214 E. Market Street, P.O Box 653, Bennettsville, SC 29512.
Phone: (843) 479-5626 | Email: JRMUNNERLYN


Marlboro Medical Complex holds open house, ribbon cutting

Marlboro Medical Complex holds open house, ribbon cutting

Hundreds of people turned out on Saturday, January 9, for an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony at Scotland Health Care System’s new Marlboro Medical Complex in Bennettsville.

It was standing room only at the complex, located at 957 Cheraw Street, as officials talked about the project and its importance to the community, then cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the new facility.

“What a blessing this is today,” said Jane Rogers of Bennettsville, who serves as vice-chair of the Scotland Health Care System Board of Trustees.
Rogers was one of a handful of speakers, along with Scotland Health Care System President and

CEO Greg Wood, Board of Trustees Chairman Mike Vinson, Dr. David Howell of Marlboro Family Practice and Urgent Care, Bennettsville Mayor Heath Harpe, Marlboro County Council Chairman Ron Munnerlyn and the Hon. Patricia Henegan of S.C. House of Representatives District 54.

According to Vinson, Scotland Health Care System got its start nearly 70 years ago, in 1946, when local community leaders recognized the need for healthcare and worked to establish the original hospital in Laurinburg.

From there, the health care system grew to include a network of physicians’ offices in five counties, including Marlboro. Local OB/GYN Dr. John Nobles joined the system in the mid-1990s, and Scotland opened its first Marlboro County primary care practice in McColl in 1998, followed in 2000 by a practice on the U.S. 15-401 By-pass in Bennettsville.

Vinson described the NC/SC line not as a border but as “a seam that binds two like-minded communities together.”

As Scotland’s presence here grew, Marlboro County residents were added to the board of trustees; Rogers first, in 2010, followed by Dr. John Nobles, Bobby Hinson and Cam Stone over the next few years.

In 2010-11, Scotland Health Care System purchased the land on Cheraw Street with the intention of moving its primary care practice from the by-pass to that location. But regulatory and licensing issues caused the project to be put on hold for several years.
During that time, changes occurred, including the bombshell announcement a little over a year ago that Marlboro Park Hospital would be closing.

Wood said Scotland officials and board members spent many months agonizing over the best way to bring needed medical services to Marlboro County.

The result is the 9,000 square foot Marlboro Medical Complex which opened in mid-December 2015. This complex represents a $2.5 million investment by Scotland Health Care System, according to Wood.

Marlboro Family Practice and Urgent Care brings together five providers, Drs. David Howell, Jadene Lowry and Haynes Cain, and Nurse Practitioners Gye Mitchell and Gail Cain.

The Urgent Care is an experimental project, according to Wood, that is currently open to walk-ins between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, with the potential for weekend hours in the future.

Open only since December 15, the complex has already 600 patients, including appointments with the family practice and urgent care walk-ins, and officials anticipate serving more than 12,000 patients per year.

In addition to the family practice and urgent care, the complex also houses surgical and orthopedic specialities (Marlboro Surgical Associates and Ortho-Carolina Scotland),  Scotland Regional Hospice and Carolinas Laboratories, which provides on-site laboratory and X-ray services. Howell said the hope is to add other specialities and mobile mammography in the future

“This is an exciting new chapter in health care for Marlboro County,” said Howell, who has practiced here since 2002.

It is especially exciting, according to local leaders, because the closure of Marlboro Park Hospital in April 2015 left this as one of few communities in the state without a hospital.

“There were some dark days before and after the hospital closed,” said Harpe. “Now we have a new partner committed to healthcare in Marlboro County…Scotland has stepped up to the plate and made a significant investment in our community.”

Adding to that, Munnerlyn reflected that, while other providers chose to leave the county, “Scotland stayed with us…Thank you for what you’ve done for the county.”

Henegan cited Marlboro County’s high rates of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers,

illustrating why access to health care is so important here.

“This facility is critical to Marlboro County,” she said. “It is a treasure and a safety net…Today’s open house is a celebration of leadership, foresight, careful planning and philanthropy.”