Conceptual rendering of the future hospital

Breaking new ground in healthcare

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 | Bayhealth Sussex Campus

New ground was broken in healthcare on May 24 when hundreds of community members gathered to commemorate the ceremonial groundbreaking of Bayhealth’s nearly $300 million health campus project in southern Delaware.

“The groundbreaking is another great milestone in changing the way healthcare is delivered in southern Delaware,” said Bayhealth President and CEO Terry M. Murphy, FACHE, when addressing the crowd. “We believe the health campus is a forward-thinking solution needed to build healthier families in this growing region.” Governor Jack Markell, along with other state and local officials, attended the event.

Attendees were able to sign mementos that will be included in a time capsule. An oversized conceptual rendering of the future hospital and outpatient center suspended from two crane trucks served as the backdrop for the groundbreaking.

Bayhealth is collaborating with CannonDesign and Whiting-Turner Contracting Company on the design and construction processes for the approximately 430,000-square-foot hospital and outpatient center. Whiting-Turner estimates the project will create approximately 1,300 construction jobs — providing an economic boost in southern Delaware.

The 165 acre future health campus will be located just off Route 1, along Wilkins and Cedar Creek roads in Sussex County. The hospital and outpatient center will occupy 55 acres of the Bayhealth-owned property. Its highly accessible and convenient location will allow Bayhealth to provide cutting-edge healthcare to surrounding communities.

“Building a full replacement hospital is a rare opportunity,” said CannonDesign Senior Vice President Troy Hoggard. “Designing a whole campus at once is a designer’s dream often not realized in an entire career.”

Hoggard travels to Milford nearly every other week to meet in person with project leaders from Bayhealth and Whiting-Turner. It’s an approach known as integrated process planning or lean process management, which focuses on reducing waste and looking at value from a customer’s prospective.

“What I love about designing healthcare facilities is the duality of the problem,” said Hoggard. “They are the highest-tech buildings constructed today that also admit the public. Only hospitals have the irony of making technology appear seamless, while serving an emotionally delicate audience. Solving that irony with steel and concrete is an engaging challenge.”

Early plans call for Bayhealth’s new six-story hospital to have 128 licensed beds, a 12-bed clinical decision unit for medically managed observation, and a 30-bay emergency department. All patient rooms will be completely private to maximize quality of care and decrease patient stress, infection risk, and medical errors.

The conceptual renderings of the hospital entrance and outpatient center were inspired by the landscape of southern Delaware. “We used the beauty of nature to come up with the concept for the exterior façade,” said Hoggard. “Driving around southern Delaware, we found cornfields blowing in the wind, waves crashing onto the beach, and sand rippled after a summer storm.” He said the warm wood and waves in the building emphasize the healing power of nature.

Hoggard says the hospital and outpatient center are designed to evoke an infrastructure with a steady, durable presence the neighborhood can trust with its most difficult or joyous moments.

The team spent months working on how to position the hospital and outpatient center on the property. Every aspect of the design is part of a greater plan for the future of the health campus.


In fall 2015, Bayhealth announced an agreement with the award-winning healthcare provider Nemours Children’s Health System/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children to provide specialty pediatric and senior care in a separate facility on the new health campus.

While the details are still under discussion, Bayhealth anticipates more information about the collaboration to be presented in the coming months. The goal is to improve specialty care by offering services Nemours is not currently providing in Kent and Sussex counties.

The new facility will not compete with existing primary care pediatricians in the area.

The Nemours agreement is just the beginning in demonstrating to the community that the health campus is more than a hospital.


The current Clarke Avenue facility will remain operational as a hospital until the health campus project is complete in early January 2019.

In the meantime, Bayhealth has partnered with Trammell Crow, a healthcare property advisor and management firm that specializes in the redevelopment and adaptive reuse of healthcare facilities.

Trammell Crow is working with Bayhealth, the City of Milford, and its residents to determine the best use for the property. Bayhealth remains committed to a future for the Clarke Avenue facility that promotes the values and interests of the community.

Visit to learn more about the health campus project.


While contractors are hard at work on the new health campus, the Bayhealth Foundation is working on the Campaign for Bayhealth — Phase III to defray some of the costs of the project.

The groundbreaking for the new health campus also marked a milestone for the $15 million campaign.

“I’m pleased to share with the southern Delaware community the news that generous donors have committed $9 million to this important effort,” said Bill Strickland, chair of the Campaign for Bayhealth.

Naming opportunities are now available and begin at $5,000. To learn more about the campaign, visit or call 302-744-7015.