Milford Memorial redesign plans unveiled

Milford Memorial redesign plans unveiled
Cape Gazette
Maddy Luria

In 2019, when Milford Memorial Hospital moves to Bayhealth’s new health campus off Route 1, plans are in place to repurpose the old hospital as a new post-acute healthcare campus.

Bayhealth officials announced March 7 New Jersey-based Nationwide Healthcare Services plans to purchase the 22-acre property, which has provided healthcare services for Milford-area residents since it was built in 1938. The old hospital site is expected to be used for senior housing, skilled nursing care, assisted living and related health services.

“We’ve been concerned about having a building that was closed up,” said state Sen. Gary Simpson, R-Milford. “This is just going to be so exciting for the community. It’s going to bring economic development and jobs to the community, and focuses attention on what Bayhealth is doing for our community.”

Nationwide President and CEO Meir Gelley said, after redesign and renovation, the old Milford hospital will provide different types of post-acute care. Other partners and tenants have not yet been identified, he said.

“We intend to bring in services for the community that will help the community out in all sorts of health-related values,” he said. “We have, obviously, plans. But it’s too early [to share them].”

Nationwide, a healthcare management company, also operates Regal Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Hockessin and Regency Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington, as well as several facilities in the Philadelphia area, Gelley said.

Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe said the health campus on Clarke Avenue will provide short- and long-term care for an aging community and is expected to include up to 150 beds.

“Lower Delaware, especially Sussex County, is becoming the ‘grayest’ county in the nation,” Shupe said. “And healthcare is going to continue to accelerate here as people move in from other areas.”

Bayhealth President and CEO Terry Murphy said community input identified a need for health services for seniors. Dozens of residents provided input through public meetings and other correspondence.

“It’s always better than having a boarded up facility,” he said. Murphy added that Nationwide will work with Dynamis Advisors Inc. of Ohio on the comprehensive redevelopment plan for the campus. “By the time we get out, they’ll have plans on how it’ll be redeveloped and any work that needs to be done.”

Construction on the new 437,000-square-foot Bayhealth hospital campus on a 169-acre parcel off Route 1 at Wilkins and Cedar Creek roads, is well underway. Murphy said construction is expected to be complete by October 2018, with an opening slated for January 2019. For more, go to