GHS celebrates addition of Oconee Medical Campus

SENECA, SC _ Greenville Health System celebrated the addition of its eighth hospital campus Wednesday with several events at the newly renamed Oconee Medical Campus.

The board of directors of the former Oconee Medical Center agreed in June to a long-term lease that made the organization part of Greenville Health System (GHS). Under the lease, which took effect Wednesday, the Oconee Medical Campus becomes part of an integrated health system benefiting patients throughout the upstate of South Carolina.

“Throughout this process, the Oconee team – from the staff to the board of directors – has shown a tremendous commitment to doing what’s best for their patients and the community,” said Michael Riordan, president and CEO of Greenville Health System. “By focusing on access, quality and value, we believe that together we can transform health care for the benefit of the people and communities we serve.”

Wednesday’s events included several receptions as well as the unveiling of an example of new exterior signage that is planned for the campus. At the events, Riordan and other GHS officials made several announcements:

  • The 169-bed Oconee Medical Center has been renamed Oconee Memorial Hospital, making its name consistent with the other acute-care hospitals in the GHS organization.
  • Jeanne Ward has been named a regional president, a role in which she will provide leadership in the achievement of GHS’ mission, vision, values and strategic goals within the Oconee and Pickens markets. She will also be responsible for leading GHS’ clinical integration activities with Baptist Easley Hospital. She will continue to be based at Oconee Medical Campus. She was previously the president and CEO of Oconee Medical Center.
  • Hunter Kome has been named campus president of the Oconee Medical Campus. He was previously chief operating officer of Oconee Medical Center.

GHS will operate the former Oconee Medical Center under a lease of 50 years, with the potential for two additional 25-year lease periods. The lease provides for full integration of Oconee healthcare services into the operations of GHS.

The operating lease gives GHS responsibility for all assets and liabilities of the former Oconee Medical Center, including approximately $80 million in long-term bond-related debt. As part of the lease, GHS pledges to deliver quality healthcare services to the people of Oconee County and to meet the healthcare needs of the communities served by the former Oconee Medical Center.

The facilities on the Oconee Medical Campus include the 169-bed Oconee Memorial Hospital; 120-bed Lila Doyle long-term care and rehabilitation center; GHS Cancer Institute; Omni Place physician office complex and headquarters for the local Emergency Medical Services. GHS has also assumed operation of Oconee’s physician network, home health and hospice, including the 15-bed Cottingham Hospice House.

The board of directors of the former Oconee Medical Center will continue to function, but its role will be to oversee the lease and to advise the GHS Board of Trustees. The GHS board will have ultimate responsibility for strategy, policy and decision-making for the entire health system.

“By joining Greenville Health System today, we are taking an important step toward protecting and enhancing healthcare services for the people of Oconee County and surrounding communities,” said Rick Phillips, chairman of the Oconee Medical Center Board of Directors. “We are proud to be joining an organization that is leading the transformation of health care in South Carolina.”

Wednesday’s events capped a process that started formally in January when the boards of the two organizations signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding to explore a possible affiliation.

“We explored many options, but in the end we were drawn to the mission, vision and values of Greenville Health System,” Ward said. “We are excited to be joining a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that understands South Carolina’s unique healthcare environment and challenges. GHS is the right fit for our community.”

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