The founding members of Roper St. Francis Healthcare are investing $50 million into the health system to provide Roper St. Francis facilities with improvements and upgrades as preparations continue for Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital.
“Anytime you’re going to invest $130 million (in a new hospital), it’s helpful to have additional capital to fund the things that might … not be the same level of priority as when you’re not taking on that big strategic investment,” said Roper St. Francis President and CEO Lorraine Lutton.
The money will be used to expand the maternal fetal medicine program at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital; renovate the catheterization and electrophysiology lab at Roper Hospital; acquiring a surgical robot and other assets for Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital; and to expand primary care services in Berkeley County and Mount Pleasant.
“Primary care is one of the things that as we’ve grown as a community, our primary care assets have not grown at as fast a pace, so Roper St. Francis is committed to expanding primary care,” Lutton said.
The reinvestment by the founding members is out of the ordinary, Lutton said, because the health system typically relies on patient care and donations through the Roper St. Francis Foundation to fund its work.
“This is a way to allow us to invest in technology, to remain on the cutting edge and be able to meet the needs of the community through improved access and innovation,” she said.
The founding members — Atrium Health, Bon Secours Health System Inc. and the Medical Society of South Carolina — made a similar investment when Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital opened in 2010. The investment is split proportionally between the three founding entities.
Lutton said that although the infusion of capital is a “nice bonus,” Roper St. Francis Healthcare still relies on donors and volunteers through its foundation to do its everyday work.
“We are a private not-for-profit, and we provide a lot of charity care, and so we absolutely need the support of our donors and grateful patients who continue to strengthen our mission,” she said.
The medical office building at Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital is expected to open this fall, and the hospital is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2019.