$841K grant to fund Scotland Health Care expansion

LAURINBURG — Scotland Memorial Foundation has been awarded a grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation totaling $841,800. This grant will be used to fund Scotland Health Care System’s Access to Care Expansion Project.

“In order to continue the system’s mission to provide high-quality, compassionate health care with a vision of being the community’s health care provider of choice, Scotland Health Care System must address growth in three critical areas,” Scotland Health Care System Board of Trustees Chairman Mike Vinson said. “The grant will fund expansion projects planned for 2015-17 at the Scotland Memorial Hospital Emergency Center, Harris Family Practice and Scotland Surgical and GI. As healthcare moves to an ambulatory environment, these current facilities no longer have the physical and provider capacity for patient growth.”

The Access to Care Expansion Project is expected to fund 21 new, permanent health care positions. These jobs will directly stimulate the economy of rural Scotland and Robeson counties.

Guy McCook, chairman of the Scotland County Commissioners and chairman of the Scotland Memorial Foundation Board of Trustees, gave credit to those in the foundation and in the county who were instrumental in writing the grant application.

“Thanks to the hard work of many, the Golden Leaf support will provide a huge impact to the health care system’s ability to provide better quality health services to the Scotland County community and the surrounding areas,” McCook said.

Scotland Health Care System’s Emergency Center currently sees record daily volumes and is experiencing facility capacity restraints with growth above anticipated 10-year projections. In 2009, the EC saw 35,000 patients. By 2014, more than 48,000 patients visited the EC, and that trend is expected to continue with projections for 2016 anticipated reaching 60,000 visits.

A three-phase EC expansion project began in August 2014. The Golden Leaf grant will fund phase three of the project. The expansion will create eight additional EC nursing jobs and four additional nursing tech jobs in the EC.

Harris Family Practice’s 28 percent increase in patient numbers over the past two years has necessitated the addition of new staff. It is expected that an additional seven new positions will be added to this medical practice.

Scotland Surgical and GI experienced a 33 percent increase in patients served over the past year. An expansion of the physical building will create efficiencies and offer the flexibility to add an additional medical provider.

State Rep. Garland Pierce, D-Scotland, said he is excited that Scotland Health Care System was selected to receive grant funds, stating, “These changes would not only result in additional health care jobs but also improve the bottom line for the hospital — a crucial need in rural health care at this time. I personally visited the hospital and believe that this project is one of the best ones submitted in the 22 eligible counties.”

For more information about Scotland Health Care System, visit www.scotlandhealth.org.