MUSC adds to healthcare options East of the Cooper

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - A hospital boom is helping to serve the residents East of the Cooper. MUSC is the latest hospital to unveil a medical facility, near Hungryneck Boulevard and the I-526 interchange.

For some residents East of the Cooper, the commute across Ravenel Bridge and into downtown Charleston for healthcare is not always easy.

"I'm in the country. Instead of me going all the way across the bridge, I can stop right here in East Cooper or this new hospital they got over here, save me some time," McClellanville resident Carl Taylor said.

Since 2010, healthcare options in Mount Pleasant have expanded. East Cooper Medical Center opened a 140 bed hospital. Roper Saint Francis Healthcare opened an 85 bed hospital.

Now MUSC has opened the new MUSC Health East Cooper facility. The project has been in the works more than three years, and it is a place patients can receive primary care, women's breast care, and eventually more than 20 other medical specialties.

"This new site, with the equipment and facility, we now provide a single entry point for patient access into the MUSC healthcare system," MUSC Physicians Practice President Dr. Philip Costello said.

Mount Pleasant town leaders say this area is growing by leaps and bounds. They say the town is one of the fastest growing in the state, and the population has more than doubled in the past decade.

"A significant percentage of our population are people who have chosen to retire here, are senior citizens. As we age we know the need for healthcare becomes that much more demanding," Mount Pleasant Mayor Pro Tem Thomasena Stokes-Marshall said.

The MUSC East Cooper facility employs 80, with dozens of doctors who will also practice there.

Residents are happy to have healthcare options on their side of town.

"Oh, much better. It was a long time coming I think. I think it's much needed the way this area is growing," Mount Pleasant resident Janet Clark said.

Another hospital will be moving into Mount Pleasant by August. Kindred Hospital will open its doors on Hospital Drive, with 59 long-term acute care beds. It's currently under construction at the former East Cooper Medical Center site.

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