Roper drops appeal against Summerville hospital expansion

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Summerville Medical Center has announced that the legal appeal of its plans for a 30-bed expansion has been abandoned.

Trident Health spokesman Bob Behanian confirmed Monday that Roper St. Francis dropped their appeal.  Roper St. Francis Chief Strategy Officer Doug Bowling issued the following statement:

"Roper St. Francis has withdrawn our opposition to the Certificate of Need request for the addition of hospital beds for Summerville Medical Center," said Doug Bowling, Chief Strategy Officer, Roper St. Francis. "One of the purposes of our opposition was to make sure that Trident would not use it's Summerville project to block a greatly needed Roper St. Francis Hospital at Carnes Crossroads which they have agreed not to do. It is our most sincere hope that in turn, Trident and its parent company, HCA, will finally acknowledge the need for the hospital we are planning to build in Berkeley County and allow our project to move forward, just as the state and a judge have said it should."

In November of 2010, SMC applied to DHEC for a Certificate of Need for a $26 million facility expansion to add 30 beds to the existing facility. In September, 2011, DHEC approved and recognized the bed expansion as necessary to accommodate the population growth in Dorchester County, and a crucial move to meet community demand for quality health care.

Roper appealed DHEC's decision, which delayed the project.

"I want to personally thank the residents of Dorchester County and our surrounding communities for their ongoing support during this appeal process, said Lou Caputo, SMC CEO. "Your continuous efforts were extremely impactful; your voices were heard."

During the delay process, Caputo says Summerville Medical Center has begun to implement an expansion of its pediatric services, including a dedicated pediatric emergency area. The hospital also added more features to complement women and family care, including a renovated nursery area and all private patient rooms.

Last Fall, SMC added robotic surgery to its offerings; eight surgeons now perform robotic-assisted surgery at the facility.

Caputo added, "We have brought new, much needed services to Summerville Medical Center and our community. Once these projects are completed, we will focus our attention on the expansion project."