Commentary: Vision fulfilled for Bayhealth Sussex Campus

More than four years ago, Bayhealth unveiled plans for a historic new hospital and outpatient center to serve the people of the central and southern Delaware region. The project was a $314 million reinvestment in the state of Delaware and the largest single investment in the history of Sussex County.

I am honored to have served as the chairman of the Bayhealth board of directors during this time period. The project was the topic of conversation at countless board meetings. It was a privilege to have the opportunity to witness the empty field on the corner of Wilkins and Cedar Creek roads transform into a cutting-edge medical facility.

Irwin “I.G.” Burton

Bayhealth had a vision just as the founders of Milford Memorial Hospital did more than 80 years ago. We saw the site as the perfect location for a community hospital to serve the rapidly growing population in Sussex County. There is easy access to the highway and 169 acres that will allow Bayhealth to grow over time.

In the coming years, I believe we will witness the Bayhealth Sussex Campus become the cornerstone of the community, just as Milford Memorial Hospital was when it opened in 1938. We already saw business growth due to the impact the construction project had on the community.

Throughout the project, Whiting-Turner had more than 1,800 workers on the site. Bayhealth also made the commitment to make sure more than half of the project contractors and subcontractors were from Delaware-based businesses and more than half of the project’s materials were purchased through Delaware vendors.

As a result of the larger new facility, Bayhealth hired more than 70 new employees and continues to fill positions.

I was proud to see the dedication of the many team members, medical staff and volunteers at Bayhealth on display in the years, months and days leading up to the recent move from Bayhealth-Milford Memorial to the new Bayhealth Hospital, Sussex Campus.

I would also like to extend a thank you to the leadership of Bayhealth, along with its board members and donors. Your vision culminated in a safe and successful patient move to the Sussex Campus.

Thanks to the hard work of many, the Bayhealth Sussex Campus will now meet the health care needs of our community for decades to come — thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.

Irwin “I.G.” Burton is chairman of the Bayhealth board of directors.

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