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The big question is where to put the hospital

The Nov. 15 editorial “If you build it . . . ” addressed part of the importance of a new hospital for Prince George’s County.

The editorial, however, lacked one crucial detail — the question of where the hospital is to be situated.

Its accessibility to the public will shape its success. Will the hospital take advantage of one of the many vacant sites at the county’s 15 Metro stations? Or will a new facility be placed at a site that can best be reached only by car, a site that would be spread out among acres of parking lots, only offering some bus service for those who must take transit?

A more compact urban design closely connected to our region’s Metro system could make a difference in attracting top talent, a reliable workforce and patients seeking the best of the region’s health-care services. Eschewing the connectivity of Metrorail service would be a mistake. Direct access to Metro, combined with an urban design that engages its surrounding community, could make the proposed regional medical center a leading health-care investment and an engine for economic development.

A new hospital offers so much possibility for Prince George’s County. We should make the most of it.

Cheryl Cort, Washington

The writer is policy director for the Coalition for Smarter Growth.

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