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The Real Story Behind the Berkeley Hospital Debate

Situation Update
Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH) can move forward with construction on its long awaited Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital at Carnes Crossroads following a ruling provided by the state’s Administrative Law Court. The judgment upheld an earlier Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) decision allowing for two hospitals to be built in Berkeley County. Read the judge's Final Order and Decision.

Statements in the ruling by Judge John D. McLeod

  • “I find that Berkeley’s population size is well able to support two 50-bed hospitals.”
  • “I find the overwhelming evidence admitted at trial proved that both hospitals are needed and both hospitals in Berkeley County will be financially successful.”
  • “Trident’s position that both hospitals will financially fail if both are approved is inconsistent with Trident’s financials and its application.”
  • “There is abundant evidence and testimony to support that the approval of both applications will not exceed the need for the facilities.”

Statements in response to the ruling by David Dunlap, President and CEO, Roper St. Francis Healthcare

  • Roper St. Francis is very pleased that the court has upheld DHEC’s 2009 decision to allow both hospitals to be built, but it is the residents of Berkeley County who have won.
  • If the state says two hospitals are needed and a court in Columbia says two hospitals can be supported, than everybody should be able to move forward to provide the people of Berkeley County with the two hospitals that were promised.
  • RSFH hopes that all sides will respect the court’s decision and that there will be no further legal delays in bringing a Roper St. Francis hospital to Carnes Crossroads and a hospital in Monck’s Corner as promised by Trident Health System.
  • It is time to put the legal fighting behind and move forward.
  • RSFH looks forward to getting started on building the hospital the people of Berkeley County want and need.
  • It has been the unwavering position of RSFH and its supporters that both new hospitals should be constructed and both can be sustained, as we fought for more than  three years for the people of Berkeley County on this issue.

What Happens Next?

  • As part of the legal process, Trident Health System now has 10 days to reply to the court’s decision by requesting a reconsideration of the decision if desired.
  • If Trident later appeals, it could block the building of any hospital for Berkeley County for several more years.


The History

  • Both RSFH and Trident Health System previously had Certificates of Need (CON) approved for Berkeley hospitals, but legal complications arose when Trident objected to both facilities being built.
  • Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH) participated in a hearing in Administrative Law Court in Columbia, S.C., from Jan. 30 through late February, 2012. 
  • The judge considered information presented by RSFH and by Trident Health System about the state’s decision (DHEC) to allow both systems to build hospitals in two different cities in Berkeley County.
  • There is currently no acute-care hospital in the county.
  • The land RSFH owns at Carnes Crossroads is ready and waiting for construction to begin. 
  • More than 70,000 medical services were provided to Berkeley County residents at RSFH hospitals in 2011 alone, although they had to drive out of the county to get them.
  • After studying population increases and obtaining independent research, both hospitals would be supported by the growing community.
  • Roper St. Francis Healthcare promised to build a hospital in Berkeley County and we will keep that promise.


The Roper St. Francis Bond with our Neighbors in Berkley County is Strong

  • Roper Hospital in Charleston has taken care of patients from Berkeley County for almost two centuries.
  • Roper St. Francis Healthcare has shown a consistent loyalty to the people of Berkeley County since its inception.
  • RSFH pledges to continue its commitment through partnerships with the Berkeley County School District such as the RSFH Heartsave Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) initiative, assistance with service-based organizations such as the Sumter Medical Clinic, plus the more than two dozen other organizations and associations already assisted by Roper St. Francis with equipment, funding, medical services or volunteers.
  • In 2010 alone, the system provided $8.3M in charity/unreimbursed care. 
  • RSFH has supported or sponsored more than 250 community events and organizations in Berkeley County over the past five years.
  • Hundreds of RSFH’s 5,400 employees live in Berkeley County.
  • The head administrator for the current Roper Hospital – Berkeley (Brenda Myers) is on the Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Ms. Myers has lived in Berkeley County for more than 25 years.


Supporting the CON Process

  • Roper St. Francis and the South Carolina Hospital Association fully support the state’s CON process.
  • The Certificate of Need (CON) process provides a much-needed system of checks and balances for the healthcare industry.
  • It should be supported and has demonstrated the creation of a medical system of efficiency for South Carolina compared to states without a CON process.

Show Your Support! Learn how.


DHEC Project Review Committee Presentation


Service Area Map of Berkeley County