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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on June 03, 2003

Yawkey Foundation Gives Hospital System $5 Million

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Georgetown, SC - A close personal relationship spanning 50 years has led to a $5 million gift to Georgetown Hospital System, officials announced this week.

The gift from the Massachusetts-based Yawkey Foundation will be used to help establish a medical park on the Highway 701 site of Georgetown Hospital System’s new cancer treatment center, which is currently under construction. The $5 million gift was announced June 30 at a Boston press conference. It is the largest single gift in the history of the not-for-profit local hospital.

The new Yawkey Medical Park, to be named in memory of Tom and Jean Yawkey, will eventually include additional medical facilities and programs that align with identified community healthcare needs and the hospital system’s mission. The medical park expansion will take place as needs arise and as additional funding becomes available, hospital officials said.

The Yawkey Foundation gift represents a continued association and commitment to Georgetown County’s healthcare, first established by a $100,000 gift made in 1945 at the request of local resident, Ralph Ford. The money was used to help build Georgetown Hospital, which opened in 1950. Today, second and third floor nursing units at Georgetown Memorial Hospital bear the Yawkey name to commemorate continued support. In 2001, The Yawkey Foundation made a $100,000 gift to Georgetown Hospital for the cancer treatment center.

The most recent Yawkey Foundation gift will help ensure the community’s future healthcare needs are met. The process of identifying and responding to the healthcare needs of the community is ongoing, according to Bruce P. Bailey, CEO, Georgetown Hospital System. “We continually monitor both the present and future of healthcare in our community and through strategic planning, make every effort to implement necessary services and facilities,” he said. “This very generous gift will be instrumental in allowing us to plan for the future,” Bailey added.

The total Yawkey Medical Park project is not expected to be complete for sometime, according to F. B. (Jeep) Ford Sr., chairman of Georgetown Hospital System’s Board of Trustees. “It may take 10 years or more to completely build out this medical park,” Ford said. “The healthcare needs of our community will help drive this project,” he explained.

“The affection Tom and Jean Yawkey felt for this community was very strong. Through the vision of the Yawkey trustees, it will continue to thrive,” he added.

“We are very, very grateful for our relationship with the Yawkey Foundation and for its continued support. Our community is a better place because of the love Tom and Jean Yawkey had for Georgetown County’s citizens,” Ford said.

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Tidelands Health is the largest health care provider in Georgetown and Horry counties. With three hospitals and nearly 50 outpatient locations that stretch from Andrews to North Myrtle Beach, Tidelands Health is improving lives across the Tidelands region.