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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on February 18, 2009

Ford Retires From Board of Trustees

Georgetown, SCAfter 32 years of continuous volunteer service, Francis B. “Jeep” Ford Sr., has retired from his position as a member of Georgetown Hospital System’s Board of Trustees.

Mr. Ford, who is widely recognized throughout the community as a driving force in determining the landscape of healthcare services in Georgetown and surrounding counties, retired from a current post as Board Chair, effective Jan. 15.

"Jeep Ford’s name is synonymous with healthcare in Georgetown County.  He has been directly involved in every decision related to the growth of local healthcare services and Georgetown Hospital System since he joined the Board of Trustees in 1976," said Bruce P. Bailey, CEO.   "The depth and breadth of healthcare services available today are directly tied to Mr. Ford’s dedication and interest.  There are very few individuals who would be willing to devote more than 3 decades of their life to any volunteer cause," Bailey added.

During Ford’s 32 years of service on the Board of Trustees, 25 of which were as chairman, many new healthcare services have been introduced and numerous outpatient clinics and other facilities  have been added to the growing Georgetown Hospital System family. In 2004, The Francis B. Ford Cancer Treatment Center, named in honor of Mr. Ford, opened.  Among other organizational milestones achieved during his tenure were the opening and subsequent multiple expansions of Waccamaw Community Hospital  in Murrells Inlet as well as the opening of HealthPoint – Center for Health and Fitness in Pawleys Island and The Imaging and Breast Health Center in Murrells Inlet.

Mr. Ford’s contribution and service to healthcare was recognized at the state level in 2000 when he received the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Distinguished Trustee Award.

Mr. Ford was named “South Carolina Ambassaador for Economic Development” by Gov. Mark Sanford in ceremonies held in Columbia in 2004.  His effort to improve local healthcare was one of the numerous determinants in receiving the award.

In 2005, Mr. Ford received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from The Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce.  During the presentation ceremony, Mr. Ford was recognized for his dedication to “his city, his family, his church, his business and most importantly, Georgetown Memorial Hospital”.

Mr. Ford, who owns and operates Parrish Motor Co. with son F. B. “Jeepy” Ford Jr. , represents an ongoing family dedication to Georgetown Hospital System.  Mr  Ford’s uncle and namesake, Dr. Francis Arthur Bell, was one of the first physicians to practice at Georgetown Memorial Hospital. His father, who was Commander of the local American Legion Post that initiated plans to build a hospital in the late 1940s, appointed the first committee that helped guide construction of Georgetown Memorial Hospital.  Mr. Ford’s uncle was the facility chairman for the first 5 years of its existence.  His father-in-law was a founding member and served on the board of trustees for 30 years, including serving as board chair for 20 years.  Mr. Ford’s son, Francis B. “Jeepy” Ford Jr., will continue the Ford family involvement with Georgetown Hospital System.  He joined the GHS board of trustees in 2008, as part of a succession planning project which involved adding several new board of trustee members.

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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.