After four decades in service, Charleston (S.C.) Memorial Hospital is closing its doors, sending its emergency room patients to Medical University Hospital about two blocks away.
Although closing the 20-bed hospital will save between $1 million and $2 million per year, current financial strains were not the original factor driving the consolidation by Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC spokeswoman Heather Woolwine said. Rather, MUSC purchased Charleston Memorial from Charleston County in 2000 with the intention of closing it, she said.
Charleston Memorial had the systems fourth ER, but with the opening of the new Ashley River Tower earlier this year, officials could finally close Charleston Memorial, moving the ER to Medical University Hospital and the remaining clinical services to the new facility, Woolwine said.
Of the 116 employees at Charleston Memorial, 102 have been placed at other jobs in the MUSC system. The other 14 people are highly skilled, such as radiology and laboratory technicians. They are receiving help from MUSC in getting jobs at other nearby hospitals, she said. -- by Joe Carlson