Providence, County break ground for ER

Breaking ground for the new Providence Health-Fairfield Emergency Room are: Bertha Goins, Vice Chairman of Fairfield County Council; Dr. Roger Gaddy, Fairfield Memorial Hospital Chief of Staff and Mayor of Winnsboro; Susie VanHuss, Chair Board of Trustees Providence Health; Scott Campbell, Market CEO, Providence Health; Catherine Fantry, Fairfield Memorial Hospital Board Chair; MaryGail K. Douglas, Representative District 41; Victor Giovanetti, President Eastern Group LifePoint Health; J.R. Green, PhD, Superintendent of Fairfield County School, Providence Health Board of Trustees Member; Mike Tanner, Director Emergency Medical Services, Upper Midlands Rural Health Network; Suzy Doscher, Fairfield Memorial Hospital CEO; Dr. Cale Davis, Carolina Care; Mark Hood, President and CEO Hood Construction. | Barbara Ball

WINNSBORO – Ground was broken Feb. 15 for the new Providence Health-Fairfield Emergency Room that will be located on the corner across from BI-Lo Shopping Center at 1810 US Highway 321 Bypass in Winnsboro. Approximately 100 county, town, health care and community officials attended the ceremony and gathered to watch the first dig marking the beginning of construction of the facility.

Exterior rendering of Providence Health – Fairfield Emergency Room

“We are proud to collaborate with Fairfield Memorial Hospital (FMH) and Fairfield County to preserve critical access to emergency care for residents of this community,” Scott Campbell, Market Chief Executive Officer of Providence Health, said in opening remarks at the invitation-only event. “This new facility will allow you to have access to 24/7 care from board certified emergency room specialists, and we’re excited about that. This Emergency Room will help transform the delivery of local healthcare services to a sustainable model that better meets the needs of this area.” Campbell said.

The new emergency room will be approximately 20 miles away from Providence Health’s Northeast hospital campus where patients needing more intensive care can be quickly transferred.

Winnsboro Mayor Roger Gaddy, who serves a Chief of Staff at Fairfield Memorial Hospital and has been on staff at the hospital since 1979, addressed the crowd, reminiscing how, as a young intern, he was recruited to Fairfield County 40 years ago by current fellow FMH Board member William Tuner who was then serving on Fairfield County Council. Gaddy expressed his appreciation to the County, to Providence Health and its partner, LifePoint Health, for bringing the new emergency room to Fairfield.

“It’s a great day for Fairfield County,” Gaddy told those gathered.

Interior rendering of Emergency Room in Fairfield County

The one-level, 18,000-square-foot building will dedicate 12,000 square feet to emergency services and include 6,000 additional square feet of space for future expansion. Plans for the facility include: six exam rooms (including four treatment rooms and two for future expansion), two trauma rooms, an onsite laboratory and imaging services such as a CT scann, ultrasound and x-ray.

County Council budgets $1.2 million annually to support FMH’s emergency room, and it passed a resolution in May, 2017, stating that it would continue to financially support FMH’s emergency room operations for up to 18 months or until the new Providence emergency facility is open for business. That resolution also stated that the County will provide $1 million annually for 10 years to Providence Health in support of the new emergency room.

The new emergency room was made possible in part by the state’s Hospital Transformation Program which supports rural access to healthcare resources and has contributed $3.9 million to this project.

Providing rural access to health resources is a statewide initiative,” Fairfield Memorial Hospital CEO Suzanne Doscher said. “We are pleased to have found a partner that will continue to offer emergency services to the residents of Fairfield County.”

Until the new facility opens, in-patient hospital and emergency service will continue to be offered at the FMH location. When the new ER opens, emergency services, radiology and lab services will be offered there.

County Council Chairman Billy Smith said providence will offer employment opportunities to current FMH employees who satisfy Providence’s customary pre-employment screening requirements and are qualified for comparable positions in the new facility to the extent that these positions are available.

Smith emphasized that Providence Health is committed to providing needed emergency care to all of Fairfield’s residents and that it has a charity care policy that provides support for community members who lack the ability to pay for needed healthcare services.

Construction on the new emergency room is expected to be completed in the fall of this year.