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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on November 05, 2012

10 years and counting for Waccamaw Community Hospital 

Monday, November 05, 2012

Georgetown, S.C. --- It’s 10 years and counting for Waccamaw Community Hospital. The hospital opened its doors to the South Strand community Nov. 5, 2002, joining Georgetown Memorial Hospital to form what would become the Georgetown Hospital System. 

Since admitting its first patient, WCH has grown rapidly, adding beds in 2004 and 2008. A fourth floor was constructed in 2008, bringing the total number of beds to 167.

“I do not know that any of us could have predicted the unbelievable pace of growth,” Gayle Resetar, chief operating officer for GHS, said. “The hospital has experienced significant growth, and the South Strand landscape has undergone dramatic changes. The construction of new medical facilities has expanded access to a number of new services.”

The Imaging Center opened across Highway 17 Bypass, and a new medical office park, Waccamaw Medical Park – West, opened in spring 2012. The new building houses a state-of-the-art 3 Tesla MRI unit, the first of its kind in Horry and Georgetown counties, to support the physician practices.

Expansion of the surgery center is set for completion in 2013 and will add four operating rooms, bringing the total to eight, and six recovery beds for a total of 14. Two rooms for minor procedures are being added, and the outpatient surgery waiting area is being enlarged.

Patient volume has doubled and tripled in certain areas, Resetar said. In its first year of operation, WCH admitted just under 3,000 inpatients, cared for just under 12,000 emergency department patients and delivered 270 babies. This past year, WCH admitted nearly 8,000 inpatients, cared for more than 27,000 emergency department patients and delivered nearly 600 babies.   

“That volume represents a significant growth trajectory for a community hospital,” Resetar said. “We could not be prouder of our services and our team.”   

As patient volume has increased, the number of employees has quadrupled from 200 to 800, impacting the surrounding communities economically and culturally, Resetar said.   

“Many of our employees have moved from outside the area to work at WCH. This creates a ripple effect throughout the economy, enriches our community and brings new ideas and innovation to our hospital system.”  

WCH also has earned national recognition for quality and patient satisfaction. WCH and GMH were recognized with the QUEST 2011Top Performing Hospital Award. WCH’s rehab center is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and was the first CARF-accredited facility in South Carolina with both stroke and amputee specialties. GHS has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its NextStep Joint Replacement Programs at Waccamaw Community Hospital and Georgetown Memorial Hospitalby demonstrating compliance with the commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in disease-specific care.   

Resetar said the vision of the GHS Board of Trustees, the confidence and trust of the community and the dedication of the medical staff and the employees have positioned WCH well for the future.   

“From the board leadership to the medical staff to our employees, we have become a respected and progressive hospital system, and we appreciate the South Strand Community for trusting us with their care,” Resetar said. “We are definitely here to stay.” 


Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 70 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.