Final Regulatory Hurdle Passed for New Medical Center

The Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) unanimously approved the rate application request from University of Maryland Shore Regional Health (UM SRH), a member organization of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), for the new Shore Regional Medical Center in Easton. HSCRC’s approval helps offset interest and depreciation for the construction of the new facility and represents the final step needed for site preparation work to begin at 10000 Longwoods Road later this month.

Architects’ rendering of the planned UM Shore Regional Medical Center.

“We are incredibly excited and grateful for what this new hospital means for residents of the region,” said Ken Kozel, UM SRH President and CEO. “This marks the largest healthcare project in the history of UM SRH and one of the largest projects ever for the Mid-Shore region.”

“This is a historic day for healthcare delivery and improving rural health care on the Eastern Shore,” said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President and CEO of UMMS. “UMMS and UM SRH have been at the forefront of providing health care access points with over $150 million invested during the last decade across the Mid-Shore’s five counties, The new regional medical center in Easton will serve as a health care hub to meet the needs of residents across the region.”

Late in 2023, the Easton Planning Commission approved sketch plans for the new hospital and within the past year, UM SRH received approval for the project’s Certificate of Need (CON) and approvals from the UM SRH board and the UMMS board. “The HSCRC’s rate approval is the last part of the regulatory approval process, and we are thrilled that our vision of expanding access to high-quality care in a modern facility is now coming to fruition,” Kozel added.

The next phase of the project involves several pre-construction activities, including working with the Maryland State Highway Administration to relocate Route 662, site preparation that will include the arrival of heavy equipment to level and grade the field, and other approvals for the 230+ acre site.

Groundbreaking for the new UM Shore Regional Medical Center is anticipated in the summer of 2025, with construction of the hospital anticipated to be completed at the end of summer 2028. The $540 million estimated cost of the project will be covered by bonds and cash flow, state funding, public and private philanthropy, and federal grants.

“In our enthusiasm for achieving this latest milestone, we are eternally grateful for the longstanding support and engagement of our state and county elected officials, UMMS board members and executive leadership, the UM Memorial Hospital Foundation board, and our partners in the project — Covalus, HKS, Whiting-Turner, the legal team from GEJ, and the many UM SRH team members involved in the regulatory applications and the design and pre-construction phases,” said Kozel. “This has been and will continue to be a strong collaboration between health care professionals, government and civic leaders and the stakeholders throughout our five counties for whom access to quality health care in our region is an important priority.”

The UM Shore Regional Medical Center in Easton will replace the existing hospital in downtown Easton, which is outdated and obsolete, with the majority of the hospital constructed between 1955 and 1975. Additionally, its location in a residential neighborhood bordering the town’s Historic District prevents expansion and creates access issues for patients and staff. The hospital campus will reside on 230-plus acres off Longwoods Road near the intersection of U.S. Route 50, adjacent to the Talbot County Community Center. Approximately 3.5 miles from the current hospital, this location will offer greater visibility, and easier and safer access for ambulance and helicopter transport as well as ample parking for patients, staff and visitors.

UM Shore Regional Medical Center at a Glance

Site – 230 acres, located at 10000 Longwoods Road (near the intersection with US 50) in Easton (Talbot County)

Main Tower – 6 levels, 325,294 square feet

Licensed Beds: 147, including:

122 Private Inpatient beds

25 Private Adult Observation/Short-Stay beds

Emergency Department Treatment Bays – 27

Operating Rooms – 7

Helipad

Core Programs & Specialty Centers

Acute Inpatient Behavioral Health Center

Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Center

Birthing Center

Cardiac Intervention Center

Cardiovascular Services

Critical Care Medicine

Emergency Services

Neurosciences

Orthopedics

Women’s Services

Adjacent Medical Office and Outpatient

Services Building: 60,000 square feet

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