Nanticoke, PRMC hospital systems say merger will result in enhanced, coordinated services

SEAFORD — Nanticoke Health Services in Seaford is merging with Peninsula Regional Health Services in an effort to provide better care for patients in both Wicomico and Sussex counties, officials say.

The collaboration was announced Monday, after Nanticoke conducted an 18-month search.

“For more than 65 years, Nanticoke’s singular mission has been to provide for the health care needs of the western Sussex communities,” said Steve Rose, president of Nanticoke Health Services .

“This mission has not and will not change. However, we recognize that health care is rapidly evolving. Building a stronger healthcare system will be necessary to continue to provide quality care for patients and to enhance what the Nanticoke team and our community have built together,” he said.

“Over the past 18 months, the Nanticoke Health Services Board of Directors evaluated multiple organizations and concluded Peninsula Regional is well equipped to help us accomplish this goal,” he said.

In an interview Tuesday, Steve Leonard, president of Peninsula Regional Health System, said: “We are very excited. We are honored to have been selected by Nanticoke. Any time two systems come together and figure out how to enhance and coordinate services it’s good for the community.”

Once a letter of intent between the organizations is signed, an agreement will be written, leading to improved quality, expanded access to services and enhanced patient experience.

“Peninsula Regional has a strong history of providing high-quality care to the entire region. Our efforts have been focused on enhancing the quality of our complex, hospital-based services while improving access and the health of our communities,” Leonard said.

The plan could mean PRHS will expand in Millsboro, where there is now an ambulatory building.

“Nanticoke has presences in Georgetown and we could expand there.

“One of our goals is to grow our physician enterprise. It takes months, but possibly by later this year we will have results in this process,” Leonard said.

Nanticoke Health Services began serving Sussex County in 1952 and now has a 99-bed in-patient unit and outpatient diagnostic and therapy services with locations throughout the county.

It has been nationally recognized by Heathgrades and received Patient Safety and Excellence and Outstanding Patient Experience awards.

Salisbury-based PRHS offers the widest array of specialty and subspecialty services in the area.

Established in 1897, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, the eighth-largest hospital in Maryland, has 288 beds and is the region’s largest, most advanced health care facility.

The two health care systems “share a similar culture and commitment to community,” Rose said.

“Combined, our two organizations will create a strong healthcare system for the Delmarva Peninsula.”

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