Beebe buys land in Clarksville


Beebe Medical Center’s long-time emergency services location in Millville may be moving a few miles westward, expanding and staying open year-round, at least as a walk-in clinic. Unable to provide off-season services at the existing, and relatively small, Millville Emergency Center, Beebe has purchased a 10-acre parcel in Clarksville (on Route 26, about one-half mile west of Route 17), with plans to move operations to that location.

Beebe is not-for-profit, but still hasn’t been able to justify a year-round emergency room in this area, especially with increasing pressures to expand services and add bed space at the main hospital in Lewes.

“We looked at the statistics, and there’s just not enough utilization of emergency services (at Millville, in the off-season),” Beebe President and CEO Jeffrey Fried pointed out.

According to Fried, Beebe would continue to revisit and reevaluate that need. Until such time, the proposed facility would at least provide locals with business-hours medical service on a year-round basis.

Beebe experimented with an extended season at the Millville Emergency Center two years ago, but witnessed a major slowdown after Labor Day. “Because of a few early morning hours, they lost money,” Rep. Gerald Hocker said. “And there’s not enough space at the old location for a facility like this,” he added, referring to the planned seasonal emergency room and year-round walk-in clinic.

“Hopefully, we’ll get things rolling and have something much nicer (than a seasonal ER),” Hocker said. “I think the area really needs it.”

Beebe has purchased more than 10 acres, and Fried anticipated a two- or possibly three-story facility. He said they hadn’t spoken with adjacent property owners about the project yet, but emphasized Beebe’s good-neighbor policy.

“Hopefully, people will be excited to have these expanded services in their area,” Fried said. There are still a few hurdles to clear with the county and state agencies, but he said he didn’t anticipate any unusual problems.

Fried said Beebe planned to consolidate the services it presently offers at the Creekside Plaza in Millville (the ER, plus some limited diagnostic services and physical therapy).

“We’ll provide ourselves some room to grow, and add some of the services for which people presently need to go to Long Neck or Lewes, or to other facilities in the area,” Fried said. He noted the proposed addition of MRI and CT scan technologies at the Clarksville location, and additional staff to provide these services.

According to Fried, borrowing for this facility was part of Beebe’s long-range planning, but the medical center is preparing for a fundraising initiative as well. For more information about philanthropic support, visit www.beebemedicalfoundation.org on the Internet.