubbed] as a "freestanding medical facility" will unfortunately result in a significant reduction of livesaving emergency hospital services to those who need them the most.

According to the UM UCH transition plan many valuable medical services will be provided; however, the "freestanding medical facility" will not provide the same live-saving emergency hospital services. Should someone need live-saving emergency hospital services on the eastern side of 1-95 they will likely need to be transported an average of 15 additional miles to Bel Air, adding an approximate travel time of 20 minutes to get into a fully functioning hospital emergency room.

Thank you to Havre de Grace Mayor Bill Martin, most of the Havre de Grace city council members, and many other residents for voicing these important concerns. Harford Memorial Hospital should continue to provide live-saving emergency hospital services until a suitable replacement facility is constructed.

I implore UM UCH to reconsider the downgrading of services at the new "freestanding medical facility" and hope they will include the same live-saving emergency hospital services at the proposed new facility in the proudest tradition that we have all become accustomed to from the University of Maryland.

J.D. Russell

Havre de Grace

The writer is a candidate for House of Delegates in Legislative District 34A and is president of Harford Property Services Inc. in Havre de Grace. Editor

4 N. Union Avenue

Havre de Grace, MD 21078

(C) 410-713-5889

I am a candidate for Delegate in 34A and the President of Harford Property Services, Inc. in Havre de

Grace which employs 31team members.