Tidelands Health to open community resource center in Georgetown

Tidelands Health will open a first-of-its-kind community resource center in Georgetown, bringing together medical care, social services and wellness programs to better serve the region’s uninsured and underinsured residents.

The Tidelands Health Community Resource Center, expected to open in 2016 at the corner of Highmarket and Wood streets, will occupy the former post office, which will be totally renovated. The innovative center will serve as headquarters for the Tidelands Community Care Network, a public-private partnership of agencies and organizations dedicated to helping the uninsured and underserved access services.

The resource center will also be home to a second location of Smith Medical Clinic, as well as Tidelands Health’s community health education nurse consultants; the health system’s transitional care team; and the Neighbor-to-Neighbor medical ride-sharing program. The center will be a hub for community resources and services, where people can be linked to affordable primary care and behavioral health services and attend classes that promote a healthy lifestyle and chronic disease management.

“The Tidelands Health Community Resource Center is a milestone for our community,” said H. McRoy Skipper Jr., chairman of the Tidelands Health board of trustees. “By bringing together the services our residents need to lead healthier lives, this center will symbolize what we at Tidelands Health mean when we say, ‘Better health begins here.’

Tidelands Health President and CEO Bruce Bailey said the resource center represents a philosophical shift in health care and will serve as a model for community health programs across the state and nation.

“Health care is shifting toward a holistic approach that recognizes health and wellness are intricately linked to quality of life,” Bailey said. “For many in our community, this means access to basic needs such as transportation, good nutrition, education, physical activity and a safe environment. This center will bring together key people working on health access and community health education and serve as a model for other community health programs.”
The 8,850-square-foot building will include space for community health education classes such as nutrition management and CPR and meeting space.

Linda Bonesteel, director of the Tidelands Community Care Network, said the resource center will have enormous benefits for the community, bringing together multiple services under one roof.

“Being together not only means better coordination of care and expanded services, particularly for at-risk populations, but most of all, it means the people we serve will have one point of access,” Bonesteel said. “The convenience of that for our community members cannot be overstated.”

Bonesteel said everyone in the building will be devoted to providing guidance and navigation for community members.

“As we promote health -- not just health care -- in our community, we are laying the foundation for becoming the healthiest community in South Carolina,” she said.

The $2.5 million renovation will be partially funded through a fundraising campaign led by the Tidelands Health Foundation. Jessica Sasser, the foundation’s executive director, said the fundraising campaign will coincide with the renovation timetable and include various giving levels, from corporate gifts and major gifts to individual gifts from community members.

“This campaign is about much more than a building – it’s about people,” Sasser said. “Through its programs, this center has the potential to be a game changer for how our friends and neighbors approach and manage their health.”

Sasser said she is hopeful the center’s potential impact will encourage people across the community to support the fundraising campaign.

“We encourage the entire community to get behind this campaign, because we all benefit from a healthier community whose members can better learn, work and lead fulfilling and productive lives,” she said.

If you are interested in making a gift to support the resource center, contact the Tidelands Health Foundation at 843.652.8080.

08-06-2015 11:47 (EDT)