Health care

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center to Undergo Extensive Renovations

COVID-19 has exposed health care disparities that plague communities of color. The renovations will work to fight against it

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Health care improvements are coming at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.

The hospital is set to open a new expanded emergency room April 8 with 41 beds compared to 28 previously.

MedStar Southern Maryland also will begin renovations to include additional private hospital beds, behavioral health facilities for voluntary and non-voluntary patients, and primary stroke and emergency cardiac care. The renovations are set to take place over the next five years.

“All of the doctors and nurse are so kind here,” said Clysree Brown, a D.C. resident who lives near the hospital. “I feel very blessed they are doing this for the community, because they really do need this hospital here.”

Southern Maryland's mission is to serve nearby D.C. residents in Wards 7 and 8 and southern Prince Georgians who have limited access to quality health care — a disparity exposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s just bright and shiny and new, and probably the best part about it: There’s so much space … the patients will have privacy,” said Kevin Scruggs, the hospital’s chairman of the emergency department.

Because Prince George's county is considered a medical desert, it's difficult for its community hospitals to attract the talent of some larger hospitals with advanced services. 

“We are really hoping that having this new space and improved processes will decrease a lot of our times and attract a nursing staff that wants to come and work in brand new emergency department,” said Kristin Quade, the hospital’s nursing director.

Grant McClure, the hospital’s vice president of professional services and plant operations, has worked at MedStar since 1977 when it was family-owned.

He said the medical systems buying hospitals in Prince George’s County are helping to improve health care outcomes.

“There's a need for all the health systems servicing this county to rise to that challenge to make sure that their facilities are updated all the time (and) modernized,” McClure said.

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