HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – As Horry County’s population grows, some communities are in need of more medical services and Carolina Forest will soon get a new emergency room.
There are plenty of signs of how much Carolina Forest has developed and the newest one will sit in Forest Square plaza off Oakheart Road when Grand Strand Health opens Carolina Forest ER.
“As a local resident of Carolina Forest, I’ve seen firsthand all the growth here, all the new restaurants, shops and all the new families moving down,” said Dr. Radley Short, who’s the emergency medical director for Grand Strand Health. “It’s extremely exciting to serve that community with this new medical center.”
Dr. Short also works at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, South Strand Medical Center near Socastee and North Strand ER in North Myrtle Beach. He says this fourth ER will provide more crucial resources needed in Carolina Forest.
“We have a large proportion of our patient population coming from Carolina Forest, so to help deliver care easier to this community and better to this community, we’re so excited to open up another freestanding [emergency room],” Dr. Short said.
Grand Strand Health has more than 6,000 patients in Carolina Forest, despite the fact that Grand Strand Regional Medical Center is the healthcare system’s nearest hospital about 20 minutes away.
“That represents almost 60% of the emergency room visits in Carolina Forest, so clearly, we’ve been serving Carolina Forest for a long time,” said Mark Sims, who’s the CEO of Grand Strand Health.
Ground was officially broken on the 11,000-square-foot facility at the west end of Carolina Forest Boulevard near the intersection with U.S. Highway 501. Sims says it took about five years to finalize the plans.
The $10 million building will have 10 emergency room beds and stay open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“When ambulances come and support bad things that happen around here, they’re going to be able to bring them right here and do every type of procedure and operation necessary,” said Paul Mashburn, who’s the CEO of Mashburn Construction.
Grand Strand Health isn’t alone.
McLeod Health announced last month it was planning to build a $56 million hospital on its Carolina Forest campus off International Drive. Conway Medical Center (CMC) is also looking to build a hospital off International Drive, but the state Department of Natural Resources has expressed concerns about the CMC plan’s proximity to Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve.
Carolina Forest ER is expected to open next summer.