Two New Hospital Proposals Considered for Montgomery County

Montgomery County is hoping to get approval to build its first new hospital in 30 years.

With a population of more than 1 million, Montgomery County's fastest growing areas are underserved when it comes to health care. But it is up to the state to decide which of two separate hospital proposals to pick.

The companies that run Holy Cross Hospital and Shady Grove Adventist are competing to build a new hospital in northern Montgomery County. That's the rapidly growing part from Germantown to the Frederick County line.

"It's about time they got a new hospital," said Montgomery County Council President Valerie Ervin. "It's the fastest growing part of the county."

Adventist Health, which runs Shady Grove Adventist Hospital and the Germantown Emergency Center, is hoping to build a new hospital in Clarksburg. It would be called Clarksburg Community Hospital, an 86-bed facility just off Interstate 270. Besides a health care campus, the Clarksburg master plan calls for a mixed-use retail, residential and commercial development.

Holy Cross, the largest hospital in Montgomery County, is run by Trinity Health of Michigan. It's proposing to build a hospital in Germantown. It would be a 93 bed hospital providing on-the-job training for nurses on the Montgomery College Germantown Campus.

Most politicians have not expressed a preference for one hospital plan or the other but are anxious for the state to pick one so building can begin.

"It takes up to 10 years to build a hospital," said Chuck Short, special assistant to Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett.

The final decision is going to be made by the Maryland State Health Care Commission shortly after the new year begins.

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