ChristianaCare will open a primary care outpost at the former Pier One location in spring 2022.
“We are on a mission to deliver the right care, at the right place for everyone – to make a positive impact on the health of every person in every community we serve,” said Lisa Maxwell, M.D., president of the Medical Group of ChristianaCare. “That includes increasing access to primary and specialty care services that will help people to achieve their very best health and manage chronic conditions. We’re incredibly excited to provide families in Lewes, Rehoboth, and surrounding areas, and especially those 65 and older, with high-quality, convenient care close to where they live, work and play.”
The state’s largest health care system and the largest private employer has mainly operated in northern Delaware, although it operates home health services in Kent and Sussex counties.
Many current and former ChristianaCare patients have moved to Sussex County over the years, creating something of a built-in market.
ChristianaCare also expanded its primary care locations and partnered with an urgent care company in acquiring and adding locations in northern Delaware and Cecil County, MD.
Sussex is the state’s most competitive health care market with Beebe Healthcare, Bayhealth, TidalHealth (Nanticoke), and Atlantic General (Berlin, MD) all having a presence in the fast-growing county.
The nearly 10,000-square-foot facility is located near the Tanger Outlet stores and Delaware beaches. It will house a traditional primary care practice, specialty services, and a new model of care for people aged 65 and over, a release stated.
This new care model will address chronic health conditions, maintenance of mobility and functional status, nutrition, and medication needs to support healthy aging, a release stated. Patients will be able to have in-person visits with providers and the opportunity to connect virtually with specialists throughout ChristianaCare’s network of services.
In addition, home visits will be available to patients who have medical and social challenges that interfere with a typical office visit. According to a release, the practice will also provide education and support for patients who face difficult decisions regarding insurance and medication plan choices.
The health care system that employs 14,000 sees a growing need for primary and specialty care services in Sussex County. According to state projections, the population of Sussex County is expected to increase by 12% by 2025. In addition, the 65 and older population is expected to grow by 16% over the same period.
Residents of Sussex County have higher rates of blood pressure, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, and other chronic conditions than the state average, according to 2019 data from the Delaware Health Tracker.
“ChristianaCare’s new location in Sussex County fills a need for expanded primary and specialty care in Southern Delaware, which is rapidly growing with an aging population,” said Cydney T. Teal, M.D., chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at ChristianaCare. “Patients who choose ChristianaCare benefit from the advantages of being connected to Delaware’s largest, most advanced health care system, including electronic medical records, virtual access to care on their personal electronic devices, and access to a secure patient portal, all designed to help them to actively engage with their providers in their health.”
The primary care practice plans to include extended hours for early morning and night appointments and some Saturday appointments.