Wednesday, October 9, 2019
LowCountry Women’s Specialists partners with new Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital to provide OB/GYN care
The birth of Ryleigh, a 6-pound, 8-ounce baby girl, on Sunday marked the beginning of an exciting new partnership between LowCountry Women’s Specialists and Roper St. Francis Healthcare.
Ryleigh was the first LowCountry Women’s Specialists baby to be delivered at the new Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital. With eight obstetricians and gynecologists on staff, LowCountry Women’s Specialists is the largest OB/GYN practice in the area and has been serving the community for 29 years.
Ashlyn Ryan, Ryleigh’s mother, said she’d planned to deliver elsewhere but then heard the new Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital had opened.
“It’s so much closer; it’s 10 minutes down the road,” said Ashlyn, who lives in Moncks Corner. “Then the contractions were three minutes apart and I thought, ‘we’re going as close as we can.’ It’s been great here, and all of our nurses have been fantastic.”
This is the first time LowCountry Women’s Specialists has been affiliated with Roper St. Francis Healthcare, and the partnership is a win for both patients and providers.
“We want to increase access for patients who live nearby, and this partnership gives local patients a choice,” said Laura MacMillan, director of women’s and infants’ services for Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “We will be able to give more patients the Roper St. Francis Healthcare experience and introduce them to the quality, compassionate care we’re recognized nationally for providing.”
Dr. Jennifer Heinemann, an OB/GYN with LowCountry Women’s Specialists, said Roper St. Francis Healthcare has a great reputation, and in the past, the practice has lost the opportunity to care for patients because they wanted to be with Roper St. Francis Healthcare.
“We’re excited to be able to give our patients options,” she said. “It’s been amazing so far.”
LowCountry Women’s Specialists will open a new practice at 1801 2nd Avenue inside the Carnes Crossroads development on Oct. 14, and all of its doctors will rotate through that location to serve patients.
LowCountry Women’s Specialists has been affiliated with Trident Medical Center for years, and it’s unusual for OB/GYN practice physicians to deliver at competing hospitals. But when its providers heard Roper St. Francis Healthcare was building in Berkeley County, Heinemann said it was a “non-decision” on whether its providers would offer their services there.
“We’ve been around for more than 25 years, and the reason why we’re still around is because we change and grow with our patients,” Heinemann said. “It’s been important for us to embrace that.”
She said the practice’s entire team of physicians are excited about the hospital’s new location, and the positive experience the practice has had thus far will go a long way toward recruiting more patients to deliver there.
“Even though this facility is new, we have seasoned physician and nurses, so they’re going to get very good care,” Heinemann said. “(All of our physicians) are from this area, we’re dedicated to this community and we’re excited to see it grow.”
In addition to providers from LowCountry Women’s Specialists, the husband and wife team of Drs. Felix Akinbote and Joye Fordham will be the anchors from Roper St. Francis Physician Partners OB/GYN seeing patients in the new hospital. They will be supported by Dr. Kenosha Gleaton as well as other Roper St. Francis Physician Partners providers who will assist with on-call shifts at the facility.
A total of 565 physicians are on the new Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital medical staff, and more than 60 percent of those with privileges are employed through Roper St. Francis Physician Partners. In addition, the hospital has 96 Advanced Practitioner Providers and 127 telemedicine physicians on staff.
Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital Chief Administrative Officer Patrick Bosse said affiliated physicians can choose where they want to take their patients, and patients can choose where they want to receive care.
“It is great for patients to have the ability to choose where they receive their care, and being in this community gives them greater access closer to where they live,” he said. “It’s exciting to be here to offer the quality care of Roper St. Francis Healthcare.”