Roper St. Francis breaks ground on Mt. Pleasant hospital

CHARLESTON — Roper St. Francis Healthcare broke ground recently on a new hospital in Mount Pleasant.
“This is a historic occasion,” noted David L. Dunlap, president and CEO of Roper St. Francis. “It’s not that often we get the opportunity to build a new hospital.”  
The groundbreaking signals the start of construction on the $164 million, 308,000 square-foot campus that will include a medical office building and a state-of-the-art, 85-bed, full-service hospital, according to a press release. It is located on 78 acres at the intersection of Highway 17 North and Faison Road in the Carolina Park Development, adjacent to Wando High School.
The $21 million brick office building will have three floors with a curved glass entrance. It will house private practice physicians, including primary care and specialists, and is set to open in the fall of 2009. Physician recruitment is already underway.
The hospital will cover 218,000 square-feet and cost $143 million. It  features a patient-focused mall design that ensures ease of access and navigation inside and out. The three-story brick construction with arched glass accents will offer multiple entry points to specific service areas, and simple routes from place to place with convenient surface parking. It is scheduled to open for patients in November 2010.
“Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant will serve for generations to come in the same time-honored tradition as its sister hospitals, Roper and Bon Secours St. Francis,” Dunlap said.
“Roper was founded in 1850 as the first community hospital in the Carolinas,” he added. “In 1882, St. Francis Infirmary opened its doors as the first Catholic hospital in the state. And while our two hospitals came together to form Roper St. Francis Healthcare only 10 years ago, we represent a historic tradition of caring, a tradition we proudly bring to Mount Pleasant and the surrounding communities east of the Cooper River.”
The hospital will house a broad array of inpatient and outpatient services including: 85 inpatient beds; 24-hour emergency care; women’s services including high tech, comfortable labor and delivery suites; inpatient and outpatient surgery; intensive and critical-care units; imaging; and a laboratory and pharmacy.
“While the bricks and mortar of this hospital campus will be impressive and something we can all take pride in, the buildings will be defined by the spirit of caring that exists within them; the spirit of caring of our people, Roper St. Francis physicians, employees and volunteers,” said John Sullivan, who joined the health system earlier this month and will serve as CEO for the Mount Pleasant Hospital.   
Site work is underway and will continue through September when the foundation will be laid. Vertical construction begins in the fall.
The master plan calls for only half of the property to be developed. The rest will remain green and protected. Officials at the groundbreaking planted a live oak tree, which will have a permanent home on the completed campus.
Roper St. Francis Healthcare is the Lowcountry’s only private, not-for-profit hospital and health care system. The 644-bed system is comprised of 20 facilities/services in four counties. Member hospitals include Roper Hospital, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Roper Rehabilitation Hospital and freestanding centers for 24-hour emergency care. It also provides diagnostic services including laboratory and imaging, home health services and outpatient surgery.  
With more than 3,800 employees, the  organization is Charleston’s largest nongovernmental, private employer. Its medical staff includes more than 700 physicians representing every medical specialty.  
Ranked among the top 100 integrated health networks in the nation, Roper St. Francis  recently earned 62 national awards recognizing high levels of patient, physician and employee satisfaction. In 2007, it was named among the nation’s top 25 most-connected health care facilities. That year, the organization put in more than 43,700 hours of staff time, served nearly 77,300 people and contributed $27.6 million to benefit the community.
The planning, design and construction team includes FreemanWhite, project architects; LS3P, MOB architect; Program Management Resources, program manager; and BE&K, construction manager.

For more information on the new hospital or to take an animated 3D tour of the campus, visit