An operating room has joined the list of services offered at the temporary hospital. On August 14, Williamsburg Regional Hospital began scheduling patients for surgery. Photo by Michaele Duke

The Williamsburg Regional Hospital (WRH) was no match for the October 2015 flood. Severe damage to key areas of the building forced administration to close her doors. Since then a temporary hospital was constructed on the same site. The facility functions as a regular hospital with the exception of an operating room. Fortunately, that changed on August 8.

“We are so excited,” said WRH CEO Sharon Poston after a final inspection of the new operating room by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The operating room (OR) boasts a procedure room, recovery room and all the amenities. Surgery began August 14. The journey, according to Poston, has not been easy. “It has been agonizing,” she said. “The original plan to move the temp ER around and re-fit it for OR didn’t work out.  Therefore, we had to scramble to follow FEMA rules, send out RGPs, get the proposals, and select a builder.  GMK got the bid.  

Then it took several months instead of several weeks to get it built.  Nothing seemed to move fast enough. However, the quality of our OR is head and shoulders above most existing ORs.  We have one of the best built.”

The temporary hospital located at 500 Nelson Blvd. in Kingstree opened in December 2016. Pristine white halls lead to separate rooms for vascular, respiratory therapy, X-ray, an emergency room and much more.

State-of-the-art equipment includes a 32-slice CT scanner, mobile digital X-ray and an isolation room.

The equipment upgrades were funded by FEMA and state funds with an option to purchase the lease once a new hospital is built. A site for a new hospital located in Williamsburg County is under negotiation.