Upper Chesapeake to host information meeting Thursday about Aberdeen medical campus plans

University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health is “very excited” about building a new medical campus in Aberdeen and wants to share its plans with the community Thursday evening.

A public information meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Aberdeen Fire Hall, 21 N. Rogers St.

Upper Chesapeake encourages the community to “hear details on our ‘Your Health. Our Mission’ plans to improve and expand health care in northeastern Maryland.”

“This is a site that is already developed and has an existing office building which allows us to create a modern medical campus for the citizens of northeast Maryland by 2021 (pending state regulatory agency approval),” Martha Mallonee, director of corporate communications, marketing and public relations for Upper Chesapeake, wrote in an email. “In addition, the site offers access to existing public transportation, nearby retail, and pharmacies for our patients and their family members.”

The meeting will include information about Upper Chesapeake’s plans to transition acute medical care services, job retraining and placement of team members; re-purposing the Harford Memorial Hospital property in Havre de Grace; expansion of Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air; and an overall timeline for the project.

Upper Chesapeake wants to create a free-standing medical facility and build a special psychiatric hospital on the 32-acre campus of Aberdeen Corporate Park on Route 22 near Middleton Road.

The existing building would be used for medical offices and the special psychiatric hospital. It would be connected by a walkway to a new 125,000-square-foot, three-story free-standing medical center, with an emergency room.

A site plan for the project was approved this fall by the City of Aberdeen.

A Certificate of Need application was filed Nov. 21 with the Maryland Health Care Commission.

Upper Chesapeake had planned to build a similar campus on the Bulle Rock property it owns in Havre de Grace, but withdrew those plans in April. The Aberdeen plan was submitted in July for review.

Some segments of the Aberdeen community qualify for federal support as a medically under-served area, Mallonee said.

“This is a critical component of the health care safety net and aligns perfectly with UM UCH's population health strategy: to offer the best possible care at the right time in the best equipped place,” she said.

Disease management is one of those components, she said. It means Upper Chesapeake will try to help the community before the progression of the illness goes far enough to need a hospital stay.

“Our approach focuses on disease screening, prevention and treatment so that individuals achieve a better quality of life,” she said.

The campus will also have a larger and modern emergency department, specialty care and increased services for behavioral health as they are also needed.

“All of these components are what we are planning for the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Aberdeen,” Mallonee said.

The new campus means closure of the Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace, which is more than 100 years old. Upper Chesapeake intends to sell once it has received regulatory approval, expected in the spring/summer of 2019, Mallonee said. Cushman & Wakefield will be the broker, she added.

After their presentation, Upper Chesapeake officials will answer questions at the information meeting.

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