FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) When most people think of Florence, chances are the first thing they think of is quality healthcare and McLeod's Children Hospital.
Any buildings you see reaching upward into the Florence skyline are likely that of the ever expanding McLeod Hospital System. Servicing the Pee Dee and Grand Strand area, McLeod's continues to grow with the region and has developed quite a name for itself when it comes to taking care of our little ones.
"It makes people thankful that this hospital is here. It's remarkable what we can do now," said Registered Nurse Carrie Hoshour.
From the time your baby is born up to 18 years of age, the Children's Hospital at McLeod is looking out for them. The hospital is broken down into three basic units: general pediatrics, pediatric intensive care and neonatal intensive care. Carrie Hoshour works in the pediatric intensive care.
Carrie says, "We have a hard job, especially here in the NICU and the PICU. It's tough watching children die for a living. You need to have that family support system and management support system and we are extremely lucky. The nurses on the floor are phenomenal. They are able to recognize potential problems and let us know about it so we can assess the child and move them back here before it's a critical situation."
The NICU in McLeod's Hospital was opened around thirty years ago and it is now the largest unit of the Children's Hospital.
Julie Coker, another RN in the NICU says, "We have a very high number of premature births in South Carolina and we have one of the highest in the state so there is a great need in this area."
That area with high premature births includes the Pee Dee, the Border Belt and the Grand Strand, and that's the area McLeod has been serving for years.
Neonatalogist Dr. Tommy Cox says, "We serve all the counties of basically the Pee Dee, the upper part of NE South Carolina. We get babies from the Grand Strand, Conway, Dillon, Marion, Mullins, and Carolina Pines in Hartsville. So we get babies from all around."
The Children's Hospital at McLeod doesn't just wait for those babies to come to them; sometimes the hospital goes out and gets them.
Carrie Hoshour says, "Our PICU and NICU involve a transport team. They go out to other hospitals in the Pee Dee area and bring back those children who are in need of a higher level of care."
And while McLeod's services all these communities, it's up to the generosity of so many to maintain such a high level of care.
Davis Sawyer with the McLeod Foundation says, "The McLeod Foundation is the fundraising arm of the hospital. Not only do we raise funds for the Children's Hospital but for all the services that are in need of funds here at the hospital."
"You don't have to have this level of a Children's Hospital but McLeod's chooses to have this level and it wouldn't be possible without the generous support of the community and the sponsors," Sawyer added.
McLeod is in the business of providing healthcare for your children, and the best care is their priority.
Registered Nurse Julie Coker says, "There's some heart aches up here but there's a lot more miracles going on."