Perhaps one of the more significant events in Chestertown’s long history is expected to take place in a few weeks. While there is no official celebration planned to mark this important moment, this is when it is anticipated that the Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC) will give the final approval of the town’s hospital becoming designated as a critical access facility in the eyes of the State of Maryland.
That might sound a bit bureaucratic, but it’s a huge deal.
This label determines that the UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown is so rural, so remote, that it can operate as a full-service hospital even if the costs of running the facility could be above current standards for similar medical facilities in Maryland.
The Spy spoke to Shore Regional Health’s CEO Ken Kozel last week about this remarkable moment. As someone who has played a leading role for more than a decade with Chestertown’s hospital and the debate on its future, Ken notes that this historic phase for health care that Chestertown, and more broadly, Kent County and northern Queen Anne’s County, will be entering. He also talks about the five-year process that this new designation kicks off, including intensive community engagement. All to help determine precisely what a critical access hospital does, since Chestertown will be the first of its kind in the State.
This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about Shore Regional Health please go here.