National Hospital Week: Celebrate Colleton Medical Center


Shortly after Colleton Medical Center joined HCA Healthcare plans for a new facility at 501 Robertson Boulevard were put in motion.

 The new (current) location opened on March 9, 1983. Prior to the hospital opening, Robertson Boulevard was pretty much a wooded roadway. There was no grocery store across the street, no tire company, drug stores, or much else. The hospital building was built for $17M and proudly displayed its name in huge letters “Colleton Regional Hospital”.

 Like the name, medical care and its availability for the Colleton area changed much over the years. In 1799, the first medical practice in Colleton County opened in Jacksonboro. Then, in the early 1900s, Dr. and Mrs. Charles Esdorn opened their home in Walterboro to patients in need. They soon built the first free-standing hospital in the area on Webb Street, named the Clara K. Esdorn Hospital. In the outlying area of Ruffin, Dr. Riddick Ackerman, Sr., opened a facility. In the 1940s, during and immediately following World War II,  the “local” hospitals had become overcrowded, so the county purchased the Old Airbase Hospital which was located at the present site of the Lowcountry Regional Airport. The Esdorn Hospital moved in 1947 to the newly acquired facility and renamed Colleton County Hospital. In July 1952 the facility that we call “the old hospital” at 219 South Lemacks Street was built for $1.2 M.

 The name changed in the mid-1970s from Colleton County Hospital to Colleton Regional Hospital to reflect the population we serve beyond our county. The new Colleton Regional Hospital at 501 Robertson Boulevard opened in 1983. The name changed again in the mid-1990s to Colleton Medical Center to better reflect the expanded services.  

 While some may find this little bit of history boring, It is important to recognize that each change and move was made by concerned, caring individuals and groups who were responding to the needs of the communities and region. Colleton Medical Center has continued to respond in this way over the years, as we’ve added and expanded services – CTs, MRIs, Surgical Robotics, Behavioral Health, Rehab, Wound Care, Expanded pharmacy and Laboratory Testing, and new Therapies and Technology, all the while with quality and safety at the forefront.

 We really must recognize the HEART of Colleton Medical Center – its people. Whether then or now, Colleton Medical Center’s team of caregivers has responded to the needs of our hospital, our staff, and our community.  As it was in 1983 and actually, long before that, healthcare in Colleton County is not JUST a location or a building. It is the people who are in and around that building who have dedicated their lives and professions to helping others. This includes our partnerships with physicians, emergency services, law enforcement, officials, and other local entities. Colleton Medical Center’s staff then and now truly embodies its Mission Statement; “Above All Else, We Are Committed to the Care and Improvement of Human Life”.