Nanticoke Pavilion dedication marks patient-centered era in healthcare

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At the podium, U.S. Rep. John Carney gestures as, from left, U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper, Gov. Jack Markell and Nanticoke Health Service CEO/President Steve Rose look on during Friday’s dedication of the Nanticoke Health Pavilion in.

SEAFORD – A new, patient-centered era in healthcare dawned in Western Sussex County Friday afternoon with formal dedication of the Nanticoke Health Pavilion Seaford.

Local, county, state and federal representatives joined the Nanticoke Health Services family in the ceremony at the health pavilion on the Mears Health Campus that now houses primary care and specialty physicians from the Nanticoke Physician Network, along with Immediate Care, Diagnostic Imaging, Walk-In Lab and Outpatient Rehabilitation services.

Nestled between two existing buildings, the 33,000-square-foot medical office building is the home for Nanticoke Physician Network Seaford providers, which include primary care, women’s health, gastroenterology, general surgery, nephrology, neurology, pulmonary and urology.

“This represents more than just bricks and mortar,” said Nanticoke Health Services CEO/President Steve Rose. “This is really a new beginning for Nanticoke and Nanticoke Physician Network. This represents the new model for the delivery of care, a greater access to care. It is very patient centered. It is really designed around the patient.

The physicians are going to be much more integrated. It is designed to enhance the communication between all of the providers.”

Ground was broken in September 2014. Construction was completed in October and the first physician practices moved in Nov. 9.

The pavilion concept fits the mold of the Triple Aim, a healthcare initiative aimed at improving patient access, patient experience and quality of care, and reducing costs.

“You truly are putting the patient at the center,” said Gov. Jack Markell. “There are three reasons we are trying to do this and all three are important. It’s about more access to healthcare; it’s about improving quality and it’s about lower costs.”

Gov. Markell added that the pavilion is “a lot more than just a new building. It really is investment in a new way of delivering care. That’s what it’s all about. This is actually sort of the holy grail of what is being talked about all over the country. So we are moving away from the traditional fee for service model of healthcare, more toward this idea of integrated care.”

“Combining all of these services in one location makes it easier for patients to access the care they need,” said Mr. Rose. “Patients will be able to see their care providers in the same convenient location where they access diagnostic imaging, lab and rehabilitation service.”

New jobs have been created by the pavilion, which speakers hailed as an economic development driver.

“This creates growth and opportunity for all of us,” Mr. Rose said. “For this area this is a wonderful thing.”

“It is good for economic development,” said Gov. Markell.

Mr. Rose acknowledged the roles the Delaware Economic Development Office and United State Department of Agriculture had in the funding component.

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Bill Mears points out of several generations of the Mears families during the Nanticoke Health Pavilion Seaford dedication at the Mears Health Campus.

Nanticoke Health Services has been recognized at the highest level as a Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Council on Quality Assurance. Being a patient-centered medical home means putting patients at the center of care, focusing on wellness and prevention, helping patients better manage health conditions and helping patients remove barriers to care through better coordination across all settings. A key component in this is the use of integrated electronic medical records.

U.S. Sen. Thomas Carper said Nanticoke is “blessed with some terrific leadership.” He also dedicated the Joe Cocker hit, “You Are So Beautiful,” to the Mears family; brothers Bill and Rex and family members were on hand for the dedication. The campus is named in memory of their parents, Ray and Frances Mears.

U.S. Rep. John Carney recalled the financial dilemma Nanticoke faced some years ago.

“It wasn’t very good, and today to celebrate this dedication and to have the whole community here …,” said Rep. Carney. “The simple reality is this: if we don’t find a way to achieve better quality , better outcome for less money … we’re simply not going to make it. We’ve got to find ways to bend that curve down. Nanticoke is really leading the way.”

“This facility … is a huge step in the right direction,” Gov. Markell said.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at

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