In an effort to maintain health services for two regional communities, McLeod Health in Florence, SC, announced its agreement to operate the hospital in Chesterfield County.
McLeod Health assumes operations of the former Chesterfield General Hospital, as an acute care hospital and operating as McLeod Health Cheraw. National for-profit hospital chain Community Health Systems ended its lease on Chesterfield General Hospital as of April 30.
McLeod Cheraw is only a 15-minute drive from Bennettsville, where Community Health Systems also ended its lease in April.
The 59-bed McLeod Cheraw joins five other McLeod Health not-for-profit hospitals, serving a 15 county region with advanced heart, vascular, cancer, women’s and children’s services.
McLeod Cheraw Emergency Services will continue to be led by respected local physician Dr. Gabe Simpson, who is board certified in Emergency Medicine. The Newsom physician group of Cheraw Family Medicine will also be supporting the transition.
McLeod Health has also acquired or opened a number of medical practices in Bennettsville to strengthen family-focused health services in this community. These include an existing pediatrics practice, a general surgery practice, and an existing primary care practice. Physicians are being recruited for the primary care and OB and GYN practices.
“Our services in Cheraw and Bennettsville are consistent with our not-for-profit mission,” said Rob Colones, President and CEO of McLeod Health. “The changing healthcare landscape makes it considerably more difficult for all hospitals, especially those in rural areas, to operate successfully. We believe that this affiliation allows McLeod Health the best way to continue serving the health needs for families in those communities, otherwise, both hospitals may have closed for good in April."
McLeod officials note a number of reasons this decision is good for these communities and for McLeod. The agreement brings McLeod resources to the hospital and communities, including consolidating acute care to Cheraw for better financial stewardship and eliminating the continuing economic losses generated by the hospital in Marlboro County, while strengthening health services in both communities.
McLeod will be looking at the operational analysis being conducted by a third-party consultant to evaluate the future opportunities for enhanced medical services at the facilities in Marlboro County, given economic and population growth in that region. There are considerations for post-acute care, assisted living as an option and the possibility of a future freestanding Emergency Department and addition of primary care.
McLeod Health currently operates 5 hospitals, including McLeodRegionalMedicalCenter in Florence as well as McLeod Darlington, McLeod Dillon, McLeod Loris and McLeod Seacoast. McLeod also operates Urgent Care Centers in Florence and Darlington, along with 60 medical practices in ten counties.