When it happened to me, I discovered true gratitude for your support of the McLeod Foundation. I am writing today because your help is still needed. Donor gifts like yours ensured that critical care was close by when we began one of our most difficult journeys.
In 1990. I was 40 years old and battling a terrible case of the flu. One morning I felt strange sensations in my legs. I turned to wake my husband, Jay.
Having served patients as a General Surgeon at McLeod since 1978, Jay recognized how serious the situation might be.
He immediately called Dr. Rick Ervin, an Infectious Disease Specialist at McLeod. Dr. Ervin quickly diagnosed me with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
We were terrified. We knew this rare disease could be life-threatening.
After being diagnosed, a neurologist immediately referred us to an out of state facility for experimental therapy. While there, the disease progressed. By the time we returned to McLeod, I was paralyzed from the neck down.
As frightening as our situation had become, once we returned to McLeod, we knew we were home.
When I first arrived, I was taken by wheelchair onto an elevator. The considerate staff member turned me around to face the front so that I was not staring at a blank wall. This small act of kindness and respect was different from what I had encountered. It came to symbolize the very special care that I would experience at McLeod for the next month.
No one averted their eyes when they passed me. I was a valued person. They all spoke and encouraged me for the entire month I was a patient at the hospital.
My care continued beyond hospital walls as I began physical therapy. When you haven’t been able to walk for two months, trust in your therapist is vital. The therapists knew my limitations and slowly built my trust in them.
As a part of the McLeod Family for 40 years, Jay and I are well-aware of the excellent healthcare we are blessed to have in our hometown. However, we will never take for granted the very personalized care that calmed our fears and allowed me to heal.
Thank you for your gifts that support specialized treatment locally.
We were grateful that McLeod had recruited a renowned physician like Dr. Ervin who provided me with an early diagnosis. The best physicians often decide to practice at a hospital that is valued by a generous community of donors like you.
Through the professional care at McLeod, I was fortunate to make a full recovery. For months I would find comfort in returning to McLeod to simply hug the staff who had so lovingly cared for me.
I hope you will accept this letter as my “hug” to you for donating to the McLeod Foundation.
Today, Jay and I ask you to make your gift to the McLeod Health Foundation by clicking here.
Serious illness and injury continue to touch families in our area, particularly as the population ages. Your donations are vital, now more than ever, to meet the growing healthcare needs of those who turn to McLeod, like we did.
Each year since the establishment of the McLeod Foundation in 1986, we have included a gift in our year-end plans to support the hospital we love. We hope you won’t miss this opportunity today to join the McLeod Family by sending your personal contribution.
P.S. Please take the time to make your gift today by clicking here or mailing your gift to the McLeod Health Foundation, PO Box 100551, Florence, SC 29502.
How your gifts helped a frightened young woman become a confident mother
As I sat on the floor, I looked over and read the results of my pregnancy test … two pink lines. A flood of shock and fright swept over me.
I had finally made it to my last semester of nursing school while working two jobs. Due to an unstable living situation, I struggled to maintain reliable transportation to school and work. How would I ever care for my child?
Sometimes answers come in unexpected ways.
Through my nursing class, I shadowed a nurse in the McLeod Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) Program. I knew immediately I had found the answer for my child and me to thrive. I decided to enroll.
I learned that you, our McLeod Foundation donors, brought this nationally recognized program to first time expectant mothers in our region.
Because of you, McLeod NFP provided me with a nurse who monitored my pregnancy during regular home visits while encouraging and supporting me along the way. I became more confident and assertive in my choices.
I took a leap of faith, moving out of my aunt’s home and renting my own apartment. Through the remaining visits, my nurse helped me stay focused on becoming the mother I wanted to be.
With your help, I completed my nursing degree. Together with my husband Jonathan, we are now raising a healthy baby boy.
And now I have the chance to give back.
Recently, I became an NFP nurse myself.
My family and I remain eternally grateful to you. You changed the course of our lives. Your gifts will continue to impact mothers just like me.
Since the establishment of the McLeod Health Foundation in 1986, McLeod employees have been the organization’s most loyal supporters through the Annual Employee Campaign. In 2017, these special donors achieved an historic level of giving, raising more than $1.4 million for patient services and programs.
The support of McLeod employees demonstrates how dedicated they are to serving patients in ways beyond their job description. The donations, which total the largest amount for a single Employee Campaign in the history of the McLeod Foundation, will benefit the McLeod Cancer Center, Hospice Services, Children’s Hospital, the Diabetes Center, and many other programs that the Foundation funds to care for the well-being of people living in the 15-county region McLeod Health serves.
Celebrating 32 years of friendraising, fundraising and giving, the McLeod Health Foundation was established in 1986 to help generate philanthropic and community support for McLeod Health. In that first year, the Foundation raised $100,000 – $40,000 of that total came from McLeod employees. Since that time, the Foundation has raised nearly $65 million, and McLeod employees – the Foundation’s largest contributors – have provided $10.6 million.
“The participation of our employees and the amount of money raised, indicates how much the members of our McLeod Health family believe in and support the mission of the McLeod Foundation,” said Jill Bramblett, Executive Director. “Many services and programs would not be available without the support of our own people who give from their hearts to make a difference for our patients.”
The McLeod Foundation also presented the Rise Up award to McLeod Darlington for going above and beyond in their support of the Foundation. The Darlington team had 110 percent participation in the campaign. McLeod Physician Associates received the Spirit of Giving award for consecutive increases in participation and funds raised since 2011. Additionally, the Foundation presented the Inspiration award to McLeod Dillon for embracing the overall challenge of the Employee Campaign and “Rising Up” to increase their hospital participation, involvement and monies raised.
Wyman and Callie Wise live in North Myrtle Beach where they each own a State Farm Insurance Agency. It’s a home with a little competition to say the least, but with a heart focused on the same goal – to increase the quality of life in their local community. As State Farm agents, they believe in giving back to local philanthropic organizations that make their community a better place to live.
Wyman, originally from Florence, South Carolina, grew up in a family who trusted McLeod Health with all of their healthcare needs. In fact, his mother, father and Wyman himself relied on the care of the late Dr. Conyers O’Bryan.
Callie who grew up in Gibsonville, North Carolina, has always had a heart to serve. She is dedicated to the work of the McLeod Health Foundation and assists with several fundraising events and projects. Callie is also a graduate of the McLeod Fellows program and has been a volunteer with McLeod Loris and McLeod Seacoast since 2009.
Understanding the need for excellence in healthcare, Wyman and Callie recently made a gift of life insurance to the McLeod Health Foundation. Their generosity will help ensure quality healthcare is available for future generations. Additionally, the couple’s gift includes them in the Dr. F. H. McLeod Legacy Society.
The Dr. F. H. McLeod Legacy Society recognizes friends and benefactors who have established endowments and/or included McLeod Health Foundation in their will, trust and/or estate plans. The society honors those generous members who want to ensure the continuity of excellent and compassionate care through McLeod Health. Members of the Dr. F. H. McLeod Legacy Society are not only an integral part of McLeod’s present, but are the keys to its future.
Wyman and Callie’s motto embodies that of a Dr. F. H. McLeod Legacy Society member – “I work here, I live here and I give here because I want my local community to be the best it can be now and in the future.”
Legacy Society membership includes induction during the annual Dr. F. H. McLeod Legacy Society Reception and Dinner held each January. New members are honored with a special membership gift in recognition for their leadership and generosity. They are also recognized at the bi-annual Founders Garden Party.
Recently, the Dr. F. H. McLeod Legacy Society gathered to welcome new members with a shared dedication to the mission of McLeod Health. The newest members are Mary Wallace DeBerry Moore and John DeBerry, Francie Biggs, Dr. Vera Hyman, Dr. Charles Jordan, Tim and Georgia Hess, Christopher Moore, Brian and Carol Williams, Wyman and Callie Jean Wise, and Ben and Belle Zeigler.
Ronald and Babb Fowler have played an essential role in helping provide excellent healthcare to the community of Loris through their many years of service and support of the McLeod Health Foundation.
Having spent most of their lives in Loris, Ronald and Babb’s vision for all patients and families who come through the doors at McLeod Loris is to receive compassionate care and the best medical treatment possible. With Ronald’s extensive connections and background, which includes working more than 40 years for Horry County Schools and serving on many community boards and committees, he understands how important it is to strive for greater improvements within an organization.
“Coming out of education, this was a calling for me,” said Ronald. “It is my mission to ensure McLeod Health provides quality healthcare close to home.”
Babb’s father, J.R. Suggs, Sr., was a member of the Loris Civitans Club in the 1940s, which helped secure funding to establish the Loris Community Hospital District now McLeod Loris. Following in her father’s footsteps, Babb actively supports McLeod Health through the McLeod Loris Angels, fundraisers and events sponsored by the McLeod Foundation.
“I am proud to be a member of the McLeod Loris Angels,” said Babb. “The Angels program is growing and I have met so many new people through this group who are genuinely interested in the McLeod Health mission. At the end of the year, it is also rewarding to be able to give grants to the hospital departments that need funding the most.”
In February of 2012, Ronald joined the McLeod Health Board of Trustees to represent Horry County and support the growth and global outlook of McLeod Health. A former chair of the Board of Commissioners for Loris Healthcare System, Ronald was asked to serve on the McLeod Health Board of Trustees because he understood the mission, vision and values of McLeod Health.
“Loris Healthcare System and McLeod Health shared the same vision and we partnered to enhance that success,” said Ronald.
Ronald and Babb have also personally pledged financial contributions to the McLeod Foundation to support the growth of McLeod Loris. The hospital recently completed phase one of its strategic plan with the opening of a dedicated Dialysis Access Center for renal patients. Plans are currently underway to renovate the Labor and Post-Partum rooms as well as the nursery for the enhancement of Women’s Services. Additionally, patient rooms on the third floor are being renovated and two rooms have been designated for end of life comfort care.
“McLeod Loris is centrally located between Marion, Mullins, Conway and the beach,” said Ronald. “It has become a medical hub that serves the outlying counties not bound by city limits.”
Together, Ronald and Babb understand the importance of providing medical excellence in a safe, caring environment. Their commitment to McLeod Health is shown through their dedication and passion for philanthropy to the McLeod Health Foundation.
Growing up, Mary Anderson’s father, Larry Davis, instilled the values of “doing things right” and not “half way.” Serving on the Cheraw Rescue Squad for more than 50 years, Mary’s father was truly dedicated to the health and well-being of area residents in the community.
In 2015, Mary became a member of the McLeod Health Board of Trustees representing Chesterfield County with the mission of being a liaison for the community. She remembered with her father’s illness the compassionate care and commitment Dr. Alex Newsom displayed to her father.
“I could never put into words how thankful our family was for the care Dr. Newsom gave my father from his diagnosis until his passing,” said Mary. “We are fortunate to have him at McLeod Health Cheraw. How he treated my father is one of the reasons that we choose to give to the McLeod Health Foundation.”
To express her gratitude for the wonderful care her father received and to take care of their community, much like Mary’s father did for half a century as first responder, Mary and her husband, Douglas, have made a financial commitment in support of the new McLeod Health Cheraw Emergency Department, which is scheduled to open this summer.
Giving back offers the Andersons comfort. It also serves as a reminder of Mary’s father’s love of others, and the people who loved and cared for him along the way. “Giving back provides help and hope to others, which is what my dad would have wanted.
“Daddy would have loved seeing such an exciting time for our hospital, especially with the capacity to provide for the medical needs of not one but two counties with the latest technology in emergency medicine. We are simply trying to keep his dream alive and our communities healthy,” added Mary.
Betty Coffey, a native of Manning, South Carolina, has a long history of caring with McLeod Health Clarendon formerly known as Clarendon Memorial Hospital. Betty’s desire to support the community’s healthcare needs drives her motivation to serve the McLeod Health Foundation.
Betty’s father, Dr. Joseph Henry King, was one of the first physicians to practice at the Clarendon hospital when it opened in 1951. Following in her father’s footsteps, Betty began her healthcare career at Clarendon Memorial Hospital as a registered nurse working in various departments of the hospital over the years. Prior to her retirement from the medical field, Betty assumed a new position at the hospital as the Director of Community Development -- a role she greatly enjoyed.
Today, Betty is passionate about promoting McLeod Health Clarendon, its transformation to provide high quality services and the positive impact it makes in Clarendon County. “My family has always had a deeply rooted interest and loyalty to our local hospital. The hospital has historically been a part of my family’s everyday life. Over the years, I have watched the hospital evolve to what it is today and the one thing that has not changed is the significant role it plays in the success of our community.”
Betty began serving on the Cypress Foundation Board of Directors for Clarendon Memorial Hospital when the Foundation was established. With the affiliation agreement between Clarendon Health System and McLeod Health, the Cypress Foundation board elected to dissolve in July of 2016. All funds from the Cypress Foundation were transferred to the McLeod Health Foundation and designated for enhanced programs and services that benefit patients receiving care at McLeod Health Clarendon.
Betty currently serves on the McLeod Health Foundation Clarendon Advisory Board and as a Trustee on the McLeod Health Foundation Board of Trustees. Betty, along with many others, believes that “investing in our hospital improves our community.
“The affiliation with McLeod Health has secured the future of having access to excellent healthcare in our community and the ability for our county to have access to vital health services. It is a privilege to support the McLeod Foundation for we can be sure our contributions will be spent responsibly to better the future of healthcare in our community,” added Betty.
Lee Crawford first became involved with the McLeod Foundation in 1986, when his employer, CP&L, donated to the Children’s Miracle Network benefitting the McLeod Children’s Hospital. He knew from his early days with CP&L that he wanted to be a part of the McLeod mission to improve the overall health and well-being of the community. Thirty-two years later, Lee continues to support McLeod and the Foundation by volunteering his time and energy.
Duke Energy, formerly CP&L, offers a program for retirees, like Lee, called Duke in Action, where retirees volunteer their time while helping nonprofit organizations that are important to them. At the same time, retirees earn matching cash donations from Duke Energy for their volunteer hours that can go to the non-profit of their choice.
During the past two years, Lee has donated more than 86 hours of his time calling McLeod Health Foundation donors to thank them for their gift. “Everyone has a story to tell, and they are often very surprised when I call to say ‘thank you’ and listen to their story of the wonderful care they received while at McLeod Health.”
As a McLeod Health Board of Trustee since 1993, Lee also learns from physicians and staff about how they care for patients and families through efficient, quality care. When he calls to thank a donor and they have received this excellent care, they are validating what he already knows -- McLeod is the Choice for Medical Excellence.
Lee adds that he gives back as a Foundation volunteer because, “McLeod is a wonderful organization that provides tremendous healthcare services and supports our community in various ways.” Outside of the hospital, Lee also volunteers time to his church and helping the community grow economically.
“I may not be the best at what I do, but God deserves my best work,” adds Lee.
Dr. Vera Hyman, a retired Pathologist with Pee Dee Pathology, has set an example locally for women in the medical field since 1955. Desiring to ensure the future of the program that encouraged her to pursue her dreams, Dr. Hyman is leaving a legacy gift for future students.
While attending the University of South Carolina, Dr. Hyman realized that science came easily to her and so she chose to major in biology and declared herself pre-medicine. At a time when few women considered this career path, Dr. Hyman’s father encouraged her to follow her dreams. However, it was in the 1950s and when she married the late Peter Hyman and he wanted to open his legal practice in Florence, she put her dream of becoming a physician on hold.
Peter supported his wife’s wish to work in the medical field so he enrolled her in the Medical Technology program at McLeod. Medical Technologists direct laboratory analysis for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Lab tests are performed on blood, body fluids, and tissue using complex precise instrumentation. The Medical Technologist then provides the physician with accurate, reliable and rapid results to assist them in making decisions about the patient’s medical care.
Through this program, Dr. Hyman was able get a closer look at the medical profession which inspired her even more to become a physician. After having three children in four years and with Peter’s encouragement, Dr. Hyman applied and was accepted to the Medical College of South Carolina. She recalls that there were only two women in her class and she was the only one to graduate.
Dr. Hyman went on to complete her residency at Massachusetts General in Boston before returning to Florence to practice with Pee Dee Pathology in 1973.
During her career at McLeod in the early 1970s, the hospital, like many others across the country, often experienced difficulty finding qualified Medical Technologists. Dr. Louis Wright, Director of McLeod Laboratory Services, asked Dr. Hyman to re-establish the McLeod School of Medical Technology in 1977. Dr. Hyman agreed and served as the school’s Medical Director until her retirement in 2004.
“Dr. Hyman always had a vision of what a professional Medical Technologist should be,” said Vicki Anderson, the former Program Director for the McLeod School of Medical Technology. “One of her greatest assets was her ability to evaluate situations and people. She always set high goals for the students and fully expected them to achieve those standards. Dr. Hyman also inspired us to try new things, to change, and to work hard to reach the potential she saw in each of her students.”
To ensure the future of the program, Dr. Hyman recently established a scholarship to assist McLeod Medical Technology students. “This is how I began my medical career which has given me great satisfaction and rewards.”
Since 1977, 187 graduates have been inspired by Dr. Hyman’s legacy and now many more will have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams.
John Braddy’s connection with McLeod Health began nearly 64 years ago, when he was born at St. Eugene Hospital in Dillon – now McLeod Health Dillon. Today, he represents Dillon County on the McLeod Health Board of Trustees, and is currently finishing the first year of a three-year term as Chairman of the Board.
John and his family’s dedication to the McLeod Health Foundation is widespread. They have supported the McLeod Children’s Hospital, McLeod Hospice, the McLeod Center for Cancer Treatment and Research as well as the Guest House at McLeod. In addition, John and his wife, Sandy, have made an estate gift to the McLeod Foundation and are members of the Dr. F. H. McLeod Legacy Society.
John is also a graduate of the McLeod Fellows program and a member of the Foundation’s McLeod Men’s group.
A lifelong resident of Dillon County, John is grateful to McLeod Health and the Foundation for supporting his community. “I served on the St. Eugene Hospital Advisory Board for a number of years, including the period when the hospital became part of the McLeod family,” said John. “That merger proved to be a real blessing for healthcare in our rural community. If the hospital had not joined McLeod in 1998, I believe we would be like many other rural areas today that no longer have a hospital.”
A board member for 11 years, John has also observed the growth of McLeod Health to Horry, Chesterfield and Clarendon counties. “As other hospitals are leaving the rural communities, McLeod continues to invest,” he said.
In addition to being a donor and advocate for McLeod, John has been a recipient of the excellent healthcare McLeod provides. “From sports injuries to my cancer diagnosis, I have received the same level of high quality care that the larger and more well-known hospitals around the nation may offer,” said John. “McLeod provides state-of-the-art medicine to patients in our region with excellent outcomes and first class compassionate care.”
John and Sandy’s children, Jill Braddy McLeod and David Braddy, are both physicians. “Thanks to funding by the McLeod Foundation, our children had the opportunity to come to McLeod Regional Medical Center and spend the summer between their first and second years of medical school under the direction of great physicians and teachers. This experience made them both better physicians and people.”
John added, “Each of us has an important connection to the future of this organization. It is our dream that the work performed to care for those in need in our region will grow and constantly improve. My hope is that the organization will not only survive the changes in healthcare to come, but thrive because of its mission and outstanding service.”
John recently addressed fellow and new members of the Dr. F. H. McLeod Legacy Society during the annual dinner held each January. He closed with a quote from Mark Batterson’s book “Chase the Lion.” The book’s subtitle is “If your dream does not scare you, it is too small. We all need to believe in God size dreams.”
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.