SALISBURY — A lower shore hospital got a much needed fiscal shot in the arm this week with the award of a $6.1 million state grant for a new kidney dialysis unit.
On Tuesday, Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown presented Deer’s Head Hospital officials with a $6.1 million state grant for the construction of a new kidney dialysis unit for the Salisbury facility. Brown presented a ceremonial check to hospital officials after touring the facility’s current dialysis unit and hearing from hospital officials about the growing need for expansion and improvement.
The planned project includes the construction of a new 7,800-square-foot addition to house the new unit. The expanded space will provide sufficient space to maintain or slightly increase the number of dialysis patients treated at the facility and increase the space available for each of the hospital’s dialysis stations to meet regulatory requirements. The project, funded in the state’s fiscal year 2012 budget, also includes a reconfiguration of the space for dialysis stations to better comply with ADA standards and privacy and patient observation regulations.
“Governor O’Malley and I are committed to providing the resources needed to improve health care on the Eastern Shore and throughout Maryland,” said Brown on Tuesday. “The new kidney dialysis unit will allow Deer’s Head Hospital Center to continue their high level of service and provide lifesaving treatment to a greater number of residents. Most importantly, it will mean better care and better health for the people of Wicomico County and the entire region.”
Deer’s Head Hospital currently has the capacity to treat up to 62 patients each day and averages as many as 15,000 dialysis treatments every year. When construction of the new unit is completed, the new 7,800-square-foot unit will be able to accommodate about 108 patients a day, nearly doubling its capacity. The new facility is expected to be completed by 2013.
The $6.1 million grant to Deer’s Head this week is symbolic of a renewed commitment by the administration to improve and enhance health care opportunities on the Lower Shore. Just last week, Brown announced he will be leading a new effort to address health disparities in Maryland, including enhancing care and improving delivery in rural areas.
As co-chair of the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council, Brown will oversee a new health disparities workgroup charged with identifying innovative approaches to addressing health care disparities in rural areas.