New Regional Medical Center, Purple Line Add to County Changes

Prince George’s County

by: Hamil R. Harris Special to the AFRO
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After years of planning and budgetary debates, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and a host of other officials are scheduled to break ground on new regional medical center in Largo, Md. on Nov. 30.

The new 220 bed hospital is a partnership between Dimensions Health Care and the University of Maryland Medical System. The facility will offer cardiac care, labor and delivery services and other major services. The hospital is scheduled to open in 2020. Both organizations will fund the $543 million project.

A digital image of the new regional medical center in Largo, Md. (Courtesy Image)

“This has been a long journey for us and this has not been an easy journey,” said Baker during a town hall meeting about the construction of the hospital in January at the Prince George’s Community College. “We have been talking about this for almost 30 years.”

On Jan. 17, Baker and other county officials unveiled videos, charts and artist renderings of the proposed regional medical center.

“The new Regional Medical Center will be state-of-the-art. It is being constructed as part of a strategy to transform the county’s healthcare system into one which will support the improvement of the health of the residents of Prince George’s County and the Southern Maryland region,” according to a statement on the county’s website.

The new hospital will be located at Largo Town Center, at the intersection of Lottsford Road and Arena Drive. It will be directly accessible from the Capital Beltway’s (I-495) Arena Drive Exit 15.

For years Baker and other County lawmakers have been at odds with Gov. Larry Hogan and lawmakers from Anne Arundel County over the size and scope of the hospital that will replace the aging Prince George’s Hospital Center in Landover, Md. The Certificate of Need, which is aimed at restraining costs from Prince George’s Hospital Center and its Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital unit to facilitate construction for the regional medical center, was approved by the Maryland Health Care Commission on Oct. 20, 2016.

The Baltimore Sun reported that funding for the hospital will come from the state and county. Each would provide $15 million in operating costs through fiscal year 2019 with $5 million each in fiscal year 2020 and 2021. The state would also provide $10 million over 10 years for patient services and operating losses as the new system builds its business.

The ground breaking comes in the same week that Rep. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) held a community meeting to discuss plans regarding the proposed Purple Line.

The project is a new 16-mile east-west light rail line that includes 21 stations and connects New Carrollton, Md. in Prince George’s County and Bethesda, Md. in Montgomery County. It will provide a direct connection to four Washington Metrorail lines, three MARC commuter rail lines, Amtrak Northeast Corridor and regional and local bus services.

In August, Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Reps. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) John Sarbanes (D-Md.), John K. Delaney (D-Md.), Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.), and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) praised action by the Federal Transit Administration to sign the Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Maryland Transit Administration for the Maryland National Capital Purple Line project.

“Since my earliest months in Annapolis to my time in Congress today, I have remained strongly committed to moving the Purple Line forward,” Brown said in a statement. “Using an innovative public-private partnership, the Purple Line leverages private-sector investment and expertise to lower costs for taxpayers while maintaining our commitment to maximize participation by minority-owned businesses, guarantee fair competition for highly skilled workers, and ensure sound environmental protections. With this project, we are taking a balanced, transparent approach that will create thousands of jobs, generate millions of dollars in economic development, revitalize neighborhoods, and propel Prince George’s County forward. The Purple Line will be an example of how we can address the nation’s growing infrastructure challenges.”

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