Prince George’s County on quest for residents’ ideas on new medical center -- Gazette.Net


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Prince George’s County officials are seeking input regarding the design, features and services of a new $745 million regional medical center in Largo.

“It’s extremely important that we have all stakeholders, all community members involved, especially as we develop plans for this state-of-the-art hospital facility,” Del. Darren Swain (Dist. 24) of Bowie said during the first of five community meetings planned on the new hospital. Approximately 300 people attended the meeting Saturday in Largo.

The hospital is being developed by nonprofit Dimensions Healthcare, which operates four hospitals in Prince George’s, in partnership with the county and the University of Maryland Medical System.

The county is currently waiting on approval from the state for a Certificate of Need, which was submitted in October and outlines the need for a new hospital in the community, before it can proceed.

Ray Moldenhauer, a principal for architectural consultant Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum Inc. (HOK) at the company’s Washington, D.C., office, said the Certificate of Need application process can take up to 18 months, depending on any follow-up questions the state may have.

Moldenhauer said the design development phase of the hospital is expected to take approximately one year, although preliminary concept designs were submitted with the Certificate of Need application.

The preliminary concepts envision a 10-story hospital near the Largo Town Center Metro Station, with a 10-story main tower with two helipads. It would feature a central green space leading to the hospital, and clear entry and drop-off areas. The building also would be designed to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building standards, Mouldenhauer said. LEED is a government program providing third-party verification of a building’s environmentally friendly status.

Mouldenhauer asked community members to rate various design styles under consideration for the new hospital.

Betty Hager-Francis, deputy chief administrator for the county’s Health, Human Services and Education Department, said the county will need to recruit 61 new primary healthcare providers. Dr. Carnell Cooper, chief medical officer for Dimensions, said the hospital system is working to build a portfolio of incentive programs, including student loan assistance and assistance in setting up a practice to attract providers.

That was good news to Maya Matheny, a Landover resident and recent University of Maryland, Baltimore County, doctoral graduate in epidemiology, the study of causes and control of epidemics.

“I have aging parents and I’m looking at schools for my son,” Matheny said. “I don’t want to have to go to Baltimore for work; I’d like to stay in Prince George’s County, where I live and where I pay taxes.”

Four additional community meetings are planned March 31 at the Wayne K. Curry Sports and Learning Complex, 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover; April 1 at the Laurel Beltsville Senior Center, 7120 Contee Road, Laurel; April 2 at the Southern Regional Technology and Recreation Complex, 7007 Bock Road, Fort Washington; and April 3 at St. Margaret Church, 408 Addison Road South, Capitol Heights. All the meetings are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

janfenson-comeau@gazette.net