Beebe Healthcare announced on June 7 that its Board of Directors has approved management’s proposal for a comprehensive expansion of the system over the next several years. This expansion will include both new facilities and new services on three campuses as Beebe Healthcare works to meet the needs of the growing region. Construction on the first phase of the expansion is expected to begin as early as the fall of 2018.
“Our community is an attractive place to live and keeps growing. Beebe remains committed to expanding with it and to meeting the healthcare needs of the people who live in and visit the area,” said Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, President and CEO of Beebe Healthcare. “As we acquire the latest technology and equipment, hire more physicians and improve our systems, patient and physician demand for Beebe services has increased. We think our plan is an innovative response to growth of the population, to expectations of healthcare customers for excellent service provided in convenient locations, and the insurance companies’ requirements that we be as efficient and cost-effective as possible. We’re very excited to share our vision for healthcare services with everyone today,” said Fried.
The plan calls for an expansion on the hospital campus in Lewes that will create all private rooms for complex medical and surgical inpatients. The expansion will include a new labor and delivery wing to serve the growing population of young families. The Lewes campus will remain the site of heart and vascular care, and the plans include creation of a dedicated Heart, Stroke and Vascular Center of Excellence. “By focusing the Lewes hospital campus on complex inpatients, we can improve the care they receive as well as become more efficient,” state Rick Schaffner, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
In Rehoboth, Beebe proposes to develop a Specialty Surgical Center for inpatient and outpatient procedures. Surgical procedures will be focused on less complex cases for patients requiring a shorter inpatient stay. Beebe will establish a Minimally Invasive Surgical Center of Excellence at the site. “We know that we can create a better experience for these patients by developing a site just for them and not mixing them with trauma, emergency, and intensive care,” commented Mr. Fried.
South Coastal residents will see development of a Beebe Health Campus in Millville on Route 17 that will include a new year-round freestanding emergency department that has long been desired by many residents in the area. In addition, a comprehensive satellite facility of Beebe’s Tunnell Cancer Center will be developed that will include radiation and chemotherapy treatment. The development of these two services will augment the full diagnostic imaging, physical rehabilitation services, laboratory, and walk-in care that is currently offered in Millville on Route 26.
“Beebe Healthcare has continued to grow and expand over the last 101 years. To continue to serve our community, this next step is essential,” said the Honorable William Swain Lee, Beebe Board of Directors Chairman. “In 1916, Beebe was a two-room hospital. What will we look like 100 years from now? It is hard to say, however, what we do know is that our community is growing and we need to grow along with it to continue to provide the most advanced medical care for those who live, work, worship, and visit us here in Sussex County.”
Beebe is expected to invest approximately $180 million in this expansion, with a portion of that expected to come from charitable contributions being sought in a major capital campaign led by the Beebe Medical Foundation. “We have so many grateful patients in this community, many who have given back to Beebe in one form or another. With our advanced thanks, the community’s philanthropic support will be critical to bring this vision to life,” stated Judy Aliquo, president of Beebe Medical Foundation.
Beebe will unveil more details of its plans over the next several months as building designs are completed. Community meetings, events, and publications are planned to keep the community informed of the expansion of healthcare services.
“Our patients and our community have helped to make us the premier healthcare provider in our area. It’s something we’re very proud of and also something we take very seriously. Our staff and physicians work every day to earn the community’s trust and confidence in the care we provide. Our region has grown, and our health system is prepared to grow right along with it,” said Fried.
Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware for residents and visitors, including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer treatment center, home care services, and outpatient facilities providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehabilitation services. For more information, please visit us online at www.beebehealthcare.org.