ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Department of Health has released a 20-year plan to determine the future of 14 state owned health care facilities.
Out of the 14 -- 11 remain open despite several of the buildings being aged and no longer useful.
“Our goal through this ongoing process is to finalize a capital program that guides us through the rejuvenation of our facilities," said MDH Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “We can now begin the process of divesting facilities that are no longer operating, build new state-of-the-art facilities, and properly plan so that we can continue to provide Marylanders the level of health care they deserve and expect today and well into the future."
The plan is made up of three phases, the first which calls for the divestment of three closed facilities.
One of those is the Crownsville Hospital Center in Anne Arundel County.
Parts of the facility are still in use and leased out for food banks and drug treatment programs.
But County Executive Steuart Pittman says he has other plans for it.
“When I first met with Governor Hogan after taking office, we discussed my desire to transform the state’s neglected Crownsville Hospital Center into the green heart at the center of our county where the power of nature could be deployed to embrace the healing work of nonprofit providers of health and wellness. I suggested that the land be transferred to the county so that our local communities could oversee planning."
Other non-operating building that will be divested include the Regional Institute for Children & Adolescents (RICA) in Prince George's County and Upper Shore Community Mental Health Center in Kent County.
From there, the plan is to construct four 24-hour regional crisis centers in Western Maryland, Central Maryland, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore.
The state also wants to transfer services currently provided at Western Maryland Hospital Center in Hagerstown and Deer's Head Hospital Center in Salisbury to other community healthcare providers.
According to a tentative timeline, phase one is expected to be completed by 2026.
In phase two, the state hopes to build a new facility for children and a Secure Evaluation Therapeutic Treatment (SETT) center in the Central Maryland region.
The hope is to get a new patient building up at the Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville.
Those projects are estimated to be completed in 2031.
The third and final phase addresses renovation of the Holly Center in Salisbury and transitioning services currently available at the Potomac Center and Spring Grove Hospital Center to other community healthcare providers by 2041.
General Services Secretary Ellington E. Churchill, Jr. believes the plan will save the state $321.6 million.
The full plan can be read here.