Urgent care center decision expected within a month

August 21, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

Washington County Hospital is about a month from deciding where to open a new urgent care center, a health official said Thursday.

With the hospital expected to leave downtown Hagerstown for Robinwood Drive next year, hospital officials plan to build another urgent care center in the city so people with minor injuries or illnesses can get medical care without an appointment.

Ted Shankle, executive director of the Hagerstown Housing Authority, said last week the center might be on West Baltimore Street, close to where the authority has proposed building 60 apartments for senior citizens.

Mike Zampelli, CEO of Antietam Health Services, which is under the same parent organization as the hospital, acknowledged Thursday that the West Baltimore Street parcel is one of two sites still being considered.


He wouldn't identify the second site, other than saying there already is a building on the parcel.

Zampelli said an initial list had 16 to 18 possible sites. All were within a downtown area roughly bounded by North Street to the north, Burhans Boulevard to the west, Baltimore Street to the south and East Antietam Street, the hospital's current location, to the east.

The list was trimmed to about 10, all of which health officials visited before picking two finalists, Zampelli said.

Location, parking, physical structure, proximity to other medical services, cost and time are among the factors health officials are considering.

The hospital expects to decide on an urgent care center site within 30 days, leaving enough time to build it by the time the new hospital opens in the fall of 2010, Zampelli said.

The hospital currently runs two urgent care sites in the Hagerstown area -- one at Robinwood Medical Center and the other on Pennsylvania Avenue. Both are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

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