BERLIN – Healthcare professionals, community members and elected officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate Ocean Pines’ newest medical facility.
A ribbon cutting Oct. 28 welcomed the recently completed Delmarva Health Pavilion Ocean Pines to the local business community. The 20,000-square-foot facility was created by Gillis Gilkerson for Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC).
“It’s been a great pleasure working with PRMC,” said Palmer Gillis. “I think the community will be happy with the service they’re providing.”
The new facility will offer a variety of services, as it has enabled PRMC to consolidate its Ocean Pines and Berlin family practices as well as its FamilyLab, which was previously in Berlin. The new building will also offer cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation and adult fitness. In addition, it includes a pharmacy and a café.
Dr. Peggy Naleppa, president and CEO of PRMC, said changes in healthcare meant that the hospital was making more of an effort to provide easy access to healthcare.
“We need to come to you a whole lot more than you come to us,” she said. “This is where we need to provide the services.”
Located near the north gate of Ocean Pines, Worcester County’s largest population center, the Delmarva Health Pavilion is expected to serve the nearly 15,000 year-round residents of the community.
Cynthia Chavis, a registered nurse at the facility, says staff members have been busy since the office opened Oct. 19. In addition to regular patients, she said there had been numerous inquiries from potential new patients.
“We’ve had lots of walk-ins,” she said. “They’re all wanting it because it’s close to home.”
Patients that she treated in the Berlin office have been thrilled with the newer, larger facility they’re now able to use.
“It’s bright and beautiful,” she said. “They love it.”
Worcester County Commissioner Chip Bertino, who represents Ocean Pines, praised the new facility.
“It enhances healthcare on the Lower Shore, especially for Pines residents,” he said, adding that he expected the new medical center to be an asset to the community.
Though some Pines residents have voiced concerns over the effect the new medical development would have on Route 589 traffic, Bertino said it was too early to say. He said Maryland’s State Highway Administration would be monitoring traffic at the site in the coming months.
“It’s a situation we need to keep an eye on,” Bertino said. “We’re going to have to see. It’s challenging developing a game plan without much data.”
The Delmarva Health Pavilion Ocean Pines is the first of what could be as many as five buildings on the Route 589 site. Gillis said last month he already had approval to begin work on the second phase of the medical complex but stressed that the 20-acre site would retain roughly a third of its trees even once the entire project was complete.