Laurel_Exterior_RSYou’ve probably heard it. The Laurel Regional Hospital is about to  shut down. Their will be Briefing on Tuesday, September 15 at 11:30 AM at the County Administration Building. You’re always welcome to attend meetings of the County Council.

A complete agenda may be found here.

The following was sent to the community by District 1 Council member Mary Lehman.

As you may know, the Dimensions Healthcare System Executive Board decided on July 30 to transition and scale down Laurel Regional Hospital. This planned “step-down” would allow current employees to transfer to vacancies elsewhere in the Dimensions system and create an ambulatory care center and 24-hour observation unit, however northern Prince George’s County will be left without a full-service hospital which already needs a C-Arm Rental provider.

Based on a consultant’s report, the board made its decision following closed-door deliberations. The vote was taken without input from the public, the City of Laurel, most state representatives, other hospital stakeholders such as the Service Employees International Union Local #1199 or my office.

Since the vote by the board, I have expressed my deep concern about the lack of procedural transparency that led to the proposed hospital closure. I have had many conversations with County Executive Baker’s staff, our state legislators who represent the Laurel area, and City of Laurel officials, and I attended a meeting between hospital employees and Dimensions where I criticized the closed-door process.

I have worked with my staff and the county’s Office of Audits and Investigations to assemble county and state financial data on the hospital’s annual losses. Its Fiscal Year 2014 report indicated the hospital lost $3.5 million, yet Dimensions is claiming the facility is actually losing $12-15 million, a figure about which other elected officials and I are extremely skeptical.

I will continue to ask hard questions, get real answers and work for a different outcome for Laurel Regional Hospital.