Regional Emergency Medical Center for Bamberg and Barnwell under construction | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | August 9, 2017 4:53 pm
The Regional Medical Center (RMC) of Orangeburg, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), and SouthernCarolina Alliance (SCA) were joined by Congressman Jim Clyburn, Congressman Joe Wilson and leaders from across the state for a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, August 8, to celebrate the construction of an $8.63 million, 20,500-square-foot, freestanding 24/7 emergency medical center to serve Bamberg and Barnwell Counties.
The facility, being made possible by the leadership of Senators Brad Hutto and John Matthews, will be constructed at a site on SC Highway 70 between Denmark and Hilda. Approximately 200 guests attended the ceremony, which was held at the construction site.
SouthernCarolina Alliance President and CEO Danny Black kicked off the ceremony by sharing with the crowd the history in trying to bring a regional solution to Bamberg and Barnwell Counties’ rural health care challenges since 1997, when SCA began working with county leaders to find a regional health care solution to replace the county-funded hospitals that taxpayers could no longer sustain. Bamberg and Barnwell Counties have not had 24/7 emergency room centers since their hospitals closed in 2012 and 2016, respectively.
Senator Brad Hutto, who led the effort with Senator John Matthews to secure funding for the ER facility, remarked that the project had included discussions with major medical care service providers in two states in their search to find a solution over the last few years.
RMC officials and members of the regional legislative delegation announced to Bamberg County and Barnwell County Councils on June 12 that RMC and MUSC had committed to the project.
Several officials, including State Representative Lonnie Hosey, thanked the Regional Medical Center for their investment in providing 24-hour emergency services to the counties of Bamberg and Barnwell Counties.
The August 8th groundbreaking ceremony marks the beginning of construction, which is anticipated to be completed in 12 months.
The ceremony speakers also included: RMC Board of Trustees Chairman Melvin Seabrook and Interim President and CEO Berton Whitaker; MUSC Chief Business Transformation Officer Mark Lyles, MD; SC Director of USDA Rural Development Michele Cardwell; SC Department of Health and Human Services CFO Kathy Bass; RMC Emergency Services Nursing Director Brad Holmes and Strategic Planning Committee Chairwoman Betty Henderson.
After the hour-long ceremony, the chairmen of Bamberg, Barnwell, Orangeburg, and Calhoun Counties joined the other dignitaries for a ceremonial groundbreaking with gold shovels, followed by refreshments.
The emergency center project is funded by the State of South Carolina through a one-time, $3.6 million Transformation Fund Grant and additional funds resulting from the region’s designation as the SC Promise Zone. Other funding has been committed by local community stakeholders.
The freestanding Emergency Department will include 24-hour emergency care including CT scan, X-Ray and ultrasound diagnostic imaging, lab and observation services. A sign marking the 10-acre construction site on Hwy 70 has been erected.
For photos and updates on the project, please visit the website: www.southerncarolina.org or the Facebook page, SouthernCarolina Alliance.