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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current status of this project?

The project is currently in pre-development stage. Before construction can commence, Aria Health must receive Special Exception approval from the Lower Makefield Township Zoning Hearing Board and Land Development approval from the Board of Supervisors. A hospital is an allowable use by Special Exception under the Zoning Code. No zoning variances are being requested. The next zoning board hearing is scheduled for July 19. Aria submitted a land development application in February. The plans have been reviewed by the township's engineer and the matter was heard before the township's Planning Commission on May 23. No further Planning Commission meetings are scheduled at this time.

How can I help to support and secure the future of healthcare in Bucks County?

Your voice is important, and you can join the growing number of your neighbors who have a vision for the future of health care and support this project. There are several ways to voice your support. Please visit www.ourhealthfuture.org where you can sign an online petition. You can contact your Lower Makefield Township Zoning Board Officials (Phone: 215.493.3646; Address: 1100 Edgewood Road, Yardley, PA 19067). You may also consider writing a Letter to the Editor of the Bucks County Courier Times or the Intelligencer to let others in the community know how you feel.

What will this new campus look like?

Aria Health is working with nationally recognized health care architects and planners to develop a highly-efficient and cost-effective medical campus. The proposed hospital complex will total about 455,000 square feet, with 228 beds. A 40,000 square foot medical office building, a 40,000 square foot ambulatory care facility and a 375,000 square foot clinical hospital are planned. All will be operated as an integrated health care facility. The buildings will be three (3) stories and will not exceed the fifty (50) foot height requirement of the Township zoning code.

Why was this location chosen?

Aria Health evaluated several alternative locations over an extended period of time, ultimately identifying the Lower Makefield site as the ideal home for this regional, comprehensive healthcare campus. Critical factors that led to this conclusion included the site’s proximity to Aria’s existing facilities which are currently serving the healthcare needs of several communities in Lower Bucks County; the region’s population growth which the Census Bureau forecasts to be in excess of 11 percent over the next two decades; access to major thoroughfares including I-95 and Route 332; the opportunity for Lower Bucks residents to receive advanced healthcare services in their own community as opposed to driving to downtown Philadelphia; proximity of the site to existing organizations (i.e., education) and the opportunity to develop collaborative, integrated training programs; and the community’s reputation as a strong and stable region which is critical in attracting high-quality medical staff and support personnel. This site will enable Aria Health to significantly enhance the complement of services currently available in Lower Makefield.

How will this new hospital benefit my community?

There will be several short and long-term benefits to the community. According to 2006 patient discharge data issued by the Pennsylvania Healthcare Cost Containment Council, approximately 35 percent, or 8,000 patients residing in areas proximal to the Lower Makefield community received care from hospitals located outside of Bucks County. Aria Health is looking to develop a facility that offers these patients an opportunity to seek alternative care closer to home.

The development of a campus, such as the one proposed, brings with it the ability to attract individuals who are well respected in their fields and who, in many cases, take an active role in strengthening and enhancing their local communities. The benefits of attracting and retaining such individuals and their social networks is an invaluable means of establishing long-term social and economic stability and will foster continued prosperity throughout the Lower Makefield area.

Pennsylvania is ranked as one of the leading regions in the country for the number of academic healthcare institutions and the comprehensive services they provide. Many of the advanced clinical services provided by academic centers in this area are located in Center City Philadelphia, requiring residents of outlying suburban communities to travel a great distance for these programs. Aria Health is planning to develop a campus that brings advanced treatment methods and programs directly to the Lower Makefield and surrounding communities, therefore reducing the need for Bucks County residents to obtain medical services from healthcare providers based in other geographic markets.

What makes this new healthcare facility a “hospital of the future?”

Aria Health plans to develop a next generation comprehensive healthcare campus designed to accommodate current and future healthcare delivery models and facility requirements. The proposed campus will be designed using the most advanced facility and clinical design methods available. Sustainable design principles and materials will be incorporated to reduce operating costs and create a “green” environment both inside and outside the buildings. The introduction of state of the art technology systems in every aspect of health care delivery will improve clinical outcomes and address the changing needs and expectations of today’s consumer. Through Evidence Based Design methods patient safety and operational efficiencies will be optimized to further ensure the quality of patent care and employee satisfaction. This advanced working environment will attract the highest caliper employees.

What services will be offered at the new healthcare campus?

Aria Health anticipates providing a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic inpatient and outpatient services, as well as a comprehensive cancer center. Specific clinical services will include: inpatient and outpatient surgical services including orthopedic, cardiac, general, neurosurgical and all related pre- and post-operative care services. In additional, there will be comprehensive services including MRI, CT Scanning, nuclear medicine, and cardiac diagnostics capabilities; medical services ranging from primary care to intensive care with support from subspecialists and clinical support personnel; and a comprehensive cancer program including radiation and chemotherapy treatment services.

Where will the access roads be located?

The main access entrance will be on Stony Hill Road directly aligned with the Corporate Center Driveway. This intersection will have a traffic signal installed. A right-in/right-out access will be constructed on Newtown-Yardley Road (Route 332).

What is Aria Health doing to address concerns of increased traffic in the area surrounding the hospital?

Aria Health is proposing several road improvements to ensure that traffic will flow through this area more efficiently. Currently, based on discussions with Lower Makefield Township in reviewing PennDot’s Twelve Year Transportation Program, there are no plans to improve any of the area roadways either by the Township, PennDOT, or other area developers.

The proposed improvements include widening Stony Hill Road to provide an additional eastbound lane; widening westbound Newtown-Yardley Road to provide an additional left-turn lane; improving the existing eastbound Newtown-Yardley Road approach by replacing the existing right-turn lane with a shared through/right-turn lane, resulting in three eastbound lanes from Campus Drive to the I-95 interchange. In addition, the plan calls for traffic signal timing modification on Newtown-Yardley and Stony Hill Roads in order to improve traffic flow on all approaches to the new campus, and a traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of Stony Hill Road and Corporate Center Drive (site access) to provide improved safety for people entering and exiting both sites.
A recent traffic study found that over the next ten years, without these proposed improvements and without the hospital development, these roads (specifically the intersection of Stony Hill Road and Route 332), will slowly degrade from current operating levels due to increased traffic from normal, anticipated growth from the surrounding community. However, the health care campus along with the proposed improvements will not have a deleterious affect of the current or projected traffic movements.

How close will the buildings be from the nearest residential areas?

The nearest residential subdivision is currently about a half a mile away from the proposed site.

What is Aria Health doing to address concerns of light pollution in the community?

Exterior lighting will be designed to provide a safe environment for those visiting the campus while also minimizing the impact of that light beyond the immediate vicinity. Lighting will be directed inward on the site. Parking lot lamps will be shielded and set at heights to reduce light glare. All lighting levels will comply with all Lower Makefield Township codes.

Does the hospital really not have to pay taxes on the land they use?

It is estimated that nearly $100,000 will be paid to the Pennsbury School District in annual real estate tax revenues paid on the medical office building. The proposed campus will include a complement of services that extend beyond the traditional inpatient delivery model. The preliminary program includes at least one 50,000 square foot medical office building that will be developed and operated as a for-profit entity that can generate additional taxable revenue estimated to be in excess of $100,000 per year. There are other business models and joint venture arrangements being considered that will complement other services on the campus and further support the local economy.

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