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Politics & Government

Federal COVID funds used to build a new Hospital for the Chronically Ill

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Eli Chen/Delaware Public Media
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Gov. John Carney announces use of another $50 million from the state’s American Rescue Plan Act funds.

 

This money is going to a new Hospital for the Chronically Ill in Smyrna.

 

The current Hospital for the Chronically Ill was built over 90 years ago, in 1932, as a last resort facility for patients who have no other options for care in the community.

 

Carney says while the building was state of the art back then , it’s now showing significant signs of wear, and a new building is needed to modernize the hospital.

 

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate what you do every day with the kind of compassion that you bring to your job,” Carney said. “This investment of $50 million will bring you a five-star facility in which to work to go along with your five-star treatment of these patients.”

 

Carney and others at Wednesday's announcement also recognized the hospital staff’s hard work throughout the pandemic to take care of almost 90 patients.

 

The money will also help implement mitigation measures at the new facility; such as a modern HVAC system and air purifiers to protect against the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.

 

15 residents of the hospital passed away because of COVID-19, and Department of Health and Social Services director Molly Magarik says these upgrades will help keep patients and staff safe.

 

“I’m just so excited to see what the team is able to do with a brand new facility,” said Magarik. “The person-centered care that you already provide — to be able to do that without the barriers of walking through hallways and facility ways, moving people between buildings is just gonna make your lives so much better as well as the residents.”

 

This hospital is the latest announced investment of American Rescue Plan funds.  The state is also spending on affordable housing, jobs training and a plan to provide universal broadband access statewide.

 

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

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