Bayhealth hosts open house at new Sussex Campus hospital

MILFORD — Bayhealth Sussex Campus in Milford beamed with life this weekend as thousands of community members walked through the hallways of the new hospital.

Mary Vail and neighbors Dolores and Gay Morrison, all of Milford, were among the first visitors Saturday during a community-wide open house.

“I think it’s beautiful. And it’s brand new with every modern convenience available,” Ms. Vail said.

Ms. Morrison added that it seemed very organized, both the open house and the hospital layout.

Similar comments echoed through the halls of the hospital as visitors checked out inpatient rooms, outpatient services, the emergency and trauma center and other areas inside the brand-new facility.

“It’s beautiful and very patient centered. It’s just a very healing environment,” Alicia Jackson said as her family visited the Teddy Bear Clinic after their tour.

Elaine Wilson of Milford said she was “very impressed with the new technologies and especially the ER vertical chairs and beds, large private rooms, internal IT equipment in each room, the visitor bench/bed.”

The community open house wasn’t the only opportunity for people to see the facility for the first time this weekend.

CEO Terry Murphy

Earlier Saturday morning, a friends and family event was held and dignitaries, like Governor John Carney, legislators and Milford Mayor Archie Campbell, were invited to the new hospital Friday morning for a special event of their own.

“We knew we had a unique opportunity to build something from the ground up, so it’s a big deal,” CEO and President Terry Murphy told the group Friday.

He highlighted the unique state-of-the-art elements of the new hospital, local employees and resources used to build the facility, Nationwide Healthcare Services which will repurpose the old Milford Memorial Hospital as a 150-bed skilled nursing facility and Nemours who will offer specialized pediatric services right on Bayhealth Sussex Campus in the years to come.

“Terry went through all the elements, I said to him as he walked back, ‘You should have just dropped the mic after going through the positive things that are happening to the hospital here, to the old Milford Memorial, to the Nemours project that’s going to be right down the road to this campus. It’s really, really a big deal to this part of the state when you think about it,” Gov. Carney said.

“Somebody said in the earlier comments, ‘This is going to be the rock of Sussex County and central Delaware,’ and it really is. And there’s going to be a bright future because of that for this region. . . If you’re going to do things, big things, you gotta do it right. And they did it right in this.

“Terry [Murphy], and I.G. [Burton], Bill [Strickland] and all the people that are involved in this project. This is a big deal. And you did it right. And because you did it right, well that’s been explained by everyone, it’s going to be a huge catalyst, as somebody just said, for this part of the state.”

In total, Mr. Murphy said the project cost just over $3 million.

The new hospital is larger than Milford Memorial Hospital, requiring more employees than before and thus adding an additional economic boost to the immediate area.

New technologies, like Davinci surgery robots, will also require a variety of new employees as Bayhealth prepares to open the facility in early February.

“It takes a lot of money to build a place like this. It takes a lot of smart people to design a place like this. It takes a lot of common people to build a place like this. A lot of smart, well educated, caring people to bring it to life,” Senator Tom Carper said, calling the new hospital a “great achievement.”

“This is Martin Luther King holiday weekend,” Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester told the crowd Friday.

“And Martin Luther King actually said, ‘Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane.’

“To me, why this is also significant, is because the people of Sussex County deserve the best. This is the best. This is state-of-the-art. This is people center.

This is going to have great physicians and nurses and people that work here. They deserve the best.”

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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