The McLeod Foundation has embarked on “It’s Time,” a capital campaign for McLeod Health. This continues a commitment to excellence inspired by Dr. F. H. McLeod in 1899 when his vision for the Florence Infirmary began.
Support will help with the provision of the latest technology with 3D Mammography and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Monitors in addition to funds to supplement costs of construction for a new Emergency Department at McLeod Regional Medical Center. These important enhancements will ensure that McLeod Health offers the highest quality care to patients from the midlands to the coast.
New Emergency Department
The Rev. Marion D. “Luke” Lucas, III, and his wife, Ashley Clements Lucas, were both born at the McLeod Infirmary and have many ties to McLeod Health. Luke’s parents were instrumental in the establishment of the McLeod Diabetes Center and Ashley’s parents were both cared for by McLeod Hospice. Having recently returned to Florence, the couple has been impressed with the growth of McLeod Regional Medical
Center and the level of care available. In reconnecting with McLeod, Ashley has become a member of McLeod Angels and Luke has joined McLeod Men. When they learned about the projects that would be funded through the “It’s Time” capital campaign, they were quick to respond generously in support of the new Emergency Department (ED). The scope of the facility will dramatically improve the timeliness of care available to emergency and trauma patients who seek life-saving treatment at McLeod. Luke shares that they were moved to support this project to honor the memory of his late son, Benjamin Edward Lucas. Ben, who died in 2011 at 22 years of age, had been moving toward becoming a physician and was inspired by his work with an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) program. Luke and Ashley find comfort in knowing that Ben would want to be a part of saving lives in the new Emergency Department. The state-of-the-art Emergency Department at McLeod Regional Medical Center will include 83 rooms designed to serve 102,000 patients a year.
Currently, the ED has 39 rooms which accommodate 50,000 patients a year.
However, the McLeod ED cares for 75,000 patients a year, and this number
continues to grow. Other features of the new ED will include:
• Five dedicated resuscitation areas large enough for life-saving equipment with
quick access to ambulance bays, a CT scanner, and operating rooms to serve
stroke, trauma and critically ill patients.
• A pod design to facilitate efficient medical teamwork.
• Larger patient rooms to accommodate family members.
• Pharmacy, lab and radiology located in the department for quick access.
• “Psych-safe” rooms to keep mental health patients safe and eight separate beds for the Psychiatric Holding Area.
Each year, the McLeod Foundation honors special volunteers whose consistent leadership has contributed significantly to the work of the organization. These individuals are instrumental in helping the Foundation raise funds needed to support the programs and services of McLeod Health.
The McLeod Foundation recently honored Robin Aiken as the Volunteer of the Year and Kaye and Julius Parris as Philanthropist of the Year.
“Robin has been a shining example of the very best that can be accomplished through philanthropy,” said Roxanna Tinsley, Fund Development Manager for the Foundation. “The HOPE Fund exists today because she was able to identify a need, propose a solution, lead the efforts to implement the program, and inspire others to join the efforts. From her service on the Foundation Board to volunteering in the McLeod Cancer Center, Robin has been able to improve and expand the level of services available to our cancer patients.
“Since its establishment two years ago, the HOPE Fund has touched countless cancer patients with assistance for transportation, medication and nutrition as well as many other immediate needs to make their journey easier. This year, the HOPE Fund reached a milestone with the addition of the HOPE Fund Coordinator who is located on the concourse of the Cancer Center in the HOPE Resource Center. In this ‘office of hope’ patients and family members now have someone to assist them with all of the HOPE Fund services they need. All of these accomplishments have been the dream of and have been led by Robin,” added Tinsley.
Kaye and Julius Parris
This past year, the Foundation also decided to create a new award to honor a philanthropist whose exemplary role has assisted the efforts of the organization. The intent of the award is to shine a light on the extraordinary generosity and leadership of individuals in the region and to recognize those who have shown exceptional leadership in the areas of personal philanthropy. Additionally, it honors those who through their giving have made a remarkable difference in bringing about a positive change in the community.
“Our first Philanthropist of the Year award honors Kaye and Julius Parris who lead by example every day and who inspire the best in us,” said Jill Bramblett, Executive Director of the Foundation. “They have dedicated their time and resources to make a difference in the healthcare needs of our region. Their generous hearts have led them to support the McLeod Children’s Hospital, the establishment of the McLeod Hospice House, the McLeod Cancer Center and the Guest House at McLeod. Kaye also chaired the Mobile Mammography Unit Campaign, and her leadership as chair of the McLeod Health Board of Trustees helped move the work of the McLeod Foundation to a new level. “Their generosity continues to have a lasting impact on the patients we serve.”
Mental illness and substance abuse are two serious behavioral conditions that impact millions of Americans each year. It is estimated that one in five Americans have a mental illness or addiction and often the conditions go hand in hand.
Recognizing the importance for residents to obtain care to manage these illnesses, McLeod Dillon has integrated behavioral care into two of their medical practices. Through this effort, McLeod Dillon is helping meet a prioritized health need in the county.
A rural community, many of Dillon County’s residents are uninsured individuals living below poverty level. Poverty is considered a key driver of health status. Pairing low income with the high costs of healthcare, treatments can be difficult to access, so many people place a low priority on their health care needs. With funds received from the McLeod Health Foundation, McLeod OB/GYN Dillon and McLeod Pediatrics Dillon created a pilot program to serve the women and children of Dillon County with integrated behavioral services.
The offices have contracted with local behavioral health resources to offer in-office consultations twice a week. The OB/GYN counselor is focused on substance abuse and prevention for expectant mothers. Dillon County has one of the highest rates in the state for newborns discharged with substance exposure. In addition, some women still continue to use alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy.
Since its onset in August of 2016, the program at McLeod OB/GYN Dillon has been successful. More than 100 patients have been counseled for various reasons from substance and alcohol abuse to postpartum depression. They have also used the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) tool on pregnant patients. This screening is an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs.
“Mental health and substance abuse can have detrimental effects on the individual and the community because there is often an increased risk of developing a chronic medical condition,” said Dr. Marla Hardenbergh of McLeod OB/GYN Dillon. “Managing behavioral care is vital to reduce mortality for these patients and it can save millions of dollars of preventable costs to health systems.”
Mental health conditions do not only affect adults. Children and teens can experience mental health problems too, so McLeod Pediatrics Dillon has a behavioral counselor available as well.
“Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), among other conditions, is well known for having onset in childhood. Parents may be concerned or have questions about certain behaviors their child exhibits and how to ensure they get help,” said Dr. Yvonne Ramirez of McLeod Pediatrics Dillon.
Since November of 2016, the counselor at McLeod Pediatrics Dillon has seen nearly 35 patients with ADHD or other behavioral issues. She has also offered guidance on issues such as nutrition, bed wetting or problems at home and school. In the integrated care model, a physician identifies a potential referral and has the ability to meet with the both patient and counselor to initiate the relationship. This ensures the patient receives the behavioral services needed, and complies with follow-up visits and self-care instructions.
The physicians and staff at McLeod OB/GYN Dillon and McLeod Pediatrics Dillon are grateful to the McLeod Foundation and its donors for the funds to offer this new model of care to their patients. They are working hand-in-hand with the behavioral counselors to ensure access to care for this critical need in their community is met.
As the only provider of emergency services in Chesterfield and Marlboro Counties, it is vital that McLeod Health Cheraw keep pace with the growing needs of the area. A grant from The Duke Endowment and the generosity of McLeod Health Cheraw employees to the McLeod Foundation has helped to ensure that the hospital is able to accomplish this goal. Thanks to this funding, construction on a new Emergency Department will begin this Spring in Cheraw.
The current Emergency Department (ED) at McLeod Health Cheraw was originally designed to serve between 8,000 to 10,000 patients per year. In 2016, the ED staff cared for nearly 22,000 patients. This figure is projected to rise even higher this year. With the closing of many rural hospitals throughout the region, McLeod Health Cheraw must meet the challenge of being the only emergency services provider for many miles.
“The need for a new Emergency Department is clear, and has been evident for some time,” explained Dr. Gabe Simpson, the Chief of Staff and longest-tenured doctor at McLeod Health Cheraw. “I’m looking forward to providing our patients with a state-of-the-art ED to treat their emergency needs quickly and efficiently.”
While the new facility will improve patient care tremendously, Dr. Simpson is clear to point out that the Emergency Department’s most valuable resource is one that it already has – the passion and dedication of the staff.
“It has been inspiring to watch our Emergency Department and hospital staff continue to provide excellent care within the confines of our current space,” Dr. Simpson said. “We have been creative in making the most efficient use of available space while never sacrificing patient care in any way.”
Not only do employees of McLeod Health Cheraw give of their time every day to provide excellent emergency care, they give financially to the cause as well.
During the last two years, McLeod Health Cheraw employees have contributed nearly $100,000 to the McLeod Foundation -- a substantial portion of which will help fund the new Emergency Department.
McLeod Health Cheraw staff members also contributed to the Emergency Department project by helping complete a grant application to The Duke Endowment. Several employees stepped up to gather crucial data and provide the necessary information to help McLeod Health Cheraw demonstrate the need for a new Emergency Department.
“The Duke Endowment has generously seen the need in this rural area for McLeod Health Cheraw to continue offering the excellent emergency medical care we provide,” said Mib Scoggins, Administrator for McLeod Health Cheraw. “We are extremely pleased by their investment in our Emergency Department.”
The new, 23-bed Emergency Department will be designed to serve 25,000 patients per year. All rooms will be fully private, and capable for emergency department care. Two of these rooms will be dedicated to advanced resuscitation of critical patients, while four others will provide safe and comfortable holding for psychiatric patients. The new ED is set to open in April of 2018.
Nathan Brown was a distinctive McLeod figure, whose loyalty and commitment spanned nearly seven decades of service. He served as a member of the McLeod Engineering team and was a devoted groundskeeper for the medical center.
One of the few people who actually knew McLeod Founder Dr. F. H. McLeod, Nathan was born on December 21, 1920, and began working in Dr. McLeod’s garden when he was 12-years-old. He did various jobs for Dr. McLeod, and when he was 20, Nathan began working at the McLeod Infirmary serving as a transporter for water, ice, coal and oxygen tanks.
Dr. McLeod initially voiced concern that the lad was too small, but Nathan very quickly proved him wrong. Nathan carried coal from the outside to the basement to fire up the furnace and carried big ice buckets from the bottom floor to the top floor. At Dr. McLeod’s funeral, Nathan held a seat of honor with the family. “Dr. McLeod was a very good man,” Nathan said many years later.
Nathan was admired by his fellow workers, physicians and the leadership team for his dedication to McLeod. He was an ambassador for the organization, wearing his name badge, Employee ID #1, at all events and during his daily treks to and from work each day. He would walk four blocks to work every day at 6:00 a.m., no matter the weather. Even after his retirement, Nathan proudly wore his McLeod name badge as a constant reminder of his permanent place in the McLeod family.
In the last two decades of his service at McLeod, Nathan worked outdoors where he frequently talked to patients and family members as they arrived and departed the facility. He was an official greeter for McLeod and enjoyed interacting with patients and guests.
In July 2010, Nathan was recognized for 65 years of service. When Dale Locklair, a Senior Vice President for McLeod Health, invited Nathan to attend the celebration, he replied, “If you think you are honoring me for retiring, then I am not coming. I have got too much to do.”
Nathan passed away peacefully at the McLeod Hospice House in 2014 at the age of 94. To honor this gentle man who cared for the flowers, patients and guests of McLeod, the concourse garden at McLeod Regional Medical Center was dedicated as Nathan’s Garden in 2015.
On many occasions over the years, Nathan mentioned that he wanted to support the mission of McLeod in the future. And, in 2016, the McLeod Foundation received a surprise that demonstrated Nathan’s faithfulness, a legacy gift to McLeod from his savings. His love for McLeod and its founder will resonate for generations to come because of his kind and generous nature.
The needs of the McLeod Health Foundation are met through the tireless dedication and ongoing support of volunteers willing to serve in roles of leadership. In an effort to engage and recruit community leaders to become advocates for McLeod Health, the Foundation annually offers the McLeod Fellows program.
In 2007, the McLeod Foundation graduated the first McLeod Fellows Class. Since this inaugural class, 176 dedicated community leaders from across the region have participated in this very successful program. After months of behind-the-scene tours and presentations by both medical staff and administrative leadership, the Fellows accept their role to serve as ambassadors for McLeod Health. They go out and share with others the knowledge they have obtained on the healthcare needs in the region and explain how McLeod Health is meeting those needs.
Many of the Fellows have established a close involvement with McLeod by serving on the McLeod Health or McLeod Foundation Board of Trustees, working on committees, and joining philanthropy groups like the McLeod Angels and McLeod Men. As these individuals have learned more about the excellent care provided through charitable gifts, more than 93 percent have become donors to the McLeod Foundation either personally or through their business.
Each year, the graduates are surveyed about their experience in order to continually improve the Fellows program. During her interview last year, Leslie Pemberton, Vice President of Global Quality for Sonoco, shared her perspective on the knowledge attained during her year in the Class of 2016.
“While I have not personally had the need to use the services offered by McLeod Health, after participating in the Fellows program, I can truly say that I would not hesitate to come to the facility to receive medical care. I am fortunate to be able to choose where I seek healthcare, and it is comforting to know we have a world-class facility right here in the region. I now know if I need medical treatment, I will choose McLeod,” stated Leslie.
Due to the success of the Florencebased program, McLeod Seacoast has established a McLeod Fellows program at their hospital. They are in their second year of offering the class.
If you would like to learn more about the McLeod Fellows program, please visit www.mcleodfoundation.org.
Lucy and Ethel. Mickey and Minnie. The Spice Sisters. Longtime friends and McLeod Foundation Board Trustees Beverly Hazelwood and Shirley Meiere are known for their portrayal of many characters over the years, but they are most known for their passion to help others.
While neither woman is a Florence native -- Shirley hails from Augusta, Georgia, and Beverly from Spartanburg, South Carolina – the pair has made an indelible impact on this community for 40 years. Each family arrived in Florence in 1977, and quickly became friends through their husbands, both McLeod physicians, and their children, who attended the same school. It was not long before the pair was traveling together and doing what they do best, helping others.
“Florence is such a warm and welcoming community,” said Shirley. This made it “extremely easy to get involved,” according to Beverly. One of the earliest McLeod Foundation fundraisers the two women became involved with was the Kid’s Depot, a store built in the shape of a train at Magnolia Mall where children could purchase presents for family members during the holidays with the proceeds benefiting McLeod Children’s Hospital. Beverly and Shirley also began what would become somewhat of a calling card for the two – dressing up as humorous characters to raise charitable funds.
“We quickly became known as the community’s comedians of fundraising,” said Shirley, recalling the time she and Beverly dressed as Mickey and Minnie Mouse to raise money for the Children’s Hospital.
After nearly three decades on the McLeod Foundation Board together, including service on several different committees and terms as Board Chair, Shirley and Beverly’s passion for providing the region with excellent healthcare has not waned. Rather, it has grown to take on projects of greater scale and ambition.
One of the pair’s grandest undertakings was to help raise funds to build the McLeod Center for Cancer Treatment and Research. Beverly and Shirley generously support this cause through their own donations. Additionally, they also co-chaired the capital campaign to fund the construction.
The pair also came together, again as donors and campaign chairs, to help build and subsequently expand the McLeod Hospice House.
Shirley, who has personally seen the compassionate care of McLeod Hospice provided to loved ones over the years, explained that “a free-standing inpatient facility has been wonderful for both the patients and their families.”
Some fundraising projects, however, still require a classic, tried-and-true method.
“We dressed as Cinnamon and Ginger, the Spice Sisters, for Employee Campaign one year,” recalled Beverly with a smile. The duo also stole the show at the 2011 Evening of Hope Cancer Benefit when they graced the stage as Lucy and Ethel, imitating the main characters from I Love Lucy. Today, Beverly and Shirley are still working as hard as ever to ensure medical excellence at McLeod.
As co-chairs of the “It’s Time” capital campaign, the two are leading the charge to fund a new Emergency Department at McLeod Regional Medical Center, 3D Mammography, and new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) monitors. “I know the value of these monitors,” said Beverly, a former NICU nurse. She went on to tell a story from her nursing days about tugging lengths of gauze, tied around newborns’ toes, to bring them out of apneic (temporary absence of breathing) episodes.
“We know the need for McLeod to keep up with technological advances,” Shirley, a former Pediatric and Intensive Care nurse, agreed. “There is something to benefit everyone in this capital campaign.”
Today, Shirley and Beverly look back with great fondness on all that has been accomplished during their time working with the McLeod Foundation. This journey has not only benefitted the region, but, says Beverly, has richly rewarded their own lives and those of their families.
“The vision of Dr. McLeod is being realized,” said Shirley, referring to the mission of Dr. F. H. McLeod articulated more than a century ago -- to provide this region with the best healthcare possible.
“We will continue to support the efforts of McLeod to grow as long as we are alive and well,” stated Beverly. “And, we are working on some future characters, too,” she added with a smile.