As Summerville Medical Center undergoes extensive site growth and patient care improvements to better meet healthcare needs in a region with a rapidly-increasing population, another change is on the horizon. After more than five years leading the hospital to new heights, Lisa Valentine is leaving her CEO role at the end of the month.
She said she’s accepted a CEO position with a larger hospital, Orange Park Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida, and her last day at Summerville Medical will be Sept. 18.
Valentine described her decision to leave what she called one of the most supportive hospital communities she’s ever worked in as not an easy one—that she was enticed by an opportunity to move to her native state and closer to family.
“This community has been so incredibly welcoming,” Valentine said. “They have been so loyal and engaged; quite frankly, it’s been a real gift to me personally, and I think to our team to see that support. ...I’ve certainly received more than I’ve given in this experience.”
As Valentine reflected on her time in Summerville, in addition to the community love she said she’s most proud of how the hospital offers the community a team of top tier clinicians and physicians.
Valentine pointed to Dr. Alexander Soutter, a pediatric general surgeon, as one example of many when it comes to compassionate medical staff members and their willingness to go the extra mile for patients. She applauded him for once delivering supplies to a patient’s home when no one in the family could stop by the hospital and pickup the items.
Valentine’s leadership has been characterized by growth and development. Specifically, in the last five years, the hospital has grown in physical size and patient count. Summerville Medical’s square footage alone has increased by 49 percent, while Emergency Department visits have risen by 50 percent, surgical procedures by 41 percent and admissions by 24 percent, according to hospital spokesperson Kelly Bowen.
One of the first building projects to occur on the site under Valentine’s supervision was shortly after she assumed her CEO title. In 2014, the hospital broke ground on a 40,000-square-foot medical office building, costing $8 million. But that was only the beginning for the hospital.
Currently underway is a $100 million capital project to provide state-of-the-art emergency care for the community, along with improved services for women, children and surgical patients. Valentine praised the new Women’s and Children’s Expansion—a two-story, 50,000-square-foot facility—that opened on site last fall.
In July, Trident Health System, the hospital’s umbrella organization including four total medical facilities spanning the tri-county, consolidated its obstetrics and neonatal services at the property. The change also made Summerville Medical Trident’s main hub for births. Pediatric sub-specialty care was phased into hospital services years earlier.
Currently, the hospital is expanding its Emergency Department to handle local growth and reduce patient wait times. The expansion is expected to be complete by August 2020.
Valentine also announced the news that Summerville Medical is planning to open a free-standing ER and will be breaking ground on the facility this fall in the Nexton community.
“I think the future for Summerville Medical Center is really bright,” she said.
And Valentine’s final words of wisdom to staff? To continue the same mission the hospital began more than two decades ago.
“Continue our mission of improving the lives of this community,” she said. When we put our neighbors and patients first, we can never go wrong.”
According to Bowen, a search is underway for Valentine’s replacement, though she said it’s unclear how long the process will take.