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UM Capital Region Health updates Laurel City Council on hospital

UM Capital Region Health updates Laurel City Council on hospital
The UM Laurel Regional Hospital is set to become a state-of-the-art health care destination. (Courtesy photo / UM Capital Region Health)

UM Capital Region Health officials provided updates on Laurel Regional Hospital at the Laurel City Council meeting on March 11.

Construction on the state-of-the-art medical center is slated to be completed by late summer or early fall in 2021, according to Jeff Johnson, UM’s senior vice president of strategic planning and business development.

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The center will have a 24/7 emergency room, enhanced outpatient behavioral health programs and services, imaging, labs, a pharmacy, outpatient surgery and short stay overnight care.

Laurel’s chronic care and acute rehabilitation units were relocated to UM Prince George’s Hospital Center in December 2018 and January 2019.

The chronic pain management, the lung health program, primary care unit, women’s health and the wound care center will remain at Laurel Regional.

Sherry B. Perkins, president and CEO of UM Capital Region Health, spoke briefly at the beginning of the presentation.

“We are very appreciative of the council’s leadership, Mayor [Craig] Moe’s leadership, [and] the tremendous time, creativity, energy [and] collaboration that you have given in the transition of Laurel Regional Hospital to what we now call the University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center,” she said.

Last April, UM Capital Region Health invested $50 million to build a 75,000-square-foot medical center on the hospital’s campus.

This investment followed the University of Maryland Medical System assuming ownership of Dimensions Healthcare System and renaming it University of Maryland Capital Region Health in September 2017. Simultaneously, it took over Laurel Regional Hospital, renaming it UM Laurel Regional Hospital.

The hospital was named a designated EMS Base Station by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, according to Trudy Hall, interim president and vice president of medical affairs for UM.

Effective until Dec. 31, 2022, the designation allows for Laurel Regional to provide emergency medical services onsite.

New programs coming to the hospital include two diabetes focused programs, Hall said.

The Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based intervention program from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The goal of UM’s program is to reduce diabetes among women of color and provide them with specific tools to address episodic or chronic stress.

In partnership with Prince George’s Department of Family Services, Laurel Regional has begun offering the Stanford University Diabetes Self-Management Education Program.

The six-week program addresses common issues faced by those with chronic conditions and offers information on appropriate exercise, healthy eating, medications and improving communication between health care providers, family and friends, according to the presentation.

Twenty people have participated in the classes so far, Hall said.

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The hospital is looking to add more psychiatrists and clinicians to address opioid addiction, said Kent Alford, behavioral health nurse director at Capital Region University of Maryland Medical Systems.

The hospital will also implement better tools at screening and addressing depression, Alford said. The tools include a patient health questionnaire to depict what level of depression someone may have and the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating that assesses suicide risk.

UM’s last update to the council was in September.

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