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News Release

Media Contact: Tom Grant

Published on June 15, 2004

Press Release

Reviewer Recommends Against Germantown Emergency Department

Rockville, MD - A reviewer for the Maryland Health Care Commission has recommended that the Commission reject Shady Grove Adventist Hospital's application for a Certificate of Need (CON) to build an emergency department in Germantown.

The proposed emergency department would be located in the fastest growing area of Montgomery County, just west of I-270 at the intersection of Germantown and Middlebrook Roads. In order to build the emergency department, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital must have a CON.

Adventist HealthCare President and CEO Bill Robertson expressed disappointment with the Commission reviewer's recommendation against the CON. He vowed to continue working with policymakers and the community to meet the health care needs of upcounty residents.

"It is important to keep in mind that the reviewer's recommendation is just that: a recommendation. The full Commission will vote on our application in July, and between now and then we will press them to approve this vital project," Robertson said. "The reviewer's recommendation reflects a regulatory system that has failed to keep pace with the health care needs of Maryland citizens and the changing medical delivery system."

The Health Care Commission will make a decision on the application on July 15. Adventist HealthCare will work with the community to clearly demonstrate to the Commission the need for the Germantown emergency department.

An emergency department in Germantown would reduce patient volumes at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. In the past three years, the hospital's emergency department has seen a 22 percent increase in patient volume-an increase driven in large part by growth in upper Montgomery County. The growth is expected to continue; projections indicate upper Montgomery County's population will increase by almost 20 percent by 2010.

The Germantown emergency department would provide rapid access to care for upcounty residents who currently encounter congested roads on the way to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. It also would reduce the number of EMS units that must go out of service because of travel time.

"The residents of Germantown and the surrounding area deserve the best in health care that is easily accessible, especially in the case of life-threatening emergencies," said Deborah Yancer, President of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. "Shady Grove Adventist Hospital's mission is to improve the health of Montgomery County residents, and therefore, we will continue to work with policymakers for approval of the Germantown emergency department."

"We are committed to making this full-service, state-of-the-art satellite Emergency Department a reality for this fast growing community," Yancer added.

Yancer thanked the upcounty community for its support of this project. To date, more than 4,000 residents have added their names to the roster of emergency department supporters.

"We are deeply thankful for the overwhelming support from the community," Yancer said. "In the coming weeks, we will again be calling on the residents of the Germantown area to make their voices heard on this important healthcare issue."

Information on the emergency department project is available at At that site, residents may add their names to the list of citizens who are in favor of this vital health care project.

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