Helix HealthPark to add surgical unit Outpatient operations will begin next month

March 28, 1997|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

Urologist Louis A. Shpritz's main office is in Glen Burnie, but for the past two decades he's done most of his surgery at Harbor Hospital in Baltimore.

"It was inconvenient for my patients to go there," said Shpritz, who does about 15 procedures a week. As for him, he said, "You were more tired from the commute than you were from doing the procedure."

Starting next month that will change: He and about 80 other doctors whose practices include surgery will perform outpatient operations in a free-standing medical center, Helix HealthPark, at a Pasadena strip mall.

A 450,000-square-foot building in the 8100 block of Ritchie Highway between an Ames retail outlet and a recently closed Best, Helix HealthPark opened in October with about a dozen practitioners -- pediatricians, gynecologists, internists, massage therapists and acupuncturists.

Now the facility is being expanded to include an outpatient surgery section. Procedures that do not not require a hospital stay can be done there, including hernia operations, breast biopsies, removal of polyps, vasectomies and plastic surgery.

"Anybody that's board-certified can operate here," said Louise Regan, a registered nurse who will manage the surgery department.

The $5 million building's surgery unit, called SurgiCare, will have four operating rooms, seven preoperation alcoves and a recovery area when it opens April 10. It's the same setup used in hospital surgical suites, said Chad Dillard, spokesman for Harbor Hospital and the Pasadena facility.

The facility follows the lead of other county hospitals that have begun to perform services away from the hospitals. Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis has an extension about three miles away, and North Arundel Medical Center in Glen Burnie will open a birthing clinic in Arnold.

Regan and her assistants have assembled a staff of seven nurses, four operating-room technicians, a receptionist and a surgery scheduler and are checking the credentials of doctors who want to do surgery at the center.

"It's a better way of giving care," said Shpritz, who thinks he will go to the center three or four days a week. "Less bureaucratic, smoother flow, more convenient."

Pub Date: 3/28/97

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