Print This Page

Howard County General Hospital Proposes Construction Project to Serve Growing Community


New addition would add necessary treatment space

For Immediate Release            
Contact: Susan Case, 410.740.7810,

November 2, 2016

COLUMBIA, Md.—Howard County General Hospital (HCGH) is proposing a campus construction project that would add a two-story addition to the hospital and renovate existing space in an effort to meet current community needs for emergency care, general medical and surgical care and behavioral health services, including acute mental health and substance use disorder treatment.

The proposed 36,000-square-foot addition would be located adjacent to the existing emergency room facing Little Patuxent Parkway. After the addition is complete, approximately 18,000 square feet of internal renovations would take place in existing space. HCGH is in the process of seeking Howard County Planning Board approval for the project.

“The population of Howard County is growing, and as the need for health care services is increasing, the hospital must evolve to meet those needs,” said HCGH President Steve Snelgrove. “We have seen an increase in demand for behavioral health services. The community needs more hospital space and more resources to continue providing the high-quality health care that residents deserve. This project will do just that.”

HCGH had the highest year-over-year increase in inpatient admissions of all hospitals in the Baltimore region last year. The hospital’s general inpatient units operate close to capacity most days, with 19 percent growth projected by 2024.

In addition, the hospital’s adult emergency room treated a record 60,310 patients last year, a nearly five percent increase over the previous year. The pediatric emergency room treats 18,000 patients annually, including adolescent patients with behavioral health issues. The number of adolescents with behavioral health needs increased 46 percent at the hospital in the last two years.

“We believe this is a necessary project, at the right time and the right size,” said W. Brian McGowan, chairman of the HCGH board of trustees. “We are pleased that the Howard County government and the county executive have committed funding to help with the early stage renovations that will help us bridge the gap while we wait for the additional space the new addition will provide.”

The construction project would span three years and take place in stages, during which all hospital services would remain open:

  • Early emergency room renovations and site preparation – If local government approvals are granted, site preparation and utility work to support the new addition could begin in early 2017. At that time, the hospital also plans to renovate the emergency room evaluation area and expand treatment spaces in both the adult and pediatric behavioral health units.
  • New construction – A new two-story hospital addition, anticipated to be completed in late 2018, would consist of a new emergency room entrance, triage and waiting areas. The first floor would hold an observation unit, and the second floor would hold a psychiatry unit, both with an increase in treatment spaces.
  • Renovation to existing buildings – Once the observation and psychiatry units move into the new space, the existing space would be renovated by late 2019. A new 25-bed general unit, for patients who stay in the hospital for medical needs or surgery, will feature private rooms and bathrooms, as well as space for family members to comfortably stay with them overnight.

The Howard Hospital Foundation, the organization that raises funds for the hospital, is leading a capital campaign with the theme “Building Today for a Healthier Tomorrow” to raise much-needed funds to support the construction. The project is estimated to cost approximately $40 million.

To donate, get more information or voice questions or concerns, call 410-740-7747 or visit Community members can sign up to receive updates on the project on our website.

About Howard County General Hospital

Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine is a not-for-profit health care provider with 264 licensed beds located in Columbia, Maryland. A comprehensive, acute-care medical center, Howard County General offers a full range of services, from neonatal care and oncology to outpatient treatment and critical care.

The hospital has a professional staff of more than 900 physicians and allied health professionals, representing more than 90 specialties and subspecialties; a workforce of more than 1,800 individuals and over 300 volunteers.