Capital campaign for Nanticoke goes public

22 Nanticoke new CT scan

A new CT Scan is in place at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, giving the hospital double/backup CT Scan coverage.

SEAFORD – Nanticoke Health Services on Monday publicly launched a $5 million capital campaign targeting its immediate healthcare needs.

Emergency Department expansion and renovations and a new CT Scan for Nanticoke Memorial Hospital are priorities of an overall $20 million project list focused on improving patient experience, preparing for changes in healthcare delivery and meeting the needs of a growing Sussex County community.

“Today marks the end of what we are calling the ‘quiet’ phase,” said Kent Peterson, Co-Chair of The Campaign for Nanticoke with his wife Pam. “This is where we have been working behind the scenes to take the case for support out to the various campaign divisions and begin our fundraising. Let me say the support has been overwhelming.”

Boosted by a $1.5 million Longwood Foundation grant, the tote-board at the July 13 campaign kickoff stood at $3.8 million toward the $5 million target.

22 Nanticoke Steve and Kent toteboard

Nanticoke Health Services President/CEO Steve Rose, left, and Kent Peterson, co-chair of The Campaign for Nanticoke, shake hands in front of the tote-board for Nanticoke’s $5 million capital campaign. The amount raised as of the July 13 campaign kickoff was approximately $3.8 million. (Sussex County Post/Glenn Rolfe).

Through strategic planning, $20 million in capital improvements have been identified and approved by Nanticoke’s board in addition to the capital budget to be completed over three years.

“The $5 million we are asking for is a small piece of that, but a very important piece,” said Penny Short, Nanticoke’s Chief Operating Officer. “That money is going to do great things.”

A second CT Scan recently installed carried a $1.2 million price tag. The second CT Scan was the one recommendation made by the American College of Surgeons during their visit.

Mr. Rose noted that should Nanticoke’s only CT Scan be out of service, the hospital would have to go on “CT Divert,” meaning the hospital could not accept critical patients.

Last year Nanticoke’s Emergency Department had about 40,000 visits, up 2 percent from the previous year despite the presence of Nanticoke Immediate Care facilities in Georgetown, Seaford and Laurel, which combined totaled approximately 17,000 visits

“You would think that Immediate Cares might have pulled some of those patients but actually we’re seeing more people now. The number of (Emergency Department) visits was up, but space has not changed,” said Nanticoke CEO/President Steve Rose.

Expansion/renovation will address that.

“We’re working very hard to improve the patient experience,” said Mr. Rose.

One initiative tied to that is implementation of split flow.

“Part of what we have to do is to implement a Clinical Decision Unit,” said Mr. Rose.

Nanticoke is seeking $3.5 million in philanthropic gifts toward its Emergency Department renovation/expansion.

The overall $20 million improvement list includes:

  • Major Projects: Emergency Department expansion/renovation; Renovation of main floor and patient support services; completion of converting all semi-private rooms to private rooms
  • Health Pavilion: Construction of a new outpatient health pavilion at the Mears Campus scheduled to be christened this fall;
  • Medical Equipment: Second CT Scan for Nanticoke Memorial Hospital; new technology for the second cardiac catheterization lab; new large bore MRI Scan for outpatient services at the Mears Campus;
  • Hospital Infrastructure: Energy efficient updates to reduce energy costs by 66 percent; HVAC upgrades to ensure customization for patient rooms; enhancing and updating building structure.

“Everything that we do in healthcare we talk about trying to meet the Triple Aim – reducing costs. We can’t continue to spend 20 percent of our gross domestic product on healthcare,” Mr. Rose said.

Goals of the Triple aim are to improve patient experience of care; improve overall health of the community and populations served; and reduce per capita cost of healthcare.

Nanticoke, an acute care hospital with 99 patient inpatient rooms and a Level III Trauma Center, was recently named by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid as a 4-star hospital.

“We are the only – say it with me – 4-star hospital in Delaware,” said Mr. Rose to the kickoff audience in the hospital lobby. “We have already started our journey to become the 5-star hospital.”

And earlier this month, Nanticoke was named one of the “Most Wired” hospitals in America, a reflection of Nanticoke’s technological implementation of electronic medical records.

Nanticoke was one of 388 hospitals nationwide that made “most wired” list.

State-of-the-art technology, while costly, ensures a safer environment by eliminating the human error factor.

“We have embraced bar coding,” said Ms. Short, noting that it ensures patients receive the proper medication and blood transfusions. “By embracing technology you are securing that match and (patient) ID.”

Nanticoke is seeking support from NHS Leadership, employees, physicians, patients, the charitable foundation community, friends and residents of western Sussex County.

“Today is the culmination of a lot of work that started back in January 2014,” Mr. Peterson said. “In final analysis, Nanticoke is here for us, 24/7, 365 days a year – every year.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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