- Audrey Barnes
University of Maryland Medical System Assumes Ownership of Dimensions Healthcare System; University
In the culmination of a longstanding pursuit to better serve the health care needs of Prince George’s County, the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is pleased to formally affiliate with Dimensions Healthcare System, which will now be known as University of Maryland Capital Region Health. All Dimensions entities have been renamed to reflect their affiliation with UMMS, which, in partnership with the University of Maryland Sch
ool of Medicine, is privileged to usher in a historic period of health care transformation and discovery-based medicine for the citizens of Prince George’s County and the neighboring Southern Maryland region.
“Today marks the dawn of a new era,” said Robert A. Chrencik, MBA, CPA, President and Chief Executive Officer, UMMS. “This milestone has been years in the making, and we now begin our journey to extend our mission to serve more communities across Maryland through a university-based health system focused on delivering the highest quality patient care, discovering new cures and treatments and educating tomorrow’s doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals for our state.” UMMS, in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and UM Capital Region Health will work diligently together toward improving the health of the population. Strategic goals include:
Expanding access for primary/community care, specialty care, and other health care services to the region to reduce health care disparities and improve health status
Strengthening the care continuum from primary/community care through post-acute care
Facilitating investment in outpatient practices and health education programs to manage chronic diseases
Broadening access to discovery-based medicine
Attracting residents of Prince George’s County and Southern Maryland region who now receive care from hospitals outside the County
“Beyond the benefits to our patients, by becoming a part of the University of Maryland Medical System, we are keenly attuned to the necessity to become more efficient and financially viable in an evolving health care environment that is focused on population health and prevention,” said Neil J. Moore, President and Chief Executive Officer, University of Maryland Capital Region Health. “We are eternally grateful to our partners at the State and local level whose investments have guaranteed the uninterrupted availability of patient care services over the years.”
University of Maryland Capital Region Health also seeks to serve as a catalyst for redevelopment and economic growth in the County, including the Largo region, with the construction of the University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center (to replace the current Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly) slated for groundbreaking later this year and an opening in 2021. Additionally, a multidisciplinary strategic planning work group of community leaders, University of Maryland School of Medicine faculty experts, local elected officials, hospital employees, EMS providers and community physicians have made recommendations to UMMS to modernize and transform the University of Maryland Laurel Regional Hospital. Significant investments in Laurel are proposed to enhance the range, quality and caliber of services offered, with special consideration for robust around-the-clock emergency care including critical care stabilization and medical observation up to 48 hours; behavioral health; outpatient surgery; and other services to revitalize the Laurel campus and make it a destination for high quality health care. University of Maryland Capital Region Health will also evaluate opportunities for expansion of services offered by University of Maryland Bowie Health Center.
“For decades, too many Prince Georgians have left the County for medical care and hospitalization. The time has come to bring our residents back and engender their full confidence in the quality and expertise of health care options right here at home,” said Bradford Seamon, Chairman of the Board of Directors of University of Maryland Capital Region Health. A seven-member interim board will oversee the transition of the new regional health care system. Per the terms of the affiliation agreement, the interim board will be replaced in January 2019 with a 17-to-21-member permanent University of Maryland Capital Region Health Board of Directors with representation from Prince George’s County and the Southern Maryland region.
All entities associated with Dimensions Healthcare System have been renamed to reflect their affiliation with the University of MarylandMedical System, including:
University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center (UM PGHC)
University of Maryland Laurel Regional Hospital
University of Maryland Bowie Health Center
University of Maryland Family Health & Wellness Centers, with locations in Cheverly and Suitland
University of Maryland Health &Wellness Center in Laurel
The formation of the new regional health care system to serve residents of Prince George’s County and the surrounding region dates back to 2010, when multiple partners including Prince George's County, the state of Maryland, the University System of Maryland, the University of Maryland Medical System and Dimensions Healthcare System formally initiated discussions about the future of health care in Prince George’s County. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed in the Summer of 2011 to develop a comprehensive plan for strengthening health care in the county.
“Bringing world-class discovery-based medicine to Prince George’s County is a testament to the mission of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in our State,” said UM School of Medicine Dean E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, who is also the vice president for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers istinguished
Professor. “Our tradition of innovation and clinical excellence will continue to make its mark as we more firmly solidify our presence and contributions to Prince George’s County and the neighboring Capital Region.”
In the fall of 2011, the University of Maryland School of Public Health was engaged to conduct a public health impact study including population needs and impact of a potential new health care delivery system. The resulting report, Transforming Health in Prince George's County, Maryland: A Public Health Impact Study was released, calling for an innovative new system to improve health care in the county. Among the report’s findings:
Prince George’s residents suffered from higher rates of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, asthma and cancer than residents residing in neighboring counties;
The County had significantly fewer health care providers for its population than neighboring counties and the state and capacity of its community-based care was severely limited; and
Many residents sought health care outside of Prince George’s, a concept known as “outmigration.”
These issues remain, and are among priorities that UMMS, in partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and UM Capital Region Health will seek to improve.
The newly formalized affiliation builds upon relationships established between Dimensions, UMMS and the University of Maryland School of Medicine in several clinical areas, including anesthesiology, critical care, orthopaedics, vascular surgery, neonatology, emergency medicine and trauma. UM PGHC is home to the state’s second-busiest trauma center, with leadership from faculty of the world-renowned University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. It is also home to the region’s only neonatal intensive care unit and is a Certified/Designated Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and MIEMSS, respectively.
One model for success is the UM School of Medicine faculty’s work with UM Prince George’s Hospital Center to rebuild and relaunch its cardiac surgery program in 2014. To date, the program has performed more than 260 procedures and has earned recognition for three consecutive years from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for the quality of its Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) procedure.