PHOTO: Washington Adventist Hospital campus, Takoma Park, MD. Photo by Bill Brown, 2011.
BY BILL BROWN
Takoma Park’s only hospital has the state’s permission to relocate to White Oak, MD, five miles north.
Brushing aside objections from the city and from two nearby hospitals, the Maryland Health Care Commission approved Washington Adventist Hospital’s application to move its acute-care facilities from the Takoma Park campus.
Takoma Park mayor Kate Stewart spoke at the Dec. 17 final hearing in Baltimore. City staff and councilmembers also attended but did not speak. Afterwards Stewart said “We receive the news of Washington Adventist Hospital’s move with disappointment but readiness to prepare for the future.”
The city asked for, but was not granted, a stand-alone emergency department to take the place of the hospital’s emergency room.
“We will work closely with the City in identifying possible other services and facilities” claimed Wangsness.
However, the commission did require WAH to establish a 24/7 urgent care center when the emergency room in Takoma Park closes.
In discussions with the city over the last year, the hospital said it would evaluate the feasibility of a free standing emergency department.
This was perhaps obliquely referred to when the mayor said ” We look forward to working with the Hospital to ensure the Takoma Park campus has a robust array of health care services.”
Wangsness responded obliquely as well, stating, “We will work closely with the City in identifying possible other services and facilities that will create a vibrant community health campus in this location.”
That campus will remain in the hospital’s hands and will continue to provide limited care. Its psychiatric section will remain there. WAH will also provide a 24-hour urgent care center, behavioral health services, physical rehabilitation services, a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center operated in conjunction with Community Clinic Incorporated, and Women’s Health Center.
WAH will also rent portions of its facility for medically-related uses.
The Takoma Park city council has had a number of closed sessions – two of them within the last few weeks – to take legal advice on WAH’s relocation and to “discuss pending or potential litigation.”
There has been no word from the city on what potential litigation, if any, the city has in mind.