MSSC Chief Executive Officer John M. Jordan Jr. will retire Dec. 31.
On Christmas Eve in 1789, a small group of physicians gathered in a doctor’s home on Tradd Street with a mission of improving the science of medicine and a plan to form a medical society.
That winter night marked the beginning of the Medical Society of South Carolina, which is alive and thriving today. And what sets it apart from most organizations is that its original purpose – enhancing healthcare in the community – has remain unchanged.
“We want to make sure that our patients receive the best quality care in our community,” said John M. Jordan, Jr., chief executive officer of the Medical Society of South Carolina.
The society is a nonprofit organization that is the majority financial owner of Roper St. Francis. The group is committed to ensuring RSF remains a non-profit and provides excellent care to Lowcountry residents.
During the past 12 years, the society has flourished under the strong leadership of Jordan, who has played an instrumental role in shaping the healthcare system into what it’s become today.
Jordan plans to retire on Dec. 31, but the strategic plans crafted during his tenure will come to fruition under the society’s new chief executive officer, John Holloway. The transition between these two leaders will be seamless; Holloway has worked alongside Jordan for the past five years to learn this new role.
Dr. Stan Wilson, a surgical oncologist who served as chairman of the Medical Society of South Carolina board for the past four years, said Jordan has crafted many, if not all, of the financial policies that have allowed the society to be an important supporter of Roper St. Francis.
“Mr. Jordan has been a very, very long-term servant of the Roper St. Francis system, and he was one of the architects of the systems in becoming who we are,” Wilson said. “He not only helped build the foundation (of Roper St. Francis) and the upright struts of support, but he has positioned us to continue with an uninterrupted flow of our mission.”
This change in leadership won’t impact teammates’ day-to-day lives, but the work of the Medical Society of South Carolina does affect the healthcare system year-round – and in the best ways possible.
What does the Medical Society of South Carolina do for RSF
One of the most recent and visible initiatives made possible by the Medical Society of South Carolina is the new $28 million Roper St. Francis Office Park in North Charleston. The Medical Society of South Carolina borrowed the money for Roper St. Francis to build the facility, and it doesn’t try to make a profit when RSF repays those funds.
“It helps the system,” Jordan said.
Other projects include: financing the new Medical Office Building in the Carnes Crossroads development in Berkeley County; building the Medical Office Building at RSF Mount Pleasant Hospital; renovating the surgical suite and 6 East at Roper Hospital; and renovating and expanding Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital.
The Medical Society of South Carolina allows Roper St. Francis to be a leader in its treatments, technology and facilities.
In addition to helping RSF, the society has a focus on funding healthcare-related initiatives in the community that are aligned with its health-needs assessment. The society recently announced that it will provide $1 million to the Dorchester Children’s Center in Summerville to expand its facilities for abused and neglected children.
Other recent projects include providing money for Automatic External Defibrillators for more than 500 local organizations and donating more than $200,000 for One80 Place to establish a health clinic for homeless or hungry residents.
Jordan was born and raised in Charleston, graduating from the High School of Charleston and the College of Charleston. He serves on nine civic and religious boards, and he’s volunteered countless hours through past service on boards such as the Trident United Way, the College of Charleston Foundation, the Rotary Club and the Association for the Blind.
Both Jordan and Holloway previously worked in the banking industry.
Jordan began his career in banking in 1963 and retired in 2000 as regional executive officer of the National Bank of South Carolina. Holloway’s career in banking spanned 35 years and ended when he retired from Wachovia Bank in 2007 as its chief operations officer of the commercial division.
Jordan became the chief executive officer of the Medical Society of South Carolina in 2000, and he said he’s most proud that the society has been financially sound while helping Roper St. Francis.
“We really have been able to support the system financially in many ways, and that has given us the ability to give patients in our community the best quality care,” he said.
Numerous changes in healthcare reimbursements and finance are looming. To ensure RSF’s long-term viability, Jordan and Holloway have developed a financial strategy for the future. Holloway said he intends to follow that strategy going forward.
Jordan and Holloway, as well as their shared administrative assistant, are the sole employees of the Medical Society of South Carolina, and they report to the society’s board.
The Medical Society of South Carolina’s storied history
The society, known to some as the Roper St. Francis Physicians Endowment, is made of about 500 doctors who are a mix of employed, independent or contract physicians who have privileges at a Roper St. Francis hospital. None of the doctors make a penny by joining the society.
The medical society is the third oldest in the country and has played a leading role in the community’s healthcare. In 1824, its members founded the Medical College of South Carolina, which is known today as the Medical University of South Carolina. And in 1847, its members helped cofound the American Medical Association. The society built Roper Hospital, which served as a teaching hospital until MUSC built its teaching hospital.
In 1998, the society joined forces with Bon Secours Health System and Carolinas HealthCare System to form Roper St. Francis. Jordan, who was serving in a voluntary capacity at that time, was an integral part of those merger meetings and worked to ensure that Roper St. Francis would have a viable healthcare system in the future.
“… We were all working together to create something better for the Lowcountry,” Wilson said.
Jordan knows that most Roper St. Francis teammates probably don’t know much about the Medical Society of South Carolina, and that’s OK with him. What he cares about is that the society continues its steadfast support of Roper St. Francis, which in turn benefits the broader Charleston community.
“We’re here to support and protect Roper St. Francis,” Jordan said. “Our purpose is to serve the community, and we want to make sure Roper St. Francis remains a community asset.”
To see highlights from the timeline of the Medical Society of South Carolina’s 225 year history, click here.