January 18 tour of new hospital

The wait is almost over.

Bayhealth’s Sussex Campus, a state-of-the-art hospital just south of Milford, is on track to open in early February.

“This is historic,” said Bayhealth President and CEO Terry Murphy.

Elected officials got a look for the first time January 18, including Sen. Tom Carper, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Gov. John Carney, Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long, State Treasurer Colleen Davis and numerous state legislators.

“It’s about the patients,” Hall-Long said. “It is about keeping our community well and keeping our community strong.”

The new hospital

Bayhealth broke ground on the 165-acre campus in May 2016 and invested over $300 million. Over half of the materials used in the six-story building were provided by Delaware companies and 53 percent of over 1,800 people that worked on the building and campus were Delawareans themselves.

“It truly is a reinvestment back into the state and we are very proud of that,” Murphy said.

The new hospital was strategically designed in order to be easy to access and navigate. All-private rooms with fold-out couches, expansive natural light and standardized, safety-conscious designs were all included for the benefit of both the patients and hospital staff. Murphy said great care was taken to separate “on and offstage spaces,” so that the staff can operate behind the scenes while patients and visitors enjoy an aesthetically pleasing hospital.

The 128-bed facility also features additional operating rooms, an expanded emergency department and a 70,000 square-foot outpatient center. The cafeteria was also expanded and includes indoor and outdoor seating.

Bayhealth officials planned for future growth, building the hospital in such a way that invites additions without complicating wayfinding.

Additional healthcare ventures

As for the 250,000-square-foot Milford Memorial Hospital and its 22-acre campus downtown, it will be revamped by Nationwide Healthcare Services. According to Murphy, Nationwide will provide a 150-bed skilled nursing facility in the old hospital and plans to develop a senior wellness village there in the future.

“That will bring another $10 million dollar reinvestment and an additional 300 jobs to this part of the state,” he said.

Across the road from the Bayhealth Sussex Campus, groundbreaking is expected to occur this spring for a new three-story, 100,000-square-foot Nemours facility. Nemours will bring specialty doctors to southern Delaware, alleviating the need to travel to New Castle County for certain ailments. Primary care physicians are expected to open offices there.

“Although we’re sharing a lot about our new health campus and our pride in the facility … our pride is really found somewhere else,” Murphy said. “Our pride is in taking care of the people that come to us, and we look forward to that.”