Bayhealth Dedicates New Operating Room


44Staff Report

On Thursday, May 26, a large crowd gathered at Bayhealth Kent General to dedicate a new operating room to a family who helped fund its creation. Longtime supporters of the Bayhealth Foundation Ralph Zaragoza, MD, and his wife, Claire, joined their son Michael Zaragoza, MD, and his wife, Sandra for the dedication. The couple was surrounded by their family, friends, former colleagues, and Bayhealth staff for the special event.

Dr. Ralph Zaragoza and his wife Claire – formerly an OR Nurse – have been associated with Bayhealth and Kent General for more than five decades. In that time, they’ve seen the hospital system change and grow before their eyes. As one of Dover’s first urologists, Dr. Zaragoza is highly regarded by his peers. He has held several leadership positions with the hospital and has been a champion for men’s health. He also established a medical mission called Operation We Care, providing free medical and surgical care to needy families in the Philippines.

In 2014, the Zaragozas decided to make the gift of a lifetime – to fund the expansion and creation of a new operating room. Operating Room (OR) #11 – now known as the “Zaragoza OR” – has been under construction for nearly a year. In order to accommodate the new operating room, Bayhealth’s Facilities Planning & Construction needed to create space within the hospital’s existing infrastructure, relocating the OR lounge and storage areas.

Senior Director of Bayhealth’s Anesthesia and PeriOperative Services Robert J. McKennett CRNA, MA, MSN, NEA-BC, helped oversee OR #11’s construction. “The new OR is a multipurpose room, allowing us to do all kinds of surgeries. We can do cardiovascular procedures, total joint replacements, neurosurgery, orthopaedic, and robotic surgery.”

Lindsay Rhodenbaugh, president of the Bayhealth Foundation, spoke at the event. “The Zaragozas have served in so many ways to promote the health and welfare of the people in our community,” he said. “Their donation to help create OR #11 provides Bayhealth with added capacity and flexibility in scheduling and conducting surgeries. Their donation will impact many patients for years to come.”

Individuals wishing to make a donation to the Bayhealth Foundation are encouraged to call 302-744-7015 or visit

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