The commitment by Roper St. Francis Healthcare to build a full-service hospital in Berkeley County stands firm, according to an announcement today by the leaders of Charleston’s oldest healthcare provider.
“Almost two decades ago, we said we would build an emergency services facility in Moncks Corner, which was extremely remote at that time, and we did. It now offers a more complete array of services than any other provider in that area,” said Doug Bowling, Chief Strategy Officer, Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “Three years ago, we promised to build a full-service hospital in Berkeley County and we will keep that promise. Our dedication to meeting the growing demands and healthcare needs of the people of Berkeley County is steadfast, as that is what our patients have requested.”
“Throughout this process, we have very deliberately tried to keep out of a public debate with Trident Health System,” said Bowling. “We prefer to make a careful study of requests and verified needs, as we have done in the case of Berkeley County. However we are now being forced to publically underscore the inconsistencies presented by Trident in this matter, discrepancies that undeniably link that system’s efforts in Summerville with their actions related to Moncks Corner. It reflects a desire on Trident’s part to become the only hospital provider located in that area. Trident’s statements are in conflict with the arguments they make to keep us from building a hospital in the rapidly growing Berkeley County area. We believe that Trident’s position requires clarification as they continue to delay construction of the state-approved hospitals needed in Berkeley County.”
1. The Summerville Medical Center expansion request and the lawsuit filed by Trident in an attempt to prevent Roper St. Francis Healthcare to build a hospital in Berkeley County are undeniably related.
• Trident, which is attempting to build in Monks Corner, operates under the same hospital license as the Summerville facility.
• Trident is claiming there is no need for two hospitals to provide a total of 100 beds in Berkeley County. It is, however, using population statistics from many of the same zip codes to justify the expansion of its Summerville facility. That is a contradiction.
2. Trident continues to contradict its own public statements filed through the court insisting that two hospitals cannot be supported in Berkeley County; that 100 beds would be too many for the growing population of 179,000. Yet the same company, Trident, is now proposing a total of 124 beds for Dorchester County, which has a considerably smaller population of 136,000. If the Summerville facility is expanded, Berkeley County will be left with zero hospitals and zero hospital beds.
3. Roper St. Francis has independent statistical support demonstrating that two hospitals can be supported in Berkeley County and has consistently supported Trident’s hospital proposal in this sense.
“Roper St. Francis has a history in the Lowcountry dating back to the 1830s. We are locally owned and solely focused on this region,” Bowling said. “We know the people in the Lowcountry and it is our mission to serve them. In fact, one in every three people chooses a Roper St. Francis Healthcare facility* when seeking medical care. We want them to continue to have a choice.”
Roper St. Francis has made an open-ended offer to Trident’s leaders to work together towards a solution for the sake of our patients in Berkeley County and its surrounding areas.
* South Carolina Office of Research & Statistics