University of Maryland Medical System Expands with Approval of Chester River Health System Agreement

For immediate release: June 04, 2008


Joan Shnipper


The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) will expand to include nine acute care, specialty and rehabilitation hospitals when Chester River Health System joins on July 1, 2008. The Board of Directors of the Chestertown, MD-based rural health system has unanimously approved an agreement with UMMS to join the Medical System. Chester River Health System, which serves patients from Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties on Maryland’s Upper Eastern Shore, includes an acute care hospital licensed for 62 beds, a 98-bed nursing and rehabilitation facility and a home care and hospice agency.

The service area of Chester River Health System is adjacent to the service area of Shore Health System, which joined UMMS in 2005. Shore Health System includes two hospitals, in Easton and Cambridge, with a combined 192 acute care beds, a 33-bed skilled nursing facility and community-based outpatient diagnostic and treatment facilities.

Edmond F. Notebaert, President and Chief Executive Officer of UMMS, welcomed the decision by the Chester River Board as an “opportunity to enhance the delivery of health care services to the Eastern Shore by coordinating the efforts of two health systems that are highly valued and respected by their communities.” The Chester River board voted on May 14 and that action was followed by final approval by the UMMS board on May 29.

Notebaert has named Jeffrey L. Johnson, MBA, FACHE, President and CEO of Chester River Health System, effective with the health system’s entry into UMMS. Johnson currently serves as senior vice president of system development and external operations for Shore Health System. Johnson succeeds William R. Kirk, Jr., who is retiring after 28 years at Chester River.

Wayne Gardner, Sr., Chairman of the CRHS board stated “Jeff is the right person to implement the business plan that was developed jointly by the Chester River Board and medical staff and the University of Maryland Medical System.” That plan calls for enhancements to Chester River’s capabilities through new and expanded clinical services, the recruitment of additional physicians and the renovation of the hospital’s physical plant.

Other components of UMMS include the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Maryland General Hospital, University Specialty Hospital, Kernan Hospital and Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, which UMMS owns in partnership with The Johns Hopkins Health System.