Newswise — (March 18th, 2020 – Baltimore)—Today, in response to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s call on Monday to increase hospital bed capacity statewide to address the COVID-19 public health emergency, Mercy Medical Center sought and received an Emergency Certificate of Need approval from the Maryland Health Care Commission to construct a new 32-bed acute care unit on the 17th floor of the hospital’s main inpatient facility, The Mary Catherine Bunting Center in downtown Baltimore.
Mercy will invest $12.5 million in the project partnering with The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company which will provide short-term financing to allow the project to move forward immediately. Project construction will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in 75 days. The Bunting Center is currently licensed at 183 beds with existing physical capacity to expand to 251 beds to meet future demand and will add an additional 32 acute care beds following completion of the 17th floor Emergency CON project.
“Mercy is committed to doing everything we can to serve our community and create additional capacity to provide critical health services during this crisis,” said Thomas R. Mullen, President & CEO of Mercy Health Services. “This project is a major investment during a time of great uncertainty but it’s the right thing to do and will be essential to address the potential surge in patients in need of hospitalization in the future as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“We appreciate the Governor’s leadership and quick action by the Maryland Health Care Commission to approve this important project,” Mr. Mullen continued.
“Mercy’s mission is to provide excellent health services within a community of compassionate care and we are fully committed to carrying out that mission for the people of Baltimore during this crisis,” said Dr. David N. Maine, Executive Vice President of Mercy Health Services. “We are especially grateful to our partners in mission at Whiting-Turner for their support and commitment to help Mercy respond and allow us to serve our patients in a time of need.”
“Whiting-Turner is very proud to partner with Mercy to deliver this important project and provide financing during this public health emergency,” said Timothy J. Regan, President & CEO of Whiting-Turner Contracting. “As the original General Contractor for the Mary Catherine Bunting Center, we know how to complete this critical project expeditiously and meet Mercy’s demands for a high-quality facility.”
“Mercy and Whiting-Turner teams are immediately mobilizing together to begin construction,” Mr. Regan continued. “As a Maryland company, we understand the crucial need to expand acute care hospital capacity during this emergency for the people of Maryland.”
The 17-story, state-of-the-art Mary Catherine Bunting Center main hospital at Mercy opened in 2010, representing a +$400 million investment in downtown Baltimore. The Bunting Center has undergone several significant expansions and upgrades including a $26 million operating room project in 2016 to meet increased demand and a $42 million project to create the Family Childbirth & Children’s Center in 2012.