Beebe drops plan for additional outpatient rooms in Lewes

New Millville campus on track for 2020

Noting rapid changes impacting healthcare nationwide and in the community, Beebe Healthcare announced this week that it is already making some changes to plans for its strategic expansion projects that were announced in 2017.

“Hospitals and health systems throughout the country have worked very hard over the past few years to transform the way that healthcare is delivered,” said Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, president and CEO, Beebe Healthcare. “Likewise, Beebe Healthcare has been transforming the way we provide care, too.

“The future of healthcare includes more care being provided in convenient and efficient outpatient settings, and less care requiring an extended stay in a hospital,” Fried said.

Through its efforts to broaden and elevate its outpatient care and keep people healthy, he noted, Beebe has successfully reduced the number of people who need to stay in the hospital since the peak in hospital admissions reached early last year.

With a greater emphasis on outpatient care, he said, Beebe’s Board of Directors plans to enhance and expand access to advanced medical technologies and outpatient services, rather than proceeding with the construction of additional inpatient rooms on the Lewes campus.

“We have thoughtfully considered the national, regional, and local factors that impact the utilization of healthcare services, including demographic changes, the increased prevalence of chronic disease, changes in technology and medical advancements, and population health management strategies that all reduce the rate of inpatient hospitalization,” Fried said.

“After careful review, we strongly believe that this is the right approach to ensure that we can remain focused on providing the right mix of inpatient, outpatient and emergency care services to improve the health of the communities we serve, enhance patient experience, and provide care in the most cost effective and fiscally sound manner possible.”

Fried said Beebe is considering the best uses for expansion funding, and as such, the $10 million donation from the Ma-Ran Foundation received last year will be used to make way for significant renovations on the Lewes campus, to better serve patients, visitors and caregivers, including expansion of the West Lobby, additional parking and remodeling of patient rooms. Many donors have proudly joined the Rollins family supporting Beebe’s expansion plans, he said.

“I completely support the decision that Beebe is making with regard to the revised expansion plans and believe it is the right thing to do for the community. Our family is happy to have our gift support the renovation of the Lewes campus. We welcome the opportunity to transform this historic campus,” said Margaret H. “Peggy” Rollins.

“The Ma-Ran Foundation has a strong and loyal commitment to Lewes, especially to Beebe Healthcare. For many years, we have supported numerous projects on the Lewes campus, most recently the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing,” said Amy Kreisler, executive director of the Ma-Ran Foundation.

“We have been following the rapid changes in healthcare that are happening not only nationally, but locally. The Beebe Medical Foundation has been in constant communication with our family about these changes and the impact on the community. We agree with the new plans and look forward to enhancing the current Lewes campus, to be named after my mother.”

Plans for the construction of other expansion projects will not be changing, Beebe representatives emphasized.

Construction of the new South Coastal Campus in Millville is on schedule, they said, with groundbreaking planned for this fall and completion expected in 2020. That campus will include a freestanding emergency department with on-site imaging and be a second location for Beebe’s cancer program, offering medical oncology, chemotherapy and radiation oncology.

Groundbreaking for the new Specialty Surgical Hospital on the Rehoboth Beach campus is planned for spring 2019, with completion projected for 2022. That facility will serve as the new hub for scheduled inpatient and outpatient surgical services, and be the future home of Beebe’s labor and delivery for women and newborn babies and the Center for Robotic Surgery.

“This is an exciting time in healthcare,” added Fried. “We are grateful for the community’s support and belief in Beebe. We’re proud to be enhancing and expanding access to Beebe Healthcare’s services and working to best meet the next generation of care and needs of our patients and community.”