Group proposing to build hospital takes option on land in Abingdon

August 18, 1994|By Suzanne Loudermilk | Suzanne Loudermilk,Sun Staff Writer

A Harford County medical-management group affiliated with the Johns Hopkins Health System has acquired an option to purchase 26 acres in Abingdon for a new hospital.

The pentagonal-shaped complex would be at the intersection of Box Hill South Parkway and Route 924.

"This is our preferred location at which to construct a new health care facility for Harford County," said Allan Acton, vice president of Upper Chesapeake Health System, the parent company of Fallston General and Harford Memorial hospitals.

The purchase hinges on approval of an application filed in July with the Maryland Health Resources Planning Commission for an exemption from a state requirement for a Certificate of Need for the consolidation project.

Upper Chesapeake wants to close Fallston General and reduce the licensed beds at Harford Memorial in Havre de Grace from 275 to 100. That would nearly halve the number of licensed hospital beds in the county, from 494 to 250.

The new $44.8 million hospital in Abingdon would have 150 beds and provide acute inpatient care, a medical office complex for doctors, an outpatient and ancillary service area and an emergency room.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled at 6 p.m. today at Bel Air High School.

"We will be paying close attention to what we hear on Thursday," said Richard Coughlan, a staff member for the Health Resources Planning Commission.

Depending on what's said at the meeting, the proposal may be placed on the agenda of the commission's Sept. 13 meeting, Mr. Coughlan said.

Mr. Acton said there would be "no reason for undue delay" in starting the project if the application is approved.

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