Roper drops appeal in fight over Trident Summerville expansion

File Photo (WCIV)

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Summerville Medical Center will finally be able to move forward with a 30-bed expansion after Roper St. Francis drops its legal appeal.

In November of 2010, SMC applied to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for a Certificate of Need for a $26 million facility expansion to add 30 beds to the existing facility.

In September, 2011, DHEC approved and recognized the bed expansion as necessary to accommodate the population growth in Dorchester County.{}

Roper appealed DHEC's decision, which delayed the project, saying that Trident continued to "disappoint with inconsistencies in its promises and in the data it uses to justify an expansion." {}

"I want to personally thank the residents of Dorchester County and our surrounding communities for their ongoing support during this appeal process, said SMC CEO Lou Caputo. "Your continuous efforts were extremely impactful; your voices were heard."{}

According to a press release, Summerville Medical Center began to implement an expansion of its pediatric services, including a dedicated pediatric emergency area during the appeals process. The hospital also added more features to complement women and family care, including a renovated nursery area and all private patient rooms.


Caputo added, "We have brought new, much needed services to Summerville Medical Center and our community. Once these projects are completed, we will focus our attention on the expansion project."

The two hospitals are also butting heads over new hospital constructions in Berkeley County. Caputo said the expansion at the facility is completely independent from the Berkeley County dispute.

A representative from Roper St. Francis released the following statement.

"Roper St. Francis has withdrawn our opposition to the Certificate of Need request for the addition of hospital beds for Summerville Medical Center," said Doug Bowling, Chief Strategy Officer, Roper St. Francis. "One of the purposes of our opposition was to make sure that Trident would not use its Summerville project to block a greatly needed Roper St. Francis Hospital at Carnes Crossroads which they have agreed not to do. It is our most sincere hope that in turn, Trident and its parent company, HCA, will finally acknowledge the need for the hospital we are planning to build in Berkeley County and allow our project to move forward, just as the state and a judge have said it should."