In this month’s mayoral election in Easton, one of the primary concerns voiced by voters was the concern over access to healthcare and in particular the fate of the proposed $500 million plus UMM regional hospital center. One of the candidates who frequently raised the issue of the health center was Al Silverstein,who argued that the Town of Easton should be proactive in its advocacy in Annapolis.
Given the magnitude of the project, and its overall impact on healthcare delivery for Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties, the Spy and our news partner, WHCP Community Radio in Cambridge, thought it might be a good idea to start our new podcast series, Mid-Shore Monthly, a monthly discussion of Mid-Shore issues, with Al and find out more about where things stand as the region collectively holds its breath while its formal Certification of Need (the case for building the facility) is reviewed and voted on over the next several months.
Al Silverstein’s extensive experience as president of the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce for almost two decades, coupled with his eight years of service on Easton’s Town Council, has made him a highly knowledgeable and dedicated advocate for regional healthcare needs. Throughout his tenure, he has consistently demonstrated his astute observation skills and commitment to addressing the healthcare challenges faced by the community.
The Spy’s Dave Wheelan, and WHCP’s Kevin Diaz, talked to Al by Zoom on Tuesday.
This video is approximately 13 minutes in length.
Letters to Editor
Michael Flaherty, PhD says
Given the continuing prolonged delays in moving forward on building a new Regional Hospital by the latest barrier of meeting a “Certificate of Need” while raising millions of dollars we must fix, even temporarily, what we have now. Our rationalizing, bureaucratic delays are nothing short of not hearing or responding to our community – the real certificate of need. Let’s not hold our breathe and wait. Instead of waiting another 5 years or more lets begin to meet the current medical and behavioral needs of the local population for basic but quality medical care – that includes behavioral care – now. Gather our political and community clinical leaders, and design solutions now that can offer local citizens hope and the reality that someone is listening and cares.
Holly Wright says
I think this is a helpful presentation of this issue which brings us all up to speed. Thank you Spy.
A very small, but annoying and misunderstood factoid in the conversation is the $100 million figure associated with Gov. Hogan. Gov. Hogan never proposed any money in any of his budgets for this project. So never ever having put it in his budget, he thought to saddle incoming Governor Wes Moore with this figure as a suggestion. I guess as a parting shot to the incoming Governor he opined while walking out the door that it would be nice to have the next budget include $100 million. This was after his choice for Republican candidate for governor never made it out the primary and Democratic Gov. Moore had won. Larry Hogan should have made his suggestion $200 million for all it mattered or put $100 million in his own budget.
The important question of who is lobbying in Annapolis for this project was raised. With a Democratic Governor and administration and an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature, perhaps one of these days we will keep the importance of lobbying for Easton, Talbot County and the Mid-Shore front of mind and stop sending Republican legislators who are, to put it delicately, not as potent as one would like. Their effect on legislation is close to nil and they are not in the room when legislative priorities and the budget are developed. At this point we get the lobbying for our interests that we deserve.
So we need to identify and elect Democratic State Senator and Delegates in 2026 and in the meantime work with what we have and take advantage of the insights and expertise of Al Silverstein.
Bishop Joel Marcus Johnson says
Good discussion. Parallel to this is the need to attract more docs and other med professionals to Easton – a difficult proposition given we’ve not quite yet the assurance of this new hospital to enjoin/support their work. Seems to me that we also need to bring the Eastern Shore Area Health Education Center into this latter aspect – to which I’d be happy to see what I can do (from my position as president emeritus). It’s inspiring to see Al keeping this torch burning even though he’s not at the moment in an elective position. Peace be with you. Bishop Joel