Many hospitals speak metaphorically about creating a “blueprint for better health.” Carroll Hospital, however, is literally drafting one.
It’s all part of Vision 2020, the hospital’s seven-year strategic plan that was launched in 2013. Now in its final phases, the plan is ushering in a host of major construction projects that will reshape the hospital’s physical footprint and its ability to care for the community.
“Our goal with this construction phase is to expand and streamline our services and modernize our facilities,” explains Leslie Simmons, president of Carroll Hospital and executive vice president of LifeBridge Health. “Ultimately, that means a better workflow for our teams and a better experience for our patients and families.”
The hospital isn’t wasting time either. Ground has already broken on the two largest projects: a $15 million newly constructed skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, located at Gist and Washington roads, and a $54 million main campus expansion, which will be anchored by an all-new critical care unit (CCU). Construction on a third project—the $3.5 million expansion of Carroll Hospice’s inpatient facility, Dove House—is set to begin in June 2020. (See pages 4-5 for details on each project.)
Not all of these projects were part of the original plan. Simmons says the hospital’s strategy has continuously evolved to meet the changing needs of the community and capitalize on new opportunities to better serve patients.
“When we started Vision 2020, a skilled nursing facility was not on our list,” she explains. “LifeBridge Health leadership actually brought the concept to us after we joined forces [in 2015]. And we were just over-the-moon excited about it. We knew that having a facility right here on campus would give our community an unprecedented level of access to more convenient, more coordinated short- and long-term care.”
The expansions of Carroll Hospital’s main campus and Carroll Hospice’s Dove House were always part of the plan, however. Both projects caught the attention of Maryland State Delegate Susan Krebs, who sits on the Carroll Hospital Foundation board and chairs the Carroll Hospice board. She immediately set to work in Annapolis to help secure funding.
“Carroll Hospital is very good at fundraising,” says Del. Krebs, “but I saw such a need for these projects. And I know what a visionary organization the hospital is. I have sat on the state’s health committee for 11 years, and I can say without a doubt that Carroll Hospital is leading the curve in health care.” She and her District 5 colleagues—Senator Justin Ready, Delegate April Rose and Delegate Haven Shoemaker—succeeded in securing $800,000 for the CCU renovation from the state’s Hospital Bond Program. The delegation also successfully petitioned Governor Larry Hogan and Budget Secretary David Brinkley for funding for Carroll Hospice’s Dove House expansion and was able to secure an additional allocation from Capital Budget Chair Adrienne Jones for a total of $650,000 toward the project.
“Both Governor Hogan and Secretary Brinkley are huge supporters of hospice,” says Del. Krebs. “We’re very thankful that they included Carroll Hospice in the state budget in this way.”
“The governor, secretary and District 5 legislators have been integral in helping us make these projects feasible,” adds Simmons. “We owe them—and everyone who has donated to these projects thus far—a debt of gratitude for being champions for us. We all listen to our community. We hear what the community needs. And it’s pretty awesome to have the support and strength to answer the call.”
From the fall 2019 issue of A Healthy Dose, Carroll Hospital’s community magazine