UM Upper Chesapeake Health Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Held For Bel Air Patient Bed Tower

University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health President and CEO Elizabeth Wise, former president and CEO Lyle Sheldon, elected officials and community leaders at the ribbon cutting celebration for the upcoming opening of the new patient bed tower in Bel Air on Friday. The tower will add 72 additional patient beds to increase inpatient care in the region when it opens Feb. 6.

Three-story addition includes 72 patient beds in a healing environment and will open February 6

Joined by county and state leaders, the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH), a member organization of the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the patient bed tower at UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air, a project that is part of UM UCH’s transformation of health care delivery in Harford County. The bed tower will open for patients on February 6.

“Exceptional health care is our top priority, and the new Bel Air patient bed tower demonstrates our commitment to expanding and improving patient care in our community,” said Elizabeth Wise, FACHE, MSN, MBA, President and Chief Executive Officer of UM UCH. “We want our friends and neighbors to live the healthiest lives possible, and the additions to the Bel Air campus show our dedication to continuous advancement.”

The three-story, 75,000-square foot patient bed tower was constructed on the top of the existing Kaufman Cancer Center at the hospital and includes 72 patient beds (42 observation and 30 inpatient). Many of the rooms are double-occupancy and include a private bathroom for each patient. The tower also includes a floor of shell space for future growth. 

In addition, the Outpatient Surgery Center, Pavilion III, opens in spring 2024 with orthopedic, spine, hand and plastics specialty practices in addition to rehabilitation and physical therapy services. The 60,000-square foot center offers prime leasing opportunities for physician offices.

The expansion at Bel Air increases virtual health capabilities for primary care and other outpatient appointments; improved parking for patients; enhanced signage inside for easier wayfinding; a renovated reception area and dedicated restrooms in the Emergency Department; expanded kitchen and dining areas to better serve patients and guests; and a new emergency power plant and new oxygen/medical gas facility.

The bed tower and Outpatient Surgery Center are part of UM UCH’s priority of delivering advanced, wide-ranging care in Bel Air and at the new UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center Aberdeen campus. The Aberdeen campus includes a 130,000-square foot facility with a full service Emergency Department using state-of-the-art technology and expanded observation care, a helipad for air transfers to University of Maryland Medical Center for patients who need critical advanced care and a Behavioral Health Pavilion providing both inpatient and outpatient care. The medical campus also includes a Health and Wellness Center which opened in late 2023. The Aberdeen Emergency Department and Behavioral Health Pavilion open for patients on February 6 at 7 a.m.

“Investing in state-of-the-art health care infrastructure is not just a commitment; it’s a pledge to the well-being of our community. The patient bed tower at UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air is a testament to our dedication to providing exceptional care and fostering a healthier future for our neighbors. As we expand our services and embrace innovation, we strive to set new standards in health care excellence,” said Mohan Suntha, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of University of Maryland Medical System.

In addition to Wise, speakers at today’s celebration included:

  • Colin Ward, Chief Operating Officer, UM UCH
  • Bryan Kelly, UM UCH Board Chair
  • Mary Chance, Bel Air Town Commissioner

For more information, visit

About University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health
University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, part of the University of Maryland Medical System, includes the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and the Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center on its Bel Air campus. The Klein Family Center in Bel Air offers services for behavioral health. The Senator Bob Hooper House in Forest Hill is an assisted living facility that specializes in hospice. The University of Maryland Harford Memorial Hospital is located in Havre de Grace and will close when University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center Aberdeen opens on February 6. The leading health care system and the second largest private employer in Harford County, UM Upper Chesapeake Health offers a broad range of health care services, specialty care, technology and facilities to the residents of northeastern Maryland. Visit for more information.

About the University of Maryland Medical System

The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is an academic private health system, focused on delivering compassionate, high quality care and putting discovery and innovation into practice at the bedside. Partnering with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and University of Maryland, Baltimore who educate the state’s future health care professionals, UMMS is an integrated network of care, delivering 25 percent of all hospital care in urban, suburban and rural communities across the state of Maryland. UMMS puts academic medicine within reach through primary and specialty care delivered at 11 hospitals, including the flagship University of Maryland Medical Center, the System’s anchor institution in downtown Baltimore, as well as through a network of University of Maryland Urgent Care centers and more than 150 other locations in 13 counties. For more information, visit

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