They walked, they ran, sometimes they fell down, but -- despite low, gray clouds and high winds -- they were all smiles.
Kershaw County's only two general surgeons, doctors Edward A. Gill and Paul Christenberry, are joining forces as part of an agreement to form KershawHealth General Surgery. Dr. Gill will leave Sentinel Health Partners while Dr. Christenberry will end his solo practice to join the healthcare organization.
During her recent State of the State address, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced that, beginning with the 2013-14 fiscal year, the state's Medicaid-designated rural hospitals would be fully compensated for their otherwise uncompensated costs through what is known as the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program.
Reflecting back on the KershawHealth Foundation's decision to undertake a fundraising campaign to mark the hospital's 100th year, Mary Ellen Green, chair of the board of directors, noted that "The Centennial Fund has been created to support critical advancements in future years as KershawHealth continues its commitment to being the best community healthcare system in South Carolina. Our goal is ambitious because the need is critical." The goal is to build a fund of $4 million, with $2.5 million presently in the fund and $1.5 million yet to be raised to reach the goal.
The 2012-13 flu season has already become the worst of the last seven years, according to KershawHealth Infection and Prevention Control Director Paula Guild. The good news could be, however, that the number of flu cases peaked earlier in the season.
KershawHealth has entered its centennial year, and President and CEO Donnie Weeks took time during the KershawHealth Board of Trustee's first meeting of the year Jan. 8 to "take stock and focus for the future." Weeks also briefly touched on the healthcare system's bond ratings and worker's compensation benefit for employees.
Camden resident Julie B. Hulteen was inducted into the Women's Auxiliary of the South Carolina Chiropractic Association (SCCA) Hall of Fame on Dec. 8 in Columbia.
In just a few days, the Santee Wateree Rural Transportation Authority (SWRTA) will stop providing transportation to Medicaid patients. Shutting down such transportation after Dec. 31 will end 27 years of service to Medicaid patients, affecting not only Kershaw County, but Calhoun, Clarendon, Lee, Orangeburg and Sumter counties.
Standard & Poor's (S&P) recently adjusted its outlook on KershawHealth's finances from "stable" to "negative" while still affirming its long-held "BBB" investment-grade rating. KershawHealth Vice President and COO/CFO Mike Bunch announced the downgrade during a meeting of the KershawHealth Board of Trustee's finance committee Thursday.
Representatives from LiveWell Kershaw, an initiative to make Kershaw County the healthiest in the state, wrapped up the last of six public meetings Dec. 6 in an effort to receive feedback from the community.
"This is a big deal," Dr. Shawn Conwell told the KershawHealth Board of Trustees at its Nov. 26 meeting.
Although the United States government is named on and may benefit from a pending federal whistleblower case filed against a Kershaw County-based ear, nose and throat practice, it is not directly involved in the case. Also, the defendants in that case are not facing any criminal charges.
Camden 10-year-old Amari Williams did something Nov. 16 he hadn't been able to do in four months: leave a Charleston hospital. Physicians discharged Amari that day after the Camden Elementary School student spent those four months in intensive care waiting for -- and getting -- a new heart.
South Carolina Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell toured the hallways of KershawHealth's Karesh Long Term Care Wing as part of his "Face of Aging" tour Tuesday. Since September, McConnell has traveled the state, visiting area nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior centers in order to access services and gather suggestions from health care providers, caregivers, and community leaders.
Katherine Hurt Richardson, deputy director of the Camden Archives and Museum, will be the guest speaker at the fifth annual Baruch Society Members' Dinner, scheduled for Nov. 15 at the National Steeplechase Museum in Camden. She is currently developing an exhibit chronicling KershawHealth's 100-year history. The exhibit will premiere when KershawHealth officially celebrates its centennial in April 2013. At the dinner, Richardson plans to focus on the hospital's early years and the critical role Bernard Baruch played in establishing and sustaining it.
KershawHealth may offer its employee a 2 percent raise effective at the end of the year. The decision will be influenced -- in part or in total -- by the healthcare organization's "financial performance through the end of the calendar year and other factors known by year end to impact fiscal year 2015," according to a summary of KershawHealth's proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget.
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