Bayhealth adds northern Del. primary care
MIDDLETOWN — Looking to grow in its Middletown footprint even further, Bayhealth has opened its first primary care practice in the growing community earlier this month.
Bayhealth has long been based in central Delaware with two hospitals, 40 practices throughout the state and several more specialists. But its presence in New Castle County has been light, with an outpatient and sleep center in Middletown.
“Middletown is a rapidly expanding area in need of additional medical service. There are few primary care clinicians nearby and we had requests from patients and Bayhealth employees to expand to the area,” Bayhealth Vice President of Physician Services & Clinical Integration Lawrence Ward told the Delaware Business Times.
The primary care office will include at least nine employees, including physicians Rohin Saroya and Shailly Saini. A team of agents will also work for the office in terms of answering calls, scheduling and answering clinical patient questions.
Bayhealth has already owned the building at 209 East Main St. and opened the outpatient clinic in 2001. That facility also has seven employees.
“We took over the space previously occupied by Dedicated To Women and expanded it into an adjacent free space. One phase of renovations to modernize the space has already been completed and a second and final phase is almost complete,” Ward added. “Given that we had several primary care physicians who were more than willing to move their practice sites to Middletown to be closer to where they live, we saw it as a great opportunity to expand Bayhealth’s clinical services.”
Delaware is struggling to maintain doctors in the state, and several initiatives like residency programs and marketing efforts are looking to boost the numbers. In 2018, there were 815 active primary care physicians in Delaware, according to a 2018 study commissioned by DHSS.
Further findings show that Kent County physicians were 60% more likely to be active in the field five years from now, compared with 78% in Sussex County and 70% in New Castle County.
Ward said at this time there are no plans for Bayhealth to add more services in Middletown, but that may change.
“If this practice is successful, we may add some additional primary care clinicians and perhaps even medical subspecialists,” he said.