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According to a press release issued Friday, October 11, MUSC Health received board approval to file a certificate of need (CON) to build a new replacement hospital, for no more than $50 million, to serve the health care needs of the Lower Florence County Hospital District and Williamsburg County. The new hospital is expected to be located on Route 52 on land donated by the Heath family. When the new MUSC facility opens, both Lake City Community Hospital and Williamsburg Regional Hospital will discontinue operations.

“Seeing this project move forward is gratifying for all of our team members,” said Julie Floyd, chair of the board for Williamsburg Regional Hospital in the press release. “Since the historic flood that devastated our hospital building in October 2015, we’ve been serving patients through a temporary hospital, using modular housing. The MUSC Health replacement hospital will be a welcome solution and upgrade to the transitional facility.”

Williamsburg Regional Hospital CEO Sharon Poston is excited about the venture. "I just wish it wouldn't take three and a half years," said Poston of the projected period to complete the facility. She said environmental studies have begun on the property.

The hospital was forced to close its doors after the historic flood of 2015 caused major damage. In December 2016, a temporary facility was opened. The facility houses an emergency room and operating room as well as a CT scanner and mobile digital X-ray. "Remarkably we have stayed with our noses above water," joked Poston. "It's only by God's Will is all I can say."

“Through this collaboration with MUSC, we will deliver increased access to high-quality care and connectivity to even more specialists. That’s an exciting prospect,” said Scotty Campbell, chair of the board for Lake City Community Hospital. “A new hospital with state-of-the-art technology will bring enhanced health care services to our communities, making a significant difference for residents who need and want to stay close to home, family and friends while they manage their health care needs.”

In February, MUSC and the two rural hospitals announced a letter of intent to move this initiative forward. As part of this approval, the Board of Trustees also approved a definitive agreement to allow this project to move forward the press release stated.