Cumberland Times-News

Local News

June 2, 2014

Garrett Memorial Hospital digs into $23.5M construction project

Ribbon cutting held for cardiac, pulmonary rehab center

— OAKLAND — A groundbreaking ceremony held Monday for a four-story addition to Garrett Memorial Hospital was the start of a three-year, $23.5 million construction project.

“What a great day this is for Garrett County and this facility to break ground to expand the operations here,” said Sen. George Edwards. “This addition will improve the community’s access to health care while providing space necessary to offer services. Congratulations to the leadership of Garrett County Memorial Hospital for having the vision to dutifully serve this community with such energy while striving for access to health care services for the people of Garrett County and surrounding counties.”

The project will take three years to construct and will be 19,504 square feet, according to Edwards. Edwards and Del. Wendell Beitzel put in bills to allow up to $12 million in bonding. The total cost of the project is $23.5 million and includes a $15 million request from the county and $8.5 million in cash contributions and fundraising, hospital officials have said.

The hospital has one of the lowest surgical infection rates in the nation and has an excellent track record in safety, according to Edwards. The hospital also has the highest patient experience scores in the state for controlling patient pain, physician relations to patients, staff responsive to patients and overall cleanliness.

Robin Summerfield, a representative for U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, congratulated the hospital staff on its achievements.

“This is a first class hospital, bar none. The thing that I think makes this hospital particularly special — I recognized when I came in the door — is four smiling faces of volunteers to greet me as I walked in the building,” said Summerfield.

Wayne Johnson, who will be retiring as chairman of the hospital board, was also in attendance at the ceremony and said a few words.

“I’m very proud to have seen my hometown hospital grow. We have made quite good progress and we aren’t done yet,” said Johnson. “With this ceremony let’s begin construction of this new addition to the Garrett Memorial Hospital to provide services to all citizens of Garrett County and the surrounding areas.”

“It’s clear that Mr. Johnson has put his heart and soul into Garrett Memorial Hospital and we’re extremely appreciative of all you have done for us and all you have given to this organization,” said Mark Boucot, hospital president and CEO.  

The groundbreaking ceremony was followed by a ribbon cutting for the hospital’s new Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center. The new cardiac rehabilitation services are designed for those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cardiac heart failure or have had a recent cardiac event such as a heart attack, bypass surgery, heart stents, heart valve replacements or a transplant.

“I just want to commend all the administrators, the medical support staff, doctors that take care of our medical needs here. You do a great job,” said Beitzel.

“This has been a project in the works for quite a few years so we are quite happy to see it (rehab center) opening,” said Kendra Thayer, chief nursing officer. “We thank all of you for your support and hard work.”

Julianna Albowicz, assistant to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, and Summerfield presented Boucot with senatorial certificates of special recognition for the new addition and for the rehab center.   

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at

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