Prince George's County

Prince George’s Hospital Plan One Step Closer to Approval

The approval for Prince George’s County to construct a state-of-the-art medical center in Largo could become a reality later this month.

Robert Moffitt, a reviewer for the Maryland Health Care Commission, recommended Friday that the applicants Dimensions Healthcare System and the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) can receive a “certificate of need” and to make the $543 million project financially viable.

“The people of Prince George’s County need and deserve a strong revitalized health care system and a modern hospital is a crucial variable in that equation,” Moffitt said in the letter.

He said having UMMS “will provide the strong managerial leadership” to make the project work after it committed to become owner and operator of the medical center.

Moffitt made several suggestions for the applicants to downsize the previous application by $100 million, decrease the number of beds from nearly 220 to 205 and operating rooms from nine to eight.

“For that reason, I issued recommendations that would reduce the overall size and cost of the project, bring it into line with comparable projects, and lay the groundwork for a strong, permanent financial basis for the new regional medical center,” he said in the letter.

The commission will meet Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. in Baltimore to issue a final decision. However, those in disagreement with the decision have until no later than 5 p.m. Friday to submit any exceptions.

County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, one of the main cheerleaders of the project, has said the county needed a more modern hospital for the majority black jurisdiction. County data show the population at nearly 920,000.

The county health department released a 265-page report this year highlighting the main problems are behavioral health, cancer and metabolic syndrome, a term that encompasses higher risks for a person to have heart disease, diabetes or stroke.

The report also states about two-thirds of county residents are either obese or overweight. In 2014, black adults had the highest obesity rate at nearly 39 percent.

If the commission grants approval, the medical center would replace the elderly Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly.

The Largo building would be an 11-story, state-of-the-art structure with cancer and trauma centers, behavioral health services and a neonatal intensive care unit. The building would serve residents in Prince George’s, Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties.

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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