A group of 12 senators and delegates from the Maryland General Assembly have weighed in on the pending decision on the location for a new upcounty hospital. The group jointly signed and submitted a letter to the Maryland Healthcare Commission in support of Adventist Healthcare’s proposal for a hospital in Clarksburg.
The letter references the recommendation of the Holy Cross hospital in Germantown, made by Marilyn Moon, Ph.D., chair of the Maryland Health Care Commission. Within the letter, the group gives four reasons for their position. First, they said they are concerned about the impact a hospital in Germantown would have on the Shady Grove Adventist Emergency Center in Germantown.
“The dismissive characterization in the recommendation of the Germantown Emergency Center is inconsistent with our experience or that of our constituents,” the legislators wrote in their letter.
Second, legislatures said Moon’s recommendation did not fully consider Adventists’ positive impact on the community. Also, the letter calls for a thorough and extensive planning process, whereby the proposals should be considered for their impact on the environment and land use.
Lastly, the letter states the need for a variety of health care services for all.
The commission is scheduled to make a decision Thursday to approve either the Adventist Healthcare hospital in Clarksburg or a Holy Cross hospital in Germantown.
The letter was sent on Jan. 13 and was signed by Sen. Rob Garagiola of Germantown (district 15), Sen. Jennie Forehand (district 17), Sen. Nancy King (district 39), Del Charles Barkley (district 39), Del. Kumar Barve (district 17).
Holy Cross’ proposal includes a $202 million, 93-bed hospital on Montgomery College's Germantown campus, compared to Adventist's $177 million, 86-bed hospital as part of a large health care campus in Clarksburg.
Many supporters of the Adventist Healthcare plan have expressed concern since Marilyn Moon, Ph.D., chair of the Maryland Health Care Commission, reviewed the proposals and favored the Holy Cross Hospital in Germantown.
"It's nice to have an upcounty hospital, but it does promote the continual challenges we have in the upcounty," County Council Member Craig Rice, after the recommendation was released. Rice has previously voiced support for a hospital in Clarksburg. In a Dec. 8 interview, Rice said that Clarksburg is the area with the greatest need for development.
However, Holy Cross points what they say is the basis of Moon's recommendation: Adventist's failure to meet nine of thirty-one standards and criteria.
Within her summary, Moon said Adventist HealthCare's priority over the next few years should be to keep themselves financially afloat.
"This task, critical to restoring Adventist HealthCare to robust financial health, is large enough that it should not be put at risk by simultaneously attempting to establish a new hospital," Moon wrote.
On Jan. 6, Adventist Healthcare submitted a 105-page document to the Maryland Health Care Commission today detailing their grievances with the Dec. 17 recommendation that Holy Cross in Germantown be the site for the new upcounty hospital is “flawed.”
“Our exceptions identify issues and concerns that are vitally important to address before there is any ruling to establish Maryland’s first hospital in a metropolitan area in more than 30 years. This decision is too important for the citizens of Montgomery County and Maryland to be rushed through the full commission,” said William G. “Bill” Robertson, President and CEO of Adventist HealthCare in a press release.
See the complete list of grievances here.
Moon will present her recommendation to the full commission, for a vote, on Thursday.