| THE AEGIS |APR 24, 2020 AT 5:00 AM

University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health remains committed to the patients served through Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace, a hospital slated to close in the coming years as UCH begins a major transition in how its hospital services are delivered in Harford County.

City officials in Havre de Grace, however, lambasted Upper Chesapeake’s leadership and other county officials at its most recent meeting, stating the closure will leave the community underserved in the future.

Harford Memorial, an anchor of downtown Havre de Grace for decades, will close once its replacement — a free-standing medical facility and adjacent special psychiatric hospital — are built in Aberdeen. Its medical and surgical beds, meant for patients needing long-term hospital stays, will be consolidated with other medical/surgical beds in a three-story addition built on the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center campus in Bel Air.

The new and expanded facilities, which received approval from the Maryland Health Care Commission April 16, are expected to open in early 2023, barring any negative impacts on the economy from the current novel coronavirus pandemic.

Harford Memorial will close once the new facilities receive approval to open. Upper Chesapeake officials “continue to be committed to serving the patient population that Harford Memorial Hospital services today,” said Lyle Sheldon, president and CEO of UCH.

Sheldon noted that the Harford Memorial service area is well beyond the City of Havre de Grace and includes much of eastern Harford County as far out as Churchville and western Cecil County communities such as Port Deposit, Conowingo and Rising Sun.

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