group signing

McCready Health of Crisfield, MD, and Peninsula Regional Health System (PRHS), based in Salisbury, MD, today announced that they have reached a definitive agreement. Pending final regulatory approval, anticipated this fall, McCready Health will join PRHS.

Approximately 18 months ago, McCready Health approached PRHS with a request to examine how an affiliation might be structured, with the goals of guaranteeing the retention and strengthening of healthcare services in Crisfield and across Somerset County. During the past decade, hospital usage (census) had dropped dramatically, and the hospital building itself was aging rapidly.

"McCready Health has proudly served the people of Crisfield and Somerset County for nearly a century, and it has been the focus of our Board and staff to assure that residents continue to receive caring, quality healthcare in their local community," said CEO Kathleen Harrison, MBA, FACHE(R). "McCready is also a major employer here, and we want to continue as an economic driver for the county. By becoming part of PRHS, we can assure both those objectives for many years to come."

McCready will continue to provide hospital services in Crisfield throughout the pending regulatory approval process, until approximately November 1, when PRHS will assume ownership. It will then transition to a Freestanding Medical Facility (FMF) at its current location.

Services provided by McCready and PRMC staff at the FMF will include 24/7 emergency care, physical therapy, speech therapy, behavioral health services, family medicine, imaging and laboratory services. Inpatient hospital care and surgical procedures will permanently transition to Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) in Salisbury and possibly other hospitals in the region.

"The financial reality is that McCready does not maintain a daily census of patients sufficient to support the services required to qualify as a hospital as defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – and we were approaching the moment when we would lose the hospital because we would not qualify to be one," said Harrison. "The path to keeping healthcare services in the county became clear: McCready needed to merge with an established and supportive partner like the Peninsula Regional Health System and transition to an FMF."

Building the Future of McCready Health 
PRHS has purchased land on Route 413 just east of Crisfield and will soon begin design of a new FMF, which will be known as the McCready Health Pavilion. When complete, all FMF services will transition to the new, state-of-the-art location. Design and construction is expected to take up to 24 months. 
Tawes Nursing Home and Chesapeake Cove Assisted Living will also become part of PHRS, remaining operational at their current location.

"The McCready Health Pavilion will offer services above what has been extremely successful and well received at our other health pavilions in Ocean Pines and Millsboro," said Steve Leonard, Ph.D., MBA, FACHE, President/CEO of Peninsula Regional Health System. "This is complete and comprehensive healthcare, which best allows us to continue the McCready mission and tradition of providing effective, efficient and exceptional care in Somerset County."

All qualified staff at McCready Hospital who are affected by the change in structure will be considered for employment with the Peninsula Regional Health System at locations including PRMC, at the health system's ambulatory and specialty care centers across Maryland and Delaware and at the new McCready Health Pavilion.

The Peninsula Regional Health System Board of Directors will oversee the transition. Steve Leonard will remain its President/CEO and be responsible for executive leadership, including the McCready additions.