Prince George’s County leaders praised the nearly $40 million in state funding dedicated to new healthcare infrastructure in the county during a press conference this week.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, District 9 county council member and vice chair Sydney Harrison and Terry Forde, Adventist HealthCare president and CEO spoke at Monday’s event, which took place at Adventist Healthcare’s Fort Washington Medical Center.

The speakers boasted the nearly $40 million the county will receive for healthcare services after funding was secured in Maryland’s 2024 legislative session.

$10 million of the funds will go toward constructing Adventist Healthcare’s medical center in the southern part of Prince George’s County, Alsobrooks said.

“This new hospital will be an absolute game changer. It directly meets the needs of South County,” Alsobrooks said at the event. “When we address the needs of South County, we strengthen the entire county and region.”

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Alsobrooks said the South County region is considered a “health care desert,” which is a community whose health care needs are unmet due to a lack of resources and socioeconomic barriers, according to the European Journal of Public Health.

The hospital aims to reduce the county’s geographic inequities, Alsobrooks said during the press conference.

The new medical center also hopes to address the county’s significant physician shortage.

According to a 2023 Huron assessment report on the county’s health care and social needs, Prince George’s County is facing a 62 percent gap in physicians. This leads residents to seek about 42 percent of their health care out of the county, the report said.

The county will need about $2 billion in investment across the next decade or longer to close this gap in healthcare infrastructure, the report said.

Forde said during the event that the new hospital will bring important resources, technology and spaces for physicians.

“[The South County facility] is a first step of a comprehensive plan, and it’s an important comprehensive plan to get right,” Forde said at the event.

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Harrison, a former patient of Fort Washington Medical Center, emphasized the importance of continuing to invest in healthcare infrastructure. Harrison recalled having third-degree burns on his ankle at age 9, which helped him understand the importance of healthcare.

“[The county council] will do all that we can to make sure that we’re making that investment,” Harrison said.

In addition to the new hospital, about $19 million of the state funding will go towards the Luminis Health women’s health tower.

The new health tower will have surgical capacities, inpatient beds and women’s and children’s services, Alsobrooks said during Monday’s event.

The facility aims to bolster the county’s obstetrics and gynecology system. Currently, about 75 percent of county residents find obstetrics and gynecology care outside of the county due to a lack of beds and physicians, according to the 2023 Huron assessment report.

“This important funding will benefit women across Maryland by increasing our capacity to provide care,” Alsobrooks said.