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Portion of Johns Hopkins Hospital to be Converted to Office Space

Johns Hopkins Hospital will spruce up and modernize its 122-year-old main building once it opens its massive new twin towers.

Completed in 1889, the hospital’s iconic, bright-red Queen-Anne-style building will undergo a three-year renovation that will begin in the summer, says Ted Chambers, administrator for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

The hospital’s $1 billion expansion, which includes separate wings for cardiovascular and pediatric care, will be completed in November and open in April. It has been under construction since 2006.

Chambers says the hospital does not yet have an estimate as to how much the renovation of the old hospital will cost. A good chunk of the building will be converted to office space for faculty and staff. The conversion will include the children’s center since the new hospital will include a new children's hospital.

The old hospital will also house training for nursing and other clinical staff.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Ted Chambers, Johns Hopkins Hospital

LifeBridge Acquires Physical Therapy Clinics in Baltimore, Harford Counties

LifeBridge Health's sports medicine division has acquired a Baltimore-area physical therapy practice, giving it an another five clinics and nearly doubling its patients.

The clinics it acquired from Henning & Cole Therapy Associates are located in Hunt Valley, Bel Air, Essex, Perry Hall, and Belcamp, bringing its total number to 11.

The expansion in physical therapy also allows the health care organization to keep its grip on aging baby boomers as they stay active longer.
Having more clinics makes it easier for LifeBridge to keep patients once they leave the hospital and seek physical therapy, says Matt Carlen, executive director of LifeBridge's wellness division. LifeBridge will handle about 6,000 physical therapy patients per month with the acquisition.

Each of the Henning & Cole clinics pulls in about $1 million in revenue, Carlen says. He declined to disclose the purchase price. The practice was known for relying on manual, hands-on therapy more than machines, he says.

LifeBridge Health
is composed of Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Courtland Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and LifeBridge Health and Fitness.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Matt Carlen, LifeBridge

Carroll County Hospital Takes Over Cancer Center Operations

Carroll Hospital Center has taken over the operations of a neighboring cancer care unit and plans to build a new cancer hospital in two years.

The Westminster hospital has renamed the Carroll Cancer Center the Carroll Regional Cancer Center, which it took over from national health care network US Oncology. It has added hematologist/oncologist Dr. Johanna DiMento to the cancer center's 75-person staff, says Carroll Cancer Center Chief Operating Officer Leslie Simmons.

Health care executives wanted to provided care under one roof and offer a broader range of services, Simmons says.

Hospital executives are getting ready to launch a fundraising campaign so it can begin construction on an entirely new cancer care building in 2013. Simmons says she did not yet have a cost estimate for the project.

The hospital's goal is to construct a building on its campus.

"The current center is at capacity," Simmons says. "There's interest in expanding it and organizing care."

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Leslie Simmons, Carroll Hospital Center

City Opens New Homeless Shelter

A 275-bed homeless shelter opened this month in Baltimore, part of the city's 10-year plan to end homelessness.

The 30,000-square-foot Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Housing and Resource Center at 620 Fallsway holds a cafeteria, day rooms, job training, and a convalescent care program.

Funding for the $8 million construction comes from the state, city, and foundations, including the Abell Foundation, the France-Merrick Foundation, and the Weinberg Foundation.

The city has set up a website, endinten.org, to outline its 10-year-plan to end homeless, says Kate Briddell, director of homeless service programs for Baltimore City. The plan to try to address the leading causes of homelessness, including lack of affordable housing, unemployment, and access to healthcare services.

Addressing the problem is tough in this economy when many people are out of work, Bridell says.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Kate Bridell, Baltimore City

BWMC Adding $1.3M X-Ray Machine

Baltimore Washington Medical Center is adding a $1.3 million X-Ray machine that will allow it to perform more non-invasive procedures and enhance its women's services.

Construction on the Siemens Interventional Room began last month and will finish in August. The new machine will allow the Glen Burnie hospital to perform uterine fibroid embolizations, or a minimally invasive treatment of fibroid tumors, says BWMC Director of Radiology Dr. Jim Cary.

"We're excited to offer this to anyone in Maryland," Cary says.

The machine replaces 14-year-old equipment and offers better imaging quality.

A woman undergoing the procedure can recover within 24 hours and return to work within two or three days, says Dr. Zina Novak, BWMC's medical director of radiology services.

The hospital is renovating the interventional radiology room with new lighting, storage, cabinets, and lounge for technologists.

Writer, Julekha Dash
Sources, Dr. Jim Cary, Dr. Zina Novak, BWMC

LifeBridge to Double Number of Physical Therapy Clinics

LifeBridge Health is doubling its number of physical therapy clinics in the next 15 months, with plans to spend up to $2.4 million on the new offices.

The health care group sees an opportunity to expand its reach in rehabilitation services as the baby boomers age and people stay active longer, says Matt Carlen, executive director of LifeBridge's wellness division.

"People are more active and more aware of what physical therapy can do for them."

LifeBridge Health this month opened its sixth physical therapy clinic in Reisterstown. Its services include back and neck care, orthopedic physical therapy, work injury, and neurological rehabilitation. LifeBridge Health's other physical therapy clinics are in Eldersburg, Owings Mills, Timonium, Pikesville, and Towson.

North Baltimore County and West Baltimore City will likely hold future physical therapy clinics, Carlen says. The new clinics will employ a total of 50. The new physical therapy clinics will involve building new offices and taking over existing ones.

LifeBridge Health is composed of Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital, Courtland Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and LifeBridge Health and Fitness.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Matt Carlen, LifeBridge

Saint Agnes Hospital Breaks Ground on $2M Residence for Patients' Families

Saint Agnes Hospital is building a residence that will house the families of patients with long-term illnesses.

Willard Hackerman, CEO of Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., and wife, Lillian Patz Hackerman, donated $2 million to support the building. To be completed in spring 2012, the Hackerman-Patz House will initially house the Daughters of Charity, the nuns that founded the Catonsville hospital.

The 16-room residence will eventually be equipped with "hotel-style" services, such as housekeeping and a check-in desk for guests, says William Greskovich, the hospital's vice president of operations.

As of now, there is no place for patients' families traveling from outside the state to stay on the hospital campus, Greskovich says.

The 13,000-square-foot, two-story, building will also include a chapel, kitchen, dining room, and community room.

A 314-bed hospital, Saint Agnes was founded in 1862 by the Daughters of Charity to serve the poor. It includes a Cancer Institute, a Women's and Children's Health Institute, an Orthopaedic and Spine Institute, and a Cardiovascular Institute.

Hackerman-Patz houses are located on the campus of other Greater Baltimore hospitals, including Sinai Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: William Greskovich, Saint Agnes Hospital

Gilchrist Raising $2.5M for New Hospice Facility in Howard

Gilchrist Hospice Care is set to debut its second inpatient center and its first in Howard County this spring. Located within an assisted living facility in the Howard County Health Park, the $1.7 million, 10-bed unit will house a chapel, common area for families, and garden.

Howard County patients and their families have been asking for an end-of-life care center closer to them than Towson, Gilchrist's main hospice center, Gilchrist's Director of Development Lori Mulligan says. Gilchrist cares for about 100 Howard County patients per day.

The hospice is currently raising $2.5 million to pay for the construction costs and defray the costs of providing care that exceeds insurance payments. So far, it has raised $700,000 from foundations and individuals in the community, Mulligan says.

The Howard County center is modeled after Gilchrist's Towson facility with oriental rugs and wood floors.

"We try to make it look warm and inviting," Mulligan says. "It's been described as a Swiss chalet," Mulligan says of the hospice centers' look.

The new facility will be located within Lorien Harmony Hall Assisted Living. 

Gilchrist Hospice Care is a subsidiary of GBMC HealthCare.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Lori Mulligan, Gilchrist

Government Contractor Doubling Space in Howard County

A technology company is doubling its space as it outgrows its office in Howard County.

NewWave Telecom & Technologies Inc. has signed a lease with Merritt Properties LLC for 8,165 square feet of space at 6518 Meadowridge Rd. in Elkridge. The company will move in June, says NewWave Director of Operations Sherifah Munis.

"We've completely outgrown the space now," Munis says of their current home at 6095 Marshalee Dr. in Elkridge. "If we hired additional employees, we wouldn't know where to put them."

Munis says the company's staff decided to stay in Elkridge because they like the accessibility to the Baltimore Beltway, Interstate 95, and Route 29. The central location makes it easy to get to Baltimore or Washington, D.C.

A big area of focus for NewWave is health care technology, a growing concern for the federal government.

Its clients include the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, for whom it provides technology support for its Electronic Health Record Demonstration Project.

Part of the federal health care reform law, the project provides Medicare incentive payments to primary care physicians who use certified electronic health records. The goal of the project is to reduce medical errors by putting paper records in an electronic format.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Sherifah Munis, NewWave Telecom & Technologies

Sinai's Inpatient Pediatric Unit to be Completed in a Year

Sinai Hospital's multimillion-dollar inpatient pediatric unit, which began in July, is expected to be finished in April 2012.

The expansion will give patients bigger rooms, more privacy and enhance patient safety that will hopefully reduce hospital readmissions, says

Dr. Joseph Wiley, chairman of the pediatrics department at the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children's Hospital at Sinai.

The new inpatient center is part of a $30 million pediatric expansion that included a $2.3 million outpatient center. It will also include a children's diagnostic center, to begin construction once the inpatient facility is completed next year.

The new inpatient center will contain 26 rooms, up from 16 rooms. Rooms will be about 50 percent larger, at 350 square feet, and contain pull out beds and tables where families can eat. Each room will be private, allowing caregivers to consult with patients' families in the privacy of their rooms, Dr. Wiley says.

"We're adding a lot of features will enhance the overall experience for families," Wiley says.

Each room will contain a pharmacy lockbox where medicine will be delivered personally, reducing the risk of medication errors.

Sinai is part of LifeBridge Health, which includes Northwest Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital and Courtland Gardens Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. The Baltimore Hospital employs 4700.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Dr. Joseph Wiley, Sinai

Greater Baltimore Medical Center Embarking on $1M Renovation

Greater Baltimore Medical Center is undergoing a $1 million renovation that includes enhancements to its lobby, gift shop, waiting areas, and corridors.

The GBMC renovations come as other Greater Baltimore hospitals add new wings and get facelifts to get new patients. These include a new pediatric clinic at Sinai Hospital and new operating rooms at Baltimore Washington Medical Center.

"Patients like to see modern architecture and modern facilities," says Michael A. Forthman, vice president of facilities and support services at GBMC.

The Towson hospital has hired Towson architecture firm Rubeling Inc. to design the new look. Renovations and additions account for about two-thirds of the workload for the company. It has performed work on behalf of Randallstown Community Center, Hockessin Athletic Club and Wellness Center, and Glenelg Country School.

Prosys Inc., of White Marsh, is the project manager for the renovations. The lobby and gift shop makeover will be completed in three months.

The lobby renovation involves flipping the location of the information desk with that of the radiology waiting space. After the renovation, the information desk will be directly across from the main entrance and will feature welcome signage, a decorative metal canopy, and accent lighting.  

Privacy screens will surround the radiology waiting area and heightened ceilings will hopefully open up the space.

The hospital chose ceramic tile for the floors, which can last 20 years, Forthman says.

"It's definitely a concern of ours to use good products with a long life cycle."

Another set of renovations will begin at the hospital in July. This time, the 285-bed hospital will redo the cafeteria and a unit of its nuclear medicine department. Forthman says he is not sure yet how much these renovations will cost, but it will probably be less than the first phase.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Michael A. Forthman, GBMC

Baltimore Washington Medical Center $31M Operating Room Expansion Underway

Baltimore Washington Medical Center is adding three new operating rooms that will enable its doctors to perform more complex neurosurgeries and orthopedic surgeries. Those services will be needed as baby boomers age and the county gets an influx of new residents.

The $31 million expansion will be completed in September, BWMC spokesman Kevin Cservek says.

The money for the new OR rooms comes from a bond sale from the University of Maryland Medical System, which BWMC is a part of, and the 321-bed hospital's fundraising efforts.

The 27,500-square-foot addition will give it a total of 17 operating rooms. As part of the construction, the hospital will add three empty rooms that will give it the space to add surgery equipment to those spaces if there is demand in the future, Cservek says. Hospital officials believe they will see this demand.

One of two hospitals in Anne Arundel County, BWMC is close to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. The county is expected to handle more patients as more residents move to the area because of the Pentagon's Base Realignment and Closure. And as the baby boomers age, they will need more hip replacements and so forth, Cservek says.

The expansion will help BWMC transition from being a community hospital to a regional medical center, he says. The hospital plans to renovate 16,000 square feet of existing operating room space as part of the expansion.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Kevin Cservek, BWMC

New Medical Office Building Has the Right Prescription for Westminster

A home health provider, orthopedic surgeons, and a radiology group are slated for a new medical office condo building in Carroll County.
HomeCall Inc. will open a 3,513-square-foot office in the building at 844 Washington Rd. The company is relocating from 15 E. Main St. during the first quarter of next year.

The newly constructed 50,000-square-foot building by Green Development LLC will house Greater Chesapeake Orthopaedic Associates LLC, says Michele Kornbluth, a commercial real estate broker with NAI KLNB LLC. At 16,000 square feet, it's the building's largest tenant and will open after Jan. 1.

A physical therapy group affiliated with Greater Chesapeake Orthopaedic Associates will open a 6,000-square-foot office as well, Kornbluth says. Allergist Dr. Prasad Nataraj will also take a 2,500-square-foot space at the site during the first quarter of next year.

The broker is also talking to a radiology group and a lab. That leaves about 4,000 square feet remaining to fill, Kornbluth says.

While getting financing is tough for many businesses these days, it's a bit easier for doctors, Kornbluth says. That's because they typically have steady cash flow and sign up for long-term leases.

Less than a mile from Carroll County Hospital, the building is located in a growing area. The county has gained about 25,000 new residents in the last decade, according to county information.

The residential growth, combined with great highway access, has driven the demand for more services in the county, Kornbluth says.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Michele Kornbluth, KLNB

Pharmaceutical Company Questcor to Open at Columbia Business Park

A biopharmaceutical company that is seeking FDA approval for a drug to treat infantile spasms plans to open a new office in Columbia.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc. has signed a lease for a 6,186-square-foot office at Columbia Corporate Park. The new office is located at 6011 University Blvd. and will open Nov. 1.

Based in Union City, Calif., Questcor primarily focuses on treating rare central nervous system disorders. It is currently seeking FDA approval for its H.P. Acthar Gel to treat infantile spasms. The decision was supposed to come last month, but was delayed by the FDA. The drug is currently used to treat multiple sclerosis.

The Columbia office will focus on clinical research and regulatory affairs.

"Due to the significant growth Questcor has experienced and expects to continue, we are significantly expanding our R&D workforce in Columbia," said Dr. David Young, chief scientific officer, in a statement.

The company will be adding several employees to the office, including a vice president of clinical research, a manager of regulator affairs and a director of clinical research.

Questcor signed the lease with Baltimore's Merritt Properties LLC. Other leases Merritt has signed this year at Columbia Corporate Park include White Cliffs Consulting LLC, Trusant Technologies LLC and Maroon PR.

Questcor's drug Doral is used to treat insomnia.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Dr. David Young, Questcor

University of Maryland Debuts $62M Pharmacy Building

After more than 15 years of planning, the University of Maryland opened its new $62 million pharmacy school Oct. 5 on the city's west side.

Construction began nearly two years ago on the 128,951-square-foot building. The expansion will help address a shortage of skilled pharmacists in the state.

The seven-story building includes lecture halls equipped with technology for distance learning, experiential learning facilities, and research laboratories. It also includes a dispensing laboratory with state-of-the-art robotics. The building features two 200-seat lecture halls, classrooms, and seminar rooms. To help train pharmacists with expanded health care roles, facilities in the new building are designed to evaluate how students carry out clinical examinations of patients.

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
will house 135 employees and will allow the school to boost its operational revenues and research activities by $14.9 million.

School officials are seeking a Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for the building.

Founded in 1841, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is the fourth oldest school of pharmacy in the nation.

University of Maryland, Baltimore isn't the only school featuring a new pharmacy building project. The College of Notre Dame of Maryland broke ground on its $13 million pharmacy building in May. The 25,000-square-foot building will be completed summer 2011.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: University of Maryland

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