Marks New Era in Health Care for Region

News Release, College of Southern Maryland

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) begins a new era of health care in Southern Maryland this month with the groundbreaking for its new centralizedCenter for Health Sciences building at its Regional Hughesville Campus. CSM will celebrate and hear from local dignitaries and regional health care officials during the Aug. 27 sod-turning ceremony starting at 10 a.m.

The Center for Health Sciences is projected to be completed in March 2021 and will be approximately 50,000 square feet, designed to LEED standards. It will feature specialized nursing and allied health laboratories for CSM’s programs in nursing, emergency medical services, occupation therapy/physical therapy, massage therapy, pharmacy technician/medical assistant and medical laboratory technician.

“The College of Southern Maryland is proud and honored to expand its successful health sciences programs with the groundbreaking for its new Center for Health Sciences at its Regional Hughesville Campus,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “At CSM, we understand that the region’s health care providers and health care students turn to us – count on us – to deepen knowledge, grow professional expertise, challenge the impossible, and deliver the overall best possible care to every patient.”

“Too often, people only consider doctors and nurses when it comes to their care – but there are so many others who ensure proper diagnosis and execute the appropriate treatment. Today’s patients are treated by a health care team – a team built on the academic pillars of excellence found and taught at the College of Southern Maryland,” echoed CSM Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Eileen Abel.

Teamwork Leads to Forward-Thinking Design

Abel also showered credit on CSM Health Sciences Division Chair Dr. Laura Polk for shepherding the internal and external design processes for the new Center for Health Sciences.

“Dr. Polk has worked tirelessly for more than a year with the architects and lab designers, her coordinators, and advisory boards to ensure the labs, classrooms and student and community spaces will be exactly what the signature building at the Regional Hughesville Campus should be,” Abel recently wrote in her nomination of Polk for CSM’s 2019 Leadership Award. “Her attention to detail has been extraordinary, matched only by the countless hours it has taken to ensure an outstanding outcome for our students who are tomorrow’s caregivers.”

“It was an amazing experience working with the College of Southern Maryland leadership,” said Grimm and Parker Architecture Inc., Vice President Dave Oakes, AIA. “Having people who care that much about what they do was inspiring to our design team. You could feel the passion from everyone involved from CSM – and certainly from Dr. Polk, who had a say in just about everything, including where every bulletin board was going to go. The CSM team’s input absolutely made for a better process and their passion for student learning led to better building design.”

The Center for Health Sciences will be Phase 2 of the development of the Regional Hughesville Campus designed by the architectural firm of Grimm and Parker. The firm also did the design work for Phase 1, or the Center for Trades and Energy Training Building. Calling the center the “flagship building” at the Regional Hughesville Campus and in Southern Maryland, Oakes described it as “a forward-thinking and flexible science building.”

CSM is Pipeline for Careers in Health Sciences

Since 1979, CSM’s associate degree in nursing program has been one of Southern Maryland’s primary providers of quality health care training. Dedicated faculty, successful graduates and the application of the latest technology have been at the root of the department’s 40 years of success. In the last 20 years alone, CSM has awarded 2,540 health sciences degrees, which included an average of 77 nursing degrees each year.

The need for health sciences degrees remains critical nationwide. The U.S. will need to hire 2.3 million new health care workers by 2025 in order to adequately take care of its aging population, and according to research byglobal health care staffing consultancy Mercer, a persistent shortage of skilled health care workers translates into hundreds of thousands of positions that remain unfilled.

Encompassing credit degree programs like nursing, emergency medical services, occupation therapy/physical therapy, massage therapy, pharmacy technician/medical assistant, medical laboratory technician and continuing education workforce training certificates in a variety of specialties like Phlebotomy, CNA/GNA, and ECG/EKG technicians, theHealth Pathway at CSMoffers a broad swath of medical training for a number of different careers. Some types of nurses and massage therapists can expect to get started on their careers after two years, or advance their education with certifications at CSM; medical assistants and phlebotomists can get certified in a matter of weeks or months.

Hughesville resident Angela Gardiner works as a nurse in Calvert County. The Mechanicsville native’s career and academic journey is the epitome of CSM’s regional impact.

Calvert County Health Department Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and CSM 2012 graduate Angela Gardiner attributes her time at CSM as one that set the course for her commitment to providing health care in the region. The Chopticon High School graduate attended CSM to earn her LPN certificate and an associate degree in General Studies. Through CSM’s Associate to Bachelor’s (ATB) pathway program, she continued on to earn her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland University College.

Now a resident of Hughesville, working in Calvert County, the Mechanicsville native’s career and the academic journey is the epitome of CSM’s regional impact.

“CSM provided me with a great college experience,” Gardiner said. “At CSM, it was more personal and I felt more involved with my teachers and in my classes. A lot of the people who I went through the nursing program with, I am still good friends with today.Not only that,” Gardiner continued, “CSM’s nursing and health sciences programs are tough – yet I paid so much less for a better than most education. I am a better nurse and provide better care for my clients because of my education at CSM.”

Currently, Gardiner is attending UMUC to earn her master’s degree in Health Informatics Administration.


CSM Groundbreaking. 10 a.m., Aug. 27. College of Southern Maryland (CSM), Regional Hughesville Campus, 6170 Hughesville Station Place, Hughesville. Groundbreaking for CSM’s new Center for Health Sciences, the second phase of construction at college’s Regional Hughesville Campus, will take place at 10 a.m. on Aug. 27. Once completed, the 50,000 square-foot center will centralize the college’s health sciences programs, including nursing, emergency medical services, occupation therapy and physical therapy, massage therapy, pharmacy technician/medical assistant and medical laboratory technician programs. Construction is projected to be completed in March 2021.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...