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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on July 31, 2020

Region’s health systems stand together to appeal for community’s support in COVID-19 fight

Leaders from the region’s four health systems gathered Friday with an urgent appeal to the community: “We’re standing together to slow the spread of COVID-19. Stand with us.”

Bret Barr, president and CEO of Conway Medical Center, Mark Sims, CEO of Grand Strand Health, Monica Vehige, administrator of McLeod Loris Seacoast Hospital, and Bruce Bailey, president and CEO of Tidelands Health, participated in a virtual media conference to provide an update on the region’s COVID-19 response. They were joined by Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health and president-elect of the American Medical Association.

“We, the health care systems that proudly serve our communities, stand united in response to the COVID-19 crisis,” the four organizations said in an open letter to the community. “And, as we stand together, we ask you to stand with us.

“The thousands of physicians, nurses and health care professionals who have cared for your families in sickness and in health now find ourselves in a fight that we need your help to win. Please, for the health and safety of our region, wear a mask. Avoid large gatherings, observe social distancing, and wash your hands. These simple steps, when taken by all of us, will slow the spread of COVID-19.”

In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases have increased rapidly in the region, with more than 5,000 new cases diagnosed in Georgetown and Horry counties since July 1. All of the region’s hospitals are at or near capacity in their emergency departments, intensive care units and inpatient care units.

The health systems are encouraging area residents and visitors to help slow the spread of the virus by taking appropriate precautions. Beginning this weekend, the organizations will launch united COVID-19 messaging via a number of platforms, including a public service announcement airing on local television stations, educational billboards and appeals via digital and social channels.

Click here to read an open letter to our community.


Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 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.