Pictured from left to right: Ronald M. Fowler, Dr. Tracy Ray and Frank V. Boulineau III.
As the local community grows, McLeod Loris Seacoast is committed to improving and expanding its services and medical treatment to ensure excellent care for its residents. To achieve this mission, McLeod Loris Seacoast relies heavily on the knowledge and decision making of the McLeod Health Board of Trustees. Three members of the board who have a long history of service in Horry County represent McLeod Loris Seacoast. These “visionaries” include: Frank V. Boulineau, III, of North Myrtle Beach, Ronald Fowler of Loris and Dr. Tracy Ray of Loris.
In February of 2012, the McLeod Health Board of Trustees welcomed Boulineau, Fowler and Dr. Ray to support the growth and global outlook of McLeod Health. They were formerly members on the Board of Commissioners for Loris Healthcare System and were chosen to serve on the McLeod Health Board of Trustees because they understood the mission, vision and values of McLeod Health.
“Coming out of education, this was a calling for me,” said Fowler. “It was my mission to make sure McLeod Health provided quality healthcare close to home.”
Influential leaders, Boulineau, Fowler and Dr. Ray, were already exploring new opportunities to strengthen the healthcare system, expand services and provide quality of care to the community.
In 1950, Loris Community Hospital opened its doors with 23 patient beds. Over the next 10 to 15 years, Loris Community Hospital experienced a tremendous growth period and quickly expanded to 105 patient beds by the end of the 1960’s. During the 1970s and 1980s, the hospital obtained some of the most modern diagnostic tools available to perform a variety of in-house procedures which was considered extraordinary at the time for a hospital of its size.
To keep up the pace with the rapidly growing communities and increasing medical needs, the Board of Commissioners and local legislative officials broke ground at Seacoast Medical Center in Little River in 1999. Initially a comprehensive outpatient facility, the medical center opened its doors to the public in October of 2000.
Not long after opening, Seacoast Medical Center filed a certificate of need application to establish inpatient services. There was a demand for convenient, quality healthcare along the northern strand of Horry County and across the border into Brunswick County, North Carolina.
“In 2011, we felt that to move Loris and Seacoast in a direction of higher quality healthcare for our citizens, McLeod Health was the partner we needed,” said Dr. Ray.
Today, the community is seeing growth and change at all McLeod Health campuses in Horry County. At McLeod Seacoast, a new 28-bed Emergency Department opened in July 2016 with a state-of-the-art design offering staff ease of work flow. Five additional Fast Track beds were added to the Emergency Department in 2017 to offer a more efficient patient experience.
The Same Day Services department at McLeod Seacoast also opened a new infusion suite in 2016, growing from 4 infusion chairs to 11. This new wing in the Same Day Services area meets the needs of the growing community McLeod Seacoast serves, and offers convenient access to infusion care.
McLeod Seacoast is also in the process of building its new, cutting-edge inpatient tower, which will increase the inpatient beds from 50 to 100.
“I think McLeod Health has brought the community the best healthcare of any place in America,” said Boulineau. “The investment that McLeod Health has made at Loris, Seacoast and Carolina Forest is extremely beneficial for the people who live here.”
The McLeod Health Carolina Forest Campus opened its first building in the 43-acre expansion designed to provide services to meet the healthcare needs of residents within and around the Carolina Forest area in March of 2017.
“Providing quality health care is not a concept that is created entirely in a boardroom,” said Fowler. “For McLeod Health that understanding is no different. The decision to come to the Carolina Forest community was not a decision solely based upon data and consultants but upon the long held understanding that providing a choice in quality health care was a fundamental right of a community’s citizens. Understanding the diversity of the growing medical needs of the local communities, McLeod’s healthcare leaders have long viewed a move into the Carolina Forest community as a platform for providing advanced quality healthcare to a vibrant and expanding region,” said Fowler.
McLeod Loris has also made many changes to its facility by updating IV pumps and medicine dispensers as well as renovations to the second floor patient rooms. Future projects at McLeod Loris will include new ICU monitors and an expanded infrastructure.
“With the expansion of McLeod Seacoast, the growth to Carolina Forest and the upgrades and support in Loris, McLeod Health is now the choice for quality healthcare in Horry and Brunswick Counties,” added Dr. Ray. “The future for quality healthcare in these communities is very bright and just beginning.”
Since the affiliation with McLeod, Boulineau, Fowler and Dr. Ray, have been committed to growing McLeod Health services in Horry and Brunswick counties, but also ensuring every patient who walks through the door is treated equally and provided excellent service and care. These leaders plan to continue their work with McLeod Health to further meet the healthcare needs of the community.
Frank V. Boulineau, III, is a member of the McLeod Health Board of Trustees representing Horry County. A native of North Myrtle Beach, Boulineau is a respected business andcommunity leader. He is considered one of the primary employers along the North Strand. As Chief Executive Officer of Boulineaus, Inc., his businesses include: Boulineau’s IGA, Dairy Hut,Barnacles Beachwear, Platt’s Seafood, Boulineau’s Beach Buggies, Frank’s Ice, Cherry Grove Post Office, Boulineau Outdoor Advertising and Adventure Digital Media. In the community,Boulineau is a member of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the National Bank of South Carolina Advisory Board and the Horry County SchoolSuperintendent’s Business Cabinet. He also serves as board chairman of the McLeod Loris Seacoast Foundation. In addition, he has served as a member of the North Myrtle BeachPlanning Commission, the North Strand Optimist Club, Horry-Georgetown Technical College Foundation Board of Directors and Past Chair and Trustee of the Connie Maxwell Children’sHome. A member of First Baptist Church of North Myrtle Beach, Boulineau serves as a Deacon and Chairman of several committees. Boulineau and his wife Elizabeth are the parents of Mary Elizabeth Mixon and the late Frank “Buddy” Boulineau, IV. They also have four grandchildren.
Ronald M. Fowler is a member of the McLeod Health Board of Trustees representing Horry County. A native of Horry County, Fowler is a graduate of Wofford College in Spartanburg,South Carolina. He received a Master’s degree from the University of South Carolina. Fowler has served Horry County Schools for more than 40 years. He currently is a Learning Specialistfor the Office of Teacher Evaluation. He is also a Funeral Director at Hardwick Funeral Home. In his community, Fowler serves on the Horry County State Bank Advisory Board and isinvolved in Loris First Baptist Church. He has also served on the City of Loris Election Commission, the Horry County Board of Adjustment and Appeals, the City of Loris DowntownRevitalization Committee and the Loris Lions Club. Fowler and his wife Barbara have two children, Matthew R. M. Fowler, JD, and Elizabeth Babb Fowler, PhD. They also have two grandchildren.
Dr. Tracy Ray is a member of the McLeod Health Board of Trustees representing Horry County. A native of Tabor City, North Carolina, Dr. Ray is an established Loris optometrist. Heis a graduate of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. Dr. Ray received his Doctorate of Optometry from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee.He is a past president of both the Tabor City Rotary Club and Loris Lions Club. He has also served on the Executive Board of the South Columbus Stallion Club and the Upward Sports Committee. Members of Loris First Presbyterian Church, Dr. Ray and his wife Tracy have three children, Jaclyn, Bryant and McKinley.