Hospital to consult Silver Spring residents in planning move
Washington Adventist president wants community to be involved in talks about Takoma Park site
As Washington Adventist Hospital prepares to move to White Oak, hospital officials want to ensure Silver Spring residents can weigh in on what they would like to see replace the hospital site in Takoma Park.
‘‘We want to include the Silver Spring folks in that discussion,” hospital President Jere Stocks said at Monday night’s Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board meeting. ‘‘... We want to work with you to determine what your needs are.”
Hospital officials plan to interview at least 200 residents then move forward from there, Stocks said. But residents already have a few ideas about what would benefit the community and some concerns about the effects of the hospital’s departure.
‘‘There used to be talk about a small high school on the campus,” said Fran Rothstein, a Silver Spring resident. She wondered if that option is still being considered.
Many options are being considered, Stocks said. Some include a birthing center, hospice care, high school and day care operation.
‘‘I think everything’s on the table right now,” he said.
Some community members, like advisory board member Darian Unger, raised concerns about what would happen when the hospital’s emergency department leaves. Stocks said one potential use for the property is an emergency center similar to the Germantown Emergency Center, which is open 24 hours a day for the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, complete with laboratory and radiological services.
‘‘What would be helpful is if the community said, ‘Yes, we want this here,’” Stocks said.
Washington Adventist bought 50 acres in the White Oak area off Plum Orchard Drive for $11 million and will be building a new hospital there. It took about a year and a half to secure that property and will be several years before construction can begin, Stocks said.
Plans still remain for a health center at Arliss Street and Flower Avenue in Long Branch, Stocks said. The hospital is prepared to sign a 20-year lease on that building, with a 10-year renewal. The process has been held up because of a lawsuit filed by the community association against the property’s developer.
‘‘We absolutely need Long Branch to happen,” Stocks said, adding that will be several years before the hospital relocates but it needs more space to treat patients now. The hospital draws patients from across the region who need cardiac care.