CHEVERLY – The planned Prince George’s County Regional Medical Center is one step closer to becoming a reality after the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) docketed the hospital system’s certificate of need (CON) application.
The move signifies the start of the formal review of the project before MHCC gives its final approval to Dimensions Healthcare to move forward.
Neil J. Moore, president and CEO of Dimensions Healthcare, said the system remains confident the CON application will be approved.
“We are optimistic that our CON application will be approved so that we can achieve our vision of transforming health care in this region and improving our service to communities,” Moore said.
Dimensions Healthcare submitted the original CON application on Oct. 4, 2013, according to system spokesperson Erika Murray. Murray said the organization submitted an updated application this past January in response to standards in the State Health Plan.
Prince George’s County Councilman Derrick Leon Davis, who represents District 6 where the medical center will be constructed, said the beginning of a formal review represents a a large step toward “getting a shovel into the ground.” Hopefully, Davis said, the county can start working on the project before the end of the year.
“This is a game-changing event to do what we’re doing at a metro station in Prince George’s County,” Davis said. “It is very consistent with the planning and the economic development strategy that we put together in 2012. It is a game-changer in our Master Plan 2035.”
Davis said the county has been redeveloping the area around Largo Town Center, The Boulevard and the Capital Centre.
“That whole area will be transformative for Largo. That whole area is going to be transformative for Prince George’s County,” Davis said. “I really think we are on the edge of what will be the transformation of Prince George’s County.”
County residents will receive high-quality care close to home, Murray said. The 231-bed facility will be located on 26 acres in Largo near the Boulevard and the Capital Centre.
“The new Regional Medical Center is going to transform health care in Prince George’s County and drive economic development around The Boulevard and at the Capital Centre and the Largo metro station,” County Executive Rushern Baker III said. “The docketing of the Certificate of Need represents years of hard work and preparation. I am confident that this application will be approved and that the Regional Medical Center will quickly come to fruition.”
The Regional Medical Center is the confluence of the county’s legislative body and the executive body working toward one vision and goal, Davis said. The county is being transformed from a “sleepy bedroom community outside of Washington, D.C.,” Davis said. “This will be its own urban metropolitan reality.”
The new medical center project is a partnership between Dimensions Healthcare, the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), the state of Maryland and Prince George’s County. Murray said the project’s work began more than three years ago with a public health impact study authored by the University of Maryland School of Public Health.
“The study highlighted chronic health conditions prevalent in Prince George’s County, the need for more than 60 primary care physicians in the county, the benefits of an affiliation with an academic institution with regards to health care delivered in the county and the need for enhanced coordination with county public health services,” Murray said.
Since the release of the study, Dimensions Healthcare and UMMS have strengthened emergency services throughout the Dimensions system, renewed cardiac surgery at Prince George’s Hospital Center and bolstered orthopedic trauma care, Murray said. Prince George’s County has also developed a strategic health care plan to support improvement of health in all citizens throughout the county.
“Access to quality health care for our residents and growing our local economy are priority concerns for the Prince George’s County Council,” said Council Chair Mel Franklin. “Committed to the health and wellness of our citizens, the council, in our capacity as the county’s Board of Health, has designated health care as a legislative priority and we look forward to continuing our partnership with all stakeholders to build a world-class regional medical center.”