McLeod and SSM Health Care close transaction

DILLON — McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence and St. Louis-based SSM Health Care (SSMHC) completed the sale of Saint Eugene Community Hospital in Dillon from SSMHC to McLeod Regional, on Jan. 1. Under the agreement, Saint Eugene will retain its Catholic identity within the non-profit McLeod system.

“Our two systems have a similar mission and values, and we look forward to strengthening the provision of local, non-profit health care services to the Dillon County community,” said Bruce Barragan, president/CEO of McLeod Regional Medical Center.

For the past three and a half years, Saint Eugene and McLeod Regional have had a working relationship as part of the Palmetto Health Care Network of Northeast South Carolina. The two hospitals are expected to become a single integrated health care organization with two locations, serving more than 300,000 people. Together, they will work toward enhancing health care services, reducing costs, and improving quality of care by incorporating the practices of the two facilities.

“We made the decision to transfer Saint Eugene to the McLeod system only after careful consideration and negotiation,” said Sister Mary Jean Ryan, FSM, president/CEO of SSMHC. “Our system has had a proud tradition of serving the Dillon community through Saint Eugene since the hospital opened in 1943. We wanted to find a strong partner that would ensure the future of Saint Eugene as a Catholic hospital providing quality health services to the people of the Dillon County area. We found such a partner in McLeod.”

SSM Health Care worked closely with Bishop David B. Thompson of the Diocese of Charleston during negotiations to see that the Catholic identity of Saint Eugene would be protected. “I am pleased with the steps that have been taken by SSM Health Care and McLeod Regional to ensure that the Catholic identity of Saint Eugene will remain strong and intact into the future,” said Bishop Thompson.

McLeod Regional Medical Center has developed several tertiary services for its community and the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. A private, not-for-profit institution, McLeod is one of the largest employers in the Pee Dee with more than 3,500 employees. In addition, the McLeod health system includes a medical staff of more than 250 physicians, the 50-bed Wilson Medical Center in Darlington, McLeod Home Health Services, a provider of in-home care, Pee Dee Ambulatory Surgery Center and McLeod Health and Fitness Centers.

Founded in 1943, Saint Eugene Community Hospital serves the citizens of Dillon County, northeast South Carolina, and Rowland and Fairmont, N.C. The hospital has 92 acute care beds, and operates a professional office building, three physician practices, five rural health clinics, a wellness center and a skilled medical rehabilitation center. In April, Governor David Beasley presented the hospital with an Achiever Award from the South Carolina Quality Forum, making Saint Eugene only the second South Carolina hospital to ever receive such an honor.

Sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, and based in St. Louis, Mo., SSM Health Care System (SSMHC) is one of the largest Catholic systems in the country. As of Jan. 1, the system owns, operates and manages 25 entities — including 21 acute care hospitals — in four states: Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. Nearly 5,000 affiliated physicians and 20,240 employees work together to provide a wide range of services. SSMHC health-related businesses include information systems, home care management and support services such as materiel management and clinical engineering. SSMHC also owns an interest in Premier Medical Insurance Group, Inc., one of Wisconsin’s largest health maintenance organizations, and in CommunityCare HMO, a statewide, Catholic-sponsored managed care product network in Oklahoma, and Mercy Health Plans, Inc., a Missouri health maintenance organization.