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Adventist HealthCare to Continue Work on Clarksburg Hospital Project

Story By Kendra Hall
Photo Courtesy of Adventist HealthCare

Late last week, the Maryland Health Care Commission issued a decision denying a proposal by Adventist HealthCare (AHC) to develop an 86-bed hospital and medical campus in Clarksburg, Md. Instead, the commission voted in favor of a plan submitted by another healthcare system to develop a facility in nearby Germantown, Md., on a local college campus.

Despite the state ruling, leaders of this Seventh-day Adventist Church healthcare network—which has a 103-year history of providing quality healthcare to the region—believe their proposal is solid, most beneficial to the community and should be approved.

“We are deeply disappointed in the ruling, especially for the thousands of upcounty residents and community leaders, many of whom spent almost a decade working with us to expand access to healthcare in the region and further our mission,” said William G. “Bill” Robertson, president and CEO of Adventist HealthCare.

For more than eight years, Robertson and his team worked with the community and county on the proposed hospital plans and already had received all necessary traffic, land and environmental approvals to ensure the project blends seamlessly with other development plans in the community.

Robert Jepson, AHC’s vice president of Government Relations and Public Policy, believes those overseeing the state Certificate of Need process did not take into account the importance of working with the community and county to ensure such approvals. “We also believe the Commission did not include vital information in the official record for this case and portions of its decision are inconsistent with the State Health Plan,” Jepson added. “Adventist HealthCare will evaluate our appeal options over the next several weeks and decide the best course of action.”

Jepson said the AHC team will remain actively engaged on these issues as leaders of the opposing healthcare entity begin the lengthy process of seeking the necessary county approvals. So far they have obtained no county land, traffic or environmental approvals and are not part of the master plan for the community where they plan to build.

Adventist HealthCare is one of two healthcare networks operated by the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. They currently operate five hospitals, dozens of clinics, and other healthcare facilities in Maryland and New Jersey. With 6,500 caregivers and staff, they are also the largest employer in Montgomery County, Md. For more information on the proposed Clarksburg hospital project, visit www.clarksburghospital.com.