Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Washington Adventist Hospital Presents Silver Spring Move

On Thursday, the Montgomery County Planning Board is considering the Washington Adventist Hospital's request to develop a 49-acre property in the White Oak region of Silver Spring. The hospital purchased the land in 2007 for $11 million after determining it had outgrown its century-old home at 7600 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park, a 294-bed, 14-acre campus with 13 of those developable.

The hospital describes its current facilities as “crowded,” "difficult to access,” “aging,” and “inefficient.” Geoffrey Morgan, Vice-President of Washington Adventist’s
Vision for Expanded Access, WAH's strategic planning group, spins it more professionally, citing “a host of physical challenges related to a constrained campus.” The hospital’s property used to be bounded by woods, which have since been developed into a residential area leery of helicopter noise and confined by neighborhood- sized roads; i.e., slower route to the ER.

The new property is located about six miles north of its current location, on Plum Orchard Drive just off of Cherry Hill Road, less than a mile from the intersection with Route 29. The development plan calls for growth in two phases. The first includes construction of the main eight-story hospital, an ambulatory services center, two parking structures, and a medical office building; and later, construction of a second medical office building. Morgan’s theoretical timeline has the project breaking ground in 2010, with the first phase estimated to take three years.

Vision for Expanded Access has consulted RTKL Associates throughout the site planning and master planning process. According to plans, while the new facility will have approximately the same number of beds as the old, the increase in space means that most of them will be private, rather than shared. The hospital will feature “state-of-the-art equipment and technology, and more space for clinical services, including cardiac care, emergency medicine, oncology services, behavioral health care and other medical services. The new design also incorporates enhanced patient safety and improved visitor and patient flow throughout the facility.”

True to its Adventist founders, the hospital emphasizes its “holistic approach to community health care, which focuses on the well-being of mind, body and spirit of patients, visitors and staff.” In keeping with these beliefs, it is planning to build green and achieve LEED certification.

If the Planning Board recommends approval, the process will move to the Hearing Examiner and Board of Appeals for consideration, followed by the Planning Board. Morgan expects that zoning approval will take the rest of 2008. To move, the hospital must also apply for a certificate of need, administered by the
Maryland Health Care Commission.

Good luck, Washington Adventist Hospital. We hope you get approval stat.

2 comments: said...

Rooting for Washington Adventist to make improvements. A relative of mine spent brief time there due to a health emergency and received good customer service in an aging facility. Hopefully, this means that they have a plan to work on the facilities to prevent their becoming another Prince George's Hospital that has to absorb all of the horrific problems of the District.

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