[caption id="attachment_229467" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] After renovations, ChristianaCare opened its first Sussex County primary care office this year. | PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRISTIANACARE[/caption]
REHOBOTH BEACH — ChristianaCare opened its first primary care offices in Sussex County on Jan. 24, including a practice that is tailored to adults 65 years or older.The office holds two practices at 18742 Coastal Highway, the former Pier One store that closed in May 2020.The location is on the Route 1 corridor that runs through Delaware’s beaches, a prime draw for many older Delawareans or second homeowners.The new office brings three providers and eight caregivers.“It is a privilege to be part of the community in southern Delaware,” ChristianaCare President and CEO Dr. Janice Nevin said in a statement. “We recognize the growing need for primary care and other health care services in southern Delaware, and we’re growing to meet that need. ChristianaCare is Delaware’s largest and most advanced health system. Our expert providers, guided by our values of love and excellence, are here to deliver innovative, effective, affordable and equitable care.”ChristianaCare at Rehoboth offers primary care for ages 18 and up, and Dr. Dana L. Newswanger and Dr. Priyal Desai serve as the point physicians. Newsanger is a family medicine doctor while Desai specializes in internal medicine.Meanwhile, ChristianaCare My65+ focuses on offering personalized care to older adults. In addition to primary care, services include medication management, nutritional guidance, specialists coordination, additional provider consultation time and other specific support needs. Dr. David Trinkley, an internal medicine physician, will lead the practice.ChristianaCare MY65+ also includes an embedded pharmacist and behavioral health specialist and, coming soon, a physical therapist who can work with patients in the facility’s gym.“I’m excited and grateful to be a partner in better health for our neighbors at the Delaware beaches,” Rinkley said in a statement. “From high blood pressure control to diabetes management to cancer screenings and more, we are here to help our patients live their healthiest lives.”ChristianaCare’s new primary care offices come at a time when Delaware’s hospital systems are turning their eyes to Sussex County, where a population explosion is raising the need for hospitals and primary and specialty care services. By 2025, Sussex County is projected to have approximately 256,000 residents, and nearly 77,000 of those will be 65 or older.Beebe Healthcare and Bayhealth have focused on filling the gaps in health care in Sussex County for some time, with Beebe announcing plans for a hybrid facility in Millsboro and Bayhealth opening a new primary care office in Harrington, among recent moves.Meanwhile, ChristianaCare, headquartered near Newark, has invested in expanding its footprint in the last decade, specifically concentrating on key growth areas. The health care system opened its Middletown emergency department in 2013, followed by a neighboring primary care office. In early 2020, it also acquired Union Hospital in neighboring Elkton, Md.ChristianaCare has since acquired more primary care offices in Hockessin and two that used to be run by Tower Health in Jennersville and West Grove, Pa. Plans are in the works to open a Milford locationsoon as well.When it comes to Sussex County, ChristianaCare has no immediate plans to share at this time about future brick-and-mortar expansion efforts. But the health system intends to expand service to southern Delawareans through its Mobile Health Services van. The van, stationed at the Laurel Public Library on the last Friday each month, will have easy-to-access services like COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, flu shots, blood pressure screenings, physicals and more.