Hospitals in Montgomery expanding -- Gazette.Net


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Montgomery County’s hospitals are expanding to keep help pace with the county’s growth, with new facilities and relocations scheduled and proposed for 2014 and thereafter.

A new hospital is under construction upcounty. Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring is building a 93-bed hospital in Germantown, the county’s first new hospital in 35 years. Construction started in July 2012, with a projected opening in October.

The hospital is being built next to Montgomery College’s Germantown campus, allowing students and faculty to work with health care professionals on site. The college is preparing to accommodate a larger student body and integrate Holy Cross into its existing programs, according to Sanjay Rai, provost of the college’s Germantown campus.

Holy Cross spokeswoman Yolanda Gaskins said her organization is receiving “a lot of inquiries” about jobs at the Germantown facility. Hospital operations there are expected to create about 1,500 jobs.

The hospital will be six stories high and accessible through Observation Drive.

Holy Cross also is expanding its Silver Spring facility to include a seven-story patient care building.

“Construction on this project includes numerous changes to the existing structure, including construction of a bridge to connect the two buildings, in addition to changes to the existing hospital,” Gaskins said.

A parking garage addition, with 300 spaces, has been completed, she said. The patient care building is projected to be completed in fall 2015.

Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park is again considering a move to White Oak. As The Gazette previously reported, the hospital is making its second bid since 2006 to move to a larger campus.

A small contingent of emergency services would remain in Takoma Park if the hospital’s plans are approved. The project would cost $373 million, including $33 million to renovate the existing Takoma Park campus. The new 200-bed White Oak facility would open in late 2018.

At Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, a $230 million “campus enhancement project” is moving toward final approval, according to hospital spokeswoman Ronna Borenstein-Levy. Over opposition from neighbors, the Maryland Court of Appeals in September gave the hospital the green light to begin construction.

The expansion includes a four-story, 235,597-square-foot addition and a new parking garage with more than 1,200 spaces.

“Right now we’re looking forward to breaking ground in late 2014,” Borenstein-Levy said in September.

If all goes according to plan, the new parking garage will be ready for use in 2017 and the building will be open for patient use in fall 2019.

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney announced last month that it would lose 24 employees, effective Jan. 31. Spokeswoman Gina Cook said the workers will not be laid off, but will move to CBRE Group, a real estate contractor. The affected employees handle property management and facility management for the hospital.

“The reduction at MedStar Montgomery does not result in job loss, as these people are functioning same as before,” Cook said. The 24 employees have been offered employment through CBRE at their current salaries.

In addition, the hospital is expanding its radiation oncology services with new technology, she said.

Loren Nix, spokeswoman for Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, said there are no expansions planned for its facility. The hospital recently hired a new president, John Sackett of Olney, who started last spring.

scarignan@gazette.net