First, in 1916, it was Beebe Hospital, when brother surgeons Drs. James and Richard Beebe started seeing and caring for patients in a new building on Savannah Road in Lewes. Then, in 1988, the institution changed its name to Beebe Medical Center, reflecting its expanded role in the eastern Sussex County community.
Now, in 2013, with the medical landscape going through another dramatic transformation driven by the advent of universal healthcare in the United States, Beebe is changing its name again. Officials plan to unveil the new name when they open Beebe's newest health facility in Georgetown at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29.
“We're changing the name to reflect that Beebe is more than just a medical facility here at 424 Savannah Road in Lewes,” said Beebe President Jeff Fried. “Our vision for the future is that we're more than just a place for people who are sick. We're really reaching out to help them stay well.”
One example of Beebe's efforts to keep people well is the free flu shots it offers in the weeks leading up to the winter flu season. While free flu shots have been offered in the past, this year Beebe's Director of Population Health Megan Williams suggested the program be expanded, made more consistent and promoted more heavily. The result is that many more people have taken advantage of the offer this year compared with past years.
“It's expensive,” said Beebe Vice President Alex Sydnor, “but it's a proven technique for reducing the incidence of flu. We're looking for lots of ways to keep people healthy, and this is one of those small steps.” He said the 2,000 free shots already given this year surpass last year's total of 1,200, with many weeks of free shots still ahead. “I think we'll probably end up doubling last year's total.”
Beebe has also been sponsoring free flu shot clinics at churches and community centers throughout eastern Sussex.
At Beebe's main facility on Savannah Road in Lewes, free shots are being administered in the lobby from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, through Nov. 18.
Logo being retained
Although Beebe and the familiar big B logo incorporating caring hands will be retained, Fried said the new name will no longer include medical center. Kelly Griffin, communications director for Beebe, said the teal color long associated with the big B logo will also be changing. Over the past several days, contractors have been going around to Beebe's various facilities, installing new signs, with covers, to reflect the new name.
Those covers will all come down after Tuesday's announcement. Beebe's facilities include the main campus in Lewes, the Rehoboth Beach campus on Route 24, the Millville health campus on Route 26, outpatient facilities in Millsboro and Milton, and the new Georgetown health campus.
The Georgetown campus, across from Del Tech on Route 9 near the Route 113 intersection, will host an open house for the public from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29. The facility offers walk-in care seven days a week as well as outpatient services including imaging, lab work and rehabilitation. Beebe family practice primary care will also be located in the building.
For more information on Beebe go to www.beebemed.org.