Three new hospitals are coming to Berkeley county in an effort to keep up with a growing need for medical care. The Medical University of South Carolina is one of them, their $325 million MUSC Health Community Hospital at Nexton is set to open in 2020.

Dr. Pat Cawley, CEO of MUSC Health said MUSC is coming to Berkeley county because the county’s need for health care providers is “severe.” He talked about MUSC’s expansion during a meeting hosted by The Berkeley Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 31 at Charleston Southern University.

Cawley said people living in Charleston county have many more options for health care providers than residents in Dorchester and Berkeley counties. Also, MUSC’s hospital in downtown Charleston is at capacity, they have to expand.

“We’re to the point that we’re completely locked up,” Cawley said. “When you get that tight, it’s hard to move people in and out of the hospital quickly.”

The community hospital at Nexton is just one of their planned facilities. Other future sites away from the peninsula include the Citadel Mall in West Ashley and a pediatric campus in North Charleston.

“If you want to get at people’s needs you’ve got to go where people live,” Cawley said.

The MUSC Community Hospital in Nexton will serve primarily “lower acuity patients.”

More serious emergencies or patients needing needing specialist care would still travel to the peninsula.

MUSC’s hospital in Nexton will have 128 inpatient beds and 100 surgeon beds inside the 311,221 square-foot building. There will be 16 birthing units and 12 intensive care beds.

Cassie Cataline, director of marketing for Nexton, said residents are proud that such a prestigious hospital is coming to their community. She said Nexton is excited about the partnership with MUSC.

“We are already pre planning some new housing styles that we think would be a good fit for nurses and doctors that will be directly adjacent to the hospital site,” Cataline said.

Roper St. Francis and Trident Health are also building hospitals in Berkeley county. Cawley said those other hospital systems shouldn’t fear competition.

“This community over the next ten years can easily support those hospitals,” Cawley said. “The need is so great out here that it’s almost beyond belief.”

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