It was the tragic fall in 1899 of a three-year-old boy from a second-story apartment that inspired Dr. F.H. McLeod's vision of a new hospital in Florence and the birth of the region's first true trauma center. By 1929, the Florence Infirmary had become a significant source of health care for the Pee Dee region. And for the decades that followed, McLeod's mission as a full service health care organization included the development, growth and continued improvement of emergency and trauma services, including the McLeod Center for Advanced Surgery, the "operating room of tomorrow." Today, McLeod Regional Medical Center is a state designated trauma center with some of the most highly experienced professionals in the nation.
|In the early 1900s, there were only 10 physicians in Florence. One member of that small group and a member of the McLeod medical staff was Dr. J.R. Levy, the first African-American physician in Florence. To this day, Dr. Levy's legacy is visible at McLeod. He built a Victorian-style house that has been restored and is now located on the McLeod Regional Medical Center campus. An even more meaningful legacy is the diverse group of talented medical professionals that continue to serve McLeod patients. For example, Barbara Fay Eaddy Brooks started in 1966 as a staff nurse. She received the first Medical Staff Nursing Award and, over 30 years, rose to become nursing supervisor, head nurse, nursing instructor and currently serves as the Director of Practice Development. At McLeod we're proud of our heritage, devoted to our present and excited about our future.|
|How pleased Dr. F.H. McLeod would have been to see the institution he founded in 1906 as the Florence Infirmary become a principal health care facility for residents throughout northeastern South Carolina. Well before McLeod Regional Medical Center of the Pee Dee actually opened, its trustees, administrators and staff members had worked to develop the full potential of the facility. And that quest for medical excellence continues today in everything we do.|
|When Dr. F.H. McLeod established the Florence Infirmary in 1906, a seed was planted from which has grown McLeod Health, the renowned institution which bears his name one hundred years later. Endowed with those traits which make for greatness, Dr. McLeod had a keen intellect, an integrity and earnestness of purpose. But the most outstanding feature of this man that endeared him to his colleagues, his friends and his patients was his greatness of heart. He was never too busy or too tired to take care of the sick. While medicine has made unbelievable progress over the past century, it is the daily work of those in the field of medicine that is our greatest gift. Dr. McLeod set the standard for compassion, hard work and devotion to good health. And it has remained at the heart of McLeod Health - for a hundred years.|
One hundred years ago, horsedrawn carriages traveled the region's roads and surgery was often performed on the patient's kitchen table. In 1906, Dr. F.H. McLeod brought a new era of health care to patients when he opened the region's first hospital, equipped with what were then state-of-the-art operating rooms. Surgery became safer and more effective in a facility designed to match his talented surgical skills. In 2006, another new era dawned for the region's health care. The expanded McLeod Pavilion opened with surgical suites featuring new horizons in technology and safety. Better care for our patients drives the McLeod vision by uniquely combining skilled physicians, devoted medical professionals and the ability to offer the finest in technology and care.
|The illustrious history of nursing at McLeod has included many outstanding individuals over the years, including Miss Minnie Verna Youmans, who helped Dr. McLeod launch the nursing school in Florence; and who became superintendent of nurses in 1907 and, more recently, Daphne Bazen Heffler. From her arrival at McLeod in 1975 as a nurse intern, Mrs. Heffler went on to join the Coronary Care Unit the following year, received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1984, and was promoted to Director of Cardiovascular Nursing in 1992. She was voted Employee of the Year and awarded for Excellence in Practice by the McLeod medical staff.|
|Miss Alice B. Commer served as superintendent of nurses at McLeod from 1917-1933, longer than anyone in its history. She led the McLeod School of Nursing to become one of the largest and most respected in South Carolina. During her leadership, 100% of the student nurses, double the school's typical passing rate, passed the state's licensing exam. Her example inspired many who followed. Jennifer Johnson has been a nurse at McLeod for nearly 30 years, more than 20 of those years serving the needs of patients in McLeod Children's Hospital. As medicine has become more complex, so has the nurse's role. Today, nurses at McLeod not only offer patient care, but they also play a vital role in improving clinical effectiveness and patient safety.|
|In 1928, Dr. Julian Price, a young pediatrician straight from medical residency, became the first pediatrician at McLeod. The first pediatrician within 80 miles. Dr. Price was instrumental in opening McLeod Children's Hospital, bringing antibiotics, polio vaccines and x-rays to the children of the region. In 1979, McLeod opened the region's first Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We later added ChildReach, the region's first ambulance specifically designed to transport sick and premature babies from other hospitals to McLeod. Dr. Joseph Harlan was instrumental in building McLeod's capabilities for premature babies and continues to find ways to improve their chances for a normal life. Ironically, one of Dr. Harlan's earliest success stories - a baby born weighing just more than 3 pounds - went on to become a registered nurse. It makes being first truly worthwhile.|
|While its origins date back to the 1930s, the McLeod Cancer Clinic became structured in the mid-1950s when Tuesday was designated as the day for a general clinic. Today, in addition to providing comprehensive treatment for patients and families after diagnosis of cancer, the McLeod Cancer Center for Treatment and Research also works to prevent the disease through education, prevention, detection and screening programs. It remains the region's only program approved as a Community Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Program by the American College of Surgeons.|
|When Everard Hicks opened a McLeod school to train Nurse Anesthestists in 1951, the techniques they learned were far removed from those of a half a century earlier. The role of the 21st century anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists is just as different from the 1950s, as the 50s were from the turn of the 20th century. Today, in the operating room, the McLeod anesthesiology professionals carefully maintain comfort, while monitoring blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels. Outside the surgical suite, they assist with echocardiograms, pain management, chronic pain suffering and administer epidurals and other anesthesia medication to women delivering babies. Though the responsibilities have changed, the goal has always remained the same: to bring comfort and relieve pain whenever possible.|
|For most of the 20th Century, there was no neurosurgeon in the Pee Dee. Patients were forced to travel out of the area, often out of the state. As plans for the new McLeod Regional Medical Center were being developed in the 1970s, a McLeod neurologist, Dr. Michael Hodge, talked about this need with a neurosurgery professor at the University of North Carolina. Their conversation led to a neurosurgery program at McLeod - the first for the people of the region. The current Pavilion surgical expansion will again bring the region medical innovations that increase patient safety and speed recovery. Computers and miniature cameras will help guide the surgeons' hands, while delicate spine surgery will be performed using technology and techniques that are more accurate and use smaller incisions.|
|Formal planning of McLeod's open heart surgery program began in late 1983, and led to the selection of cardiovascular surgeon Dr. John Elwood Owens of Sioux City, Iowa, as its first director in 1986. The new facility formally opened amid much public acclaim in October of that year. Today, McLeod continues to lead in cardiac care with such breakthrough treatments as drug eluting stents, a treatment that reduces the chance of blockages reoccurring in the heart arteries, and Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR), which uses laser technology to bring relief to those suffering from chronic chest pain.|
|The McLeod Pavilion had been a vision in the making for more than five years when it opened its doors to the community in 1992. Focused on family-centered maternity care, as well as the capability of treating the needs of the whole woman throughout her entire life, the Pavilion housed the community's first free-standing women's hospital and its related services. As part of an overall expansion plan for McLeod, the five-story building was built to accommodate an additional seven floors for future expansion, which came full circle in 2006. Today, the McLeod Pavilion supports the hospital's regional role in a variety of specialties, providing outpatient, women and children's services.|
|By providing a new parking building, McLeod offers even greater convenience and safety for our visitors and staff. Located behind the McLeod Pavilion, the structure is designed to accommodate 438 vehicles on four floors and is handicap accessible. The well-lighted facility also features higher ceilings for extra clearance, wider spaces for easier access, and 25 security cameras for constant safety surveillance. Spacious elevators are large enough to accommodate a patient stretcher, and open on each floor into a glass-enclosed, climate-controlled connector area that leads into the Day Hospital hallway.|
|After 10 years of practicing general medicine, Dr. Frank H. McLeod realized the need in Florence County for a hospital and a surgeon. So in 1906, he restructured a large home and established the Florence Infirmary. It was a one-man operation for Dr. McLeod, where he cared for every patient and practiced both general medicine and surgery. Word soon spread of his availability and skill, and patients came to him for treatment in increasing numbers. When he couldn't carry the load alone, Dr. McLeod recruited young physicians who could provide their expertise in surgical skills and specialties to join him. With a commitment to excellence, they established the surgical program at McLeod. Today, there are more than 120 surgeons on the McLeod Medical Staff of 350 that together perform nearly 3000 types of surgeries. A century since McLeod began, they're taking Dr. McLeod's vision to even greater heights, making McLeod the premier surgical destination in our region.|