It is a "sea change" for healthcare in the Washington area that will positively impact over a million people. The Board of Directors of DHS made a series of very difficult decisions over the last five years to make this happen. This included the transformation of Laurel Regional Hospital to a free-standing medical facility that will in the long term save significant taxpayer funds, while still meeting the medical needs of the community. As the UMMS press release said: "the difficult but necessary" decision to transform the Laurel campus. The funds saved (and the system was losing $20 million a year just in Laurel) will be able to go towards areas that desperately need attention. Although this decision was initially opposed by some leaders, a continued dialogue with UMMS has resulted, I believe, in them learning and acknowledging the significant challenges currently facing healthcare. I was pleased that those local leaders appear to have joined in supporting this decision by the Board as the best course of action.