4 major hospitals join in COVID-19 initiative despite being competitors


CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Four major hospital systems in Horry and Georgetown counties announced a joint COVID-19 initiative on Friday. 

Conway Medical Center, Grand Strand Health, McLeod Health, and Tidelands Health are competitors in the healthcare field. “However, we feel so strongly about this initiative to slow the spread of COVID-19, we are standing together in this endeavor,” the hospitals said in a joint statement.

Grand Strand Health CEO Mark Sims, Tidelands Health Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Gerald Harmon, Conway Medical Center CEO and President Bret Barr, and McLeod Health Vice President Monica made the announcement on a Zoom meeting.

“We, the health care systems that proudly serve our communities, stand united in response to the COVID-19 crisis,” the four organizations said in an open letter to the community. “And, as we stand together, we ask you to stand with us.”

“The thousands of physicians, nurses and health care professionals who have cared for your families in sickness and in health now find ourselves in a fight that we need your help to win,” the statement continued. “Please, for the health and safety of our region, wear a mask. Avoid large gatherings, observe social distancing, and wash your hands. These simple steps, when taken by all of us, will slow the spread of COVID-19.

Leaders from each of the medical systems were all agreed when it came to how to handle the pandemic. All of the region’s hospitals are at or near capacity in their emergency departments, intensive care units and inpatient care units. The health systems are encouraging area residents and visitors to help slow the spread of the virus by taking appropriate precautions.

They all said to make sure we are all still wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands with soap, monitoring symptoms and seeking care from a trusted medical professional.

At McLoed Health, they announced that they are planning ahead for the hurricane. They said they know they can’t evacuate and are ready to shelter in place.

The campaign that the four systems have joined together for will be a very robust campaign with TV commercials, billboards and posters encouraging people to use precautions and work together to overcome the virus.


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