McLeod Health Announces Affiliation with Loris and Seacoast Medical Centers


(11/17/11) – McLeod Health and Loris Community Healthcare System are pleased to announce formalizing their long standing and mutually beneficial partnership.

On Wednesday, November 9, the Board of Commissioners for Loris Community Hospital District, which includes Loris and Seacoast Medical Centers, unanimously made the decision to affiliate with McLeod Health.

"We believe this relationship will foster greater strategic alignment in support of our mission and will bring continued clinical quality through shared best practices, while retaining local governance and leadership. An unwavering commitment to quality has been a cornerstone of McLeod leadership and played a significant role in our decision," stated Dr. Tracy Ray, Chairman of the Loris Community Healthcare Systems Board.

The Board action followed the public vote of confidence and outpouring of support for the Healthcare Services Referendum in Horry County on Tuesday, November 1. An overwhelming 85 percent of voters passed the Referendum for Healthcare Services. Passing the referendum gave the Loris Community Healthcare System Board the authority to merge and the positive response to the vote reinforced the commitment.

"We look forward to this exciting opportunity as we move forward in the process with McLeod for Loris and Seacoast to become stronger clinically, operationally and financially," Dr. Ray said.

This action taken between these hospital systems is consistent with a national trend of collaboration between hospitals – – taking the necessary steps to ensure their patients have access to efficient and high-quality care with the promise of long-term growth preservation of a hospital delivery system for this region.

"We are inspired by the exceptional commitment of our physicians and health care teams on behalf of the patients we serve in these communities," stated Rob Colones, President and CEO of McLeod Health. "The referral relationships between providers over these years allowed this partnership to take place."

"We are most appreciative of the dedication and hard work of the Citizens’ for Better Healthcare Services Committee to promote this effort. Composed of residents from the Loris, North Myrtle Beach, Green Sea, Little River and Nichols communities, the Committee worked diligently to communicate the issues involved in the referendum for several months," Colones added.

The decision to affiliate represents a new beginning for two long-time, highly respected healthcare organizations that share a similar mission and philosophy of care. "While there is much work ahead, we are confident that in working together, will continue improving services for our communities," stated Colones.

McLeod Health, Loris and Seacoast will continue to share a not-for-profit mission and focus on providing the best possible healthcare services to patients. Loris and Seacoast will retain a local governing board and local foundation, with continued involvement and leadership. Loris has had a relationship with McLeod Health for more than a decade. These hospitals share the same philosophy of quality patient care and are inspired by beloved local physicians.

Through this affiliation, patients will gain access to even more exceptional physicians and specialists, as well as leading-edge medical technology. McLeod will also provide staff development, training, and introduce quality and award winning programs and initiatives. McLeod is a national leader and won the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Award and is the first hospital in South Carolina to receive this distinction and recognition for excellence in patient care.

"Our patients deserve the best healthcare services and the timing for this collaboration is appropriate as we respond to the issues of healthcare reform. Additionally, our communities are growing and this affiliation is a way to provide these services to all patients in the area," said Dick Tinsley, Administrator of Loris Community Healthcare System.

McLeod Health and Loris Community Healthcare System officials named Tinsley as the Administrator for the Loris Healthcare System in August. He has been a part of healthcare leadership for more than 25 years, and has served with McLeod Health since 1998 as a Vice President of Planning. Arnold Green will continue in his leadership role as Chief Operating Officer for Loris Healthcare System.

Loris Community Healthcare System provides care for residents of northern Horry and southern Brunswick and Columbus counties. Founded in 1950, Loris Community Hospital is a fully-accredited acute care facility with 105 licensed beds. Seacoast Medical Center opened in 2000 as an outpatient facility. In July 2011, Seacoast Medical Center began providing inpatient care as a 50-bed hospital. Other facilities affiliated with Loris Healthcare System are Family Health Centers in Loris and Green Sea, Loris Extended Care Center and the Center for Health and Fitness. Loris Healthcare System also operates a network of physician practices and has more than 120 physicians on active and affiliate medical staff. Loris Healthcare System is one of the premier employers in Horry County with nearly 1000 employees.

McLeod Health, recognized nationally for its quality initiatives and methodology, has a leading regional presence and reputation for being dedicated to patients and their families. Founded in 1906, McLeod Health is a locally owned and managed, non-profit organization supported by the strength of nearly 400 physicians on the medical staff and more than 1,400 nurses. In addition to its modern facilities, premier technology and equipment; McLeod is dedicated to improving the health of the residents of those communities served. McLeod Health, located in the Northeastern Region of South Carolina, is composed of more than 4,900 employees and nearly 40 physician practices in seven counties. With four hospitals, McLeod Health also operates a Health and Fitness Center, Sports Medicine and Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, Hospice, and Home Health Services. McLeod Regional Medical Center staffs 453 licensed beds.