Beebe Healthcare is starting construction on a new surgical hospital in Rehoboth Beach.
The $124 million facility will be a full service hospital specializing in short-stay surgical procedures.
Beebe’s Interim CEO Executive Vice President and COO Rick Schaffner says the move will free up the health system’s Lewes campus to be reserved for more complicated, longer-stay procedures, while the new location concentrates on simpler, elective procedures like joint replacements.
“This will give those patients that have the more elective cases, I think, a better environment for they and their families to move through the system,” said Schaffner
Schaffner says Sussex County’s aging population is driving Beebe’s need to increase treatment capacity. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates 26.7% of the county’s population to be over the age of 65, compared to 15.6% of the national population.
“A number of us as we get older are going to need joint replacement surgery. I think that’s becoming probably one of the largest surgical procedures in the country,” said Schaffner.
The four-story building will have 12 private patient rooms with shell partitions, four operating rooms and an OBGYN program.
Beebe is also renovating its Lewes Campus and construction is underway at the health system’s future southern coastal emergency department and cancer treatment center near Millville.
Those projects are planned for completion next year. The new surgical hospital is expected to open in 2022. Schaffner says it will add between 70 and 80 full time jobs.