Graphic rendering of State-of-the-Art Health Campus

Bayhealth Reveals Plan to Build a $250 Million State-of-the-Art Health Campus on Route 1

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 | Bayhealth Sussex Campus
In a multimedia announcement that included a press conference with Governor Jack Markell and other regional leaders at Carlisle Fire Company, Bayhealth CEO Terry Murphy joined the Bayhealth leadership team, foundation and board of directors in announcing plans to open an innovative new health campus in 2018 to serve Kent and Sussex Counties.

“Health care is changing and at the same time so are the needs of our community. After evaluating the direction of health care and conducting detailed research, we realized the community needs more than a hospital,” Murphy said.

Through the press conference and their health campus website ImagineDE.com, Murphy and his team detailed a site that will feature an inpatient hospital with state-of-the-art technology that will also be complemented by a robust array of outpatient services.

“Many services that used to be provided in a hospital are now often delivered in an outpatient setting. With a health campus model, our patients will have access to physician offices and expansive diagnostic testing on the same site as the new hospital. The location and expansion of services really means more convenient access to comprehensive, higher quality and better coordinated care for many decades to come,” Murphy added.

The new campus will be located along Wilkins Road and Cedar Creek Road in Milford. This location gives patients and emergency services easy access off of the brand new Route 30 bypass, directly linking into south Milford. The announcement and website details a campus designed not only to improve care but also deliver a better patient experience.

“We believe that whether they see it in the new emergency department or the private rooms and all of the advanced technology, patients won’t just see a difference but they will feel it every time they visit the campus,” Murphy said.

The patient experience is a central focus for Mike Ashton, who is the Administrator of Bayhealth Milford Memorial Hospital. He believes this new health campus will create an improved experience for patients.

“Part of our measurement of success is how we make patients feel about the experience. A building is an important tool but ultimately it is about the delivery of care,” explains Ashton.

The future of the existing Milford Memorial Hospital site on Clarke Avenue is a central part of Bayhealth’s planning. The Bayhealth team will work closely with state and community leaders to ensure that the site becomes a resource for the community.

From the moment our research pointed us to a new location, the future of the Clarke Avenue facility has remained a top priority. We will remain very transparent and keep the community informed of the possibilities as we re-imagine the Milford Memorial location along Clarke Avenue. We will partner with state and regional leaders as well as the people of Milford to develop the best approach for this well established community resource,” Murphy said.

Bayhealth is currently interviewing firms with expertise in adaptive reuse of locations like the Clarke Avenue facility and have committed to select a firm by the end of 2014. Original plans for a replacement hospital changed after diligent research.

Bayhealth’s Board of Directors approved a recommendation for a complete independent analysis on building a hospital on the existing site. Navigant, a health care research firm, conducted a thorough evaluation and analysis of all of the options to best serve Kent and Sussex Counties. The unanimous recommendation from all involved was to move to a new site.

“It quickly became evident that the best decision was to move the site so we could give the community more than just another hospital. The community needs a location that can evolve with new models of health care and provide more convenient access to expertise and innovations—from prevention to treatment,” Murphy said.

“The existing 22 acre hospital location simply did not have the land needed for a health campus designed to serve the community in the future. Our research showed that construction at the existing site on Clarke Avenue would have been very disruptive for many years and a towering building would not fit the neighborhood—creating gridlock on the smaller city streets downtown. It became apparent that building there meant giving less while creating problems for the people we are trying to help,” Murphy added.

With a long research phase complete, Bayhealth and community leaders are excited about the future the new health campus will bring. In consulting with community political and business leaders, medical staff, patients and the people of Bayhealth, Murphy and his team continue to discover great possibilities with the new health campus.

With a $250 million investment in a 150-acre campus, the project will bring new construction jobs, dollars and infrastructure to the outlying areas. It can be a hub for an area ready to grow. A modern health campus with expanded services has proven to be a beacon for attracting and keeping top health care talent.

At their health campus website ImagineDE.com, Bayhealth will provide details about an innovative construction approach known as the LEAN design process as the project progresses. LEAN is focused on design efficiency with the ultimate goal of improving patient safety. A well-designed facility will result in better clinical outcomes, reduced cost and higher patient satisfaction.

“The community has waited a long time for this. We recognize that and we are eager to fulfill this promise. It’s crucial for everyone in the community to be engaged in this project, especially patients. It’s their health campus and we want to build it together,” Murphy said.

To share their thoughts on the campus, get more information and follow the progress of the project, Bayhealth invites the community to visit ImagineDE.com.