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Meritus opening scheduled for Dec. 11

July 17, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ
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Much of the construction on a new medical center is finished and an opening date has been set.

James P. Hamill, president and CEO of the Washington County Health System, said Friday that patients are scheduled to be transferred from the current Washington County Hospital to the new Meritus Health Center on Dec. 11.

When the new center opens off Robinwood Drive, Washington County Health System, the parent organization of Washington County Hospital, will become known as Meritus Health.

The Meritus brand will have a new logo incorporating elements of the current health system quilt logo -- a blue sunrise and diamond shapes. Hamill said the logo reflects the history of the health system and its vision for the future.

The logo and the Meritus name will take effect when the new center opens.

Construction on the new medical center began more than two years ago.

Hamill said the upper three floors of the five-story building and the nursing units are done.

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Vendors are working to set up the pharmacy, the kitchen and operating systems as part of the construction.

The new Meritus Health Center is scheduled to be inspected for an occupancy permit in November.

Until the health system gets an occupancy permit, the building belongs to the contractor, Hamill said.

In August, the health system is starting classroom orientation on equipment and specific units.

What will happen to the current hospital building on East Antietam Street hasn't been decided.

Hamill said he should know more in September or October.

The health system's state-approved schedule for a new medical center includes demolishing the current hospital building.

Hamill said the health system has up to one year after it vacates the current building to find a use for it.

At a meeting on July 12, the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce talked about setting up a committee to talk about possible future uses of the hospital property, said Brian L. Flook, the board's chairman.

A committee likely would have representatives from the City of Hagerstown, the health system, the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission and the Greater Hagerstown Committee, Flook said.

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