[caption id="attachment_217714" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Bayhealth, Sussex Campus in Milford will see some of the $103 million in capital improvements planned in the next three years, like $19 million in new beds and a C-section suite. | DBT PHOTO BT KATIE TABELING[/caption]
DOVER — After two consecutive years of growth, Bayhealthhas no plans on slowing down.In the next three years, Bayhealth is looking to grow in key areas like its Dover footprint and will invest heavily in its rising graduate program. The Dover-based health care system recently secured issuance of $103 million in tax-exempt bonds from both Kent and Sussex county officials earlier this month to finance several capital projects to meet a growing population. The bonds also include funding for already announced projects in Milton and at its Sussex Campus.“Bayhealth is poised to respond to recent and future growth in both Sussex and Kent counties. Our expansion plans are designed to ensure we meet the needs of the people who live here,” Bayhealth CEO and President Terry Murphy told the Delaware Business Times. “[It] has done so since opening our doors nearly 100 years ago, and we intend to meet those needs for the next 100 years.” Most of the investment will be made at its original downtown Dover hospital known as Bayhealth Hospital, Kent Campus, with a $50 million vertical expansion of its patient care tower. Bayhealth will add a sixth floor on the tower, adding more private patient rooms and rooms to “deliver care in an efficient way across a growing medical center.”Another $5.4 million is earmarked for a new endoscopy suite and expansion of the post-anesthesia care unit at the Kent Campus; $4.4 million for a sterilization processing department and $3.2 million to renovate the catheterization lab.“Our vision is to bring the nation’s best health care home to our community, and that means placing the best technology in the hands of the best clinicians,” Murphy added.Bayhealth officials also plan to invest roughly $19 million in new facilities for its residency program, which launched earlier this yearand brought 24 resident physicians in its family medicine and internal medicine programs. In the next two years, Murphy said there will be general surgery and emergency residency programs to follow — and the health care facility will need to grow to match it.“This program is designed not only to help train the next generation of physicians, it also helps us attract new physicians here to meet our growing needs,” he said. “We have several expansion plans for this program underway, and each one is designed to enhance the experience for residence while building a more robust program, and ultimately helping us treat more patients throughout Kent and Sussex counties.”Most of the $19 million for the residency program facilities is earmarked for Bayhealth’s Kent Campus, with $4.6 million targeted for a clinic at the existing Family Medicine Office on South State Street. Another $2.5 million is planned for a lab simulation and $2.2 million for academic offices. At Bayhealth’s Sussex Campus in Milford, $3.4 million will be used to create on-call rooms for the residency program.In other facilities, the bonds finance $39.5 million for planned Dover Medical Neighborhood clinical services and administration space in the Blue Hen Corporate Mall. Bayhealth already operates an orthopedics facility in the mall on South Bay Road.Other investments include a one-story medical office in Harrington off U.S. Route 13 and renovating and expanding the emergency center in Smyrna.For years, Bayhealth has bought land in the state’s southernmost county for long-range expansions that have recently come to fruition. The Dover-based Bayhealth sold off its Milford Memorial Hospital and invested $314 million to build a six-story hospital off Route 1, which opened in 2019. Since then, Bayhealth has partnered with Nemours Children’s Health to open a pediatric care centeron the same campus.A recent partnership with Post Acute Medical (PAM) Rehabilitation Hospital will also bring a new outpatient office at the Bayhealth Sussex Campus.The bond funding also secures financing for ongoing projects at Bayhealth, like $39 million for the emergency room and walk-in care center in Milton and $19 million for new beds and a cesarean section suite to its Sussex Campus.Editor's note: a previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Bayhealth intended to add six floors to its patient tower, not a sixth floor.