A new skilled nursing and rehabilitation center on the site of the soon-to-be vacated Bayhealth Milford Memorial complex on Clarke Avenue is a step closer to reality. The Delaware Health Resources Board has determined there is a need for the facility, approving Nationwide Health Care Services’ Certificate of Public Review application and clearing the way for them to operate a 150-bed facility.
“We are gratified from all the support we have received from the Milford community, Bayhealth and the state authorizing agencies, but we are equally appreciative that no one appealed the decision or objected to our plans,” said Nationwide CEO Meir Gelley. “The consensus shows a need for a high quality skilled nursing center in southern Delaware and that is exactly what we will bring to the region.”
Nationwide is acquiring the 22-acre parcel and surrounding buildings from Bayhealth, which is moving to a new campus within the next year. Nationwide operates two other nursing centers in Delaware as well as four more in Pennsylvania. The Milford location will be developed as a wellness village, coordinating a mix of services from like-minded organizations who share Nationwide’s desire to improve the health and well-being of area residents of all ages and income levels.
“We are extremely pleased Bayhealth Milford Memorial is being repurposed in a way that will continue to serve the community. Nationwide’s plan will bring much needed skilled nursing to our area and create hundreds of jobs,” said Bayhealth President & CEO Terry Murphy, FACHE. “It was critically important to us to find a partner that has an established history of providing high quality care in state-of-the-art facilities. We believe we have found that in Nationwide Health Care Services.”
The Nationwide team has spent the past year talking with members of the community on best ideas for the kinds of services to offer. Plans for the village’s layout and service placement are designed to maximize the customer experience. In addition to integrated health services, the site will feature education and housing components and services to the city of Milford and Kent and Sussex Counties.
Closing on the property sale from Bayhealth to Nationwide is scheduled for January 2019 with construction beginning immediately after.
“By the time we break ground early next year, we anticipate having our key tenants signed up and ready to go,” Gelley said. “We could not be more excited.”
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