PHOTO GALLERY: CareSouth, DHEC Hold Ribbon Cutting On New Building

By Betsy Finklea
CareSouth Carolina Dillon and Dillon County DHEC held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new joint location on Saturday, June 11th.
Ann Lewis, CEO of CareSouth Carolina, welcomed everyone to this “exciting” event.
Rev. James Abraham of Thompson Chapel Baptist Church gave the invocation.
Rep. Jackie Hayes led off the guest speakers. He said this facility has been a long-time coming. he called the building “a world-class facility” that came from people working and partnering together. He said this new facility is a “one-stop shop” that will bring quality healthcare that the patients deserve and need. He recognized the Dillon County Council for providing the property for the building.
Dr. Edward Simmer, the state director of SCDHEC, was the next to speak. Dr. Simmer said this was a “wonderful facility” and thanked everyone who made it a reality. Dr. Simmer said CareSouth had been a great partner and was a great example of how a public-private partnership can work. Dr. Simmer said he hoped this facility would help people realize their best health outcomes.
Berry B. Kelly, Director of the Bureau of Community Nutrition Services at DHEC, said WIC services would be provided at this facility. Kelly explained that WIC is a “free program that provides healthy foods and nutrition and health services to South Carolina families who qualify.” Dillon County has 1,159 WIC participants.
“Collaboration is the key to success. We are super-excited about the services that will be provided at this state-of-the-art facility,” Kelly said in a press release. “The Special Supplement Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children—better known as WIC—serves to safeguard the health of low-income, pregnant, post-partum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age five, who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, breastfeeding promotion and support and referrals to health care.”
James J. Bruckner, DHEC Pee Dee Region Public Health Director, said that DHEC has triple the space in the new facility. He also spoke about how partnerships made this all come together.
“We truly appreciate CareSouth Carolina’s commitment to expanding the provision of primary care and other related health services in Dillon County. In this partnership, DHEC/Dillon County Health Department had merged its preventive health, immunizations, and other specialty clinical services with CareSouth Carolina’s programs.”
“This change will benefit Dillon County Health Department clients as hey will now have access to all of CareSouth Carolina services. We appreciate this opportunity to improve services to the residents of Dillon County,” Bruckner said.
Ann Lewis, CEO of CareSouth Carolina, spoke about how much Dillon County means to her She said CareSouth’s first location was in Lake View, then it came to Latta, and then Dillon. She said the new facility has radiology services, which were not previously offered in Dillon. She hopes the new facility will help Dillon County with some of its healthcare challenges.
“The unique sharing of the new building with DHEC is an exciting opportunity to expand services in Dillon County, providing a medical home for those who do not have a consistent source of care,” Lewis said in a press release. After Lewis remarks, the ribbon cutting was held, and guests were offered a delicious take-home lunch.
According to a press release the new facility is 18,640 square feet. They have been operating out of the new facility since May 10th. “DHEC continues to provide both WIC services and COVID vaccinations at the new office. CareSouth Carolina continues to provide preventive health services in Dillon including family planning, Sexually transmitted diseases/infections, HIV, immunizations, family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, women’s services, substance abuse prevention program, dental, pharmacy, geriatrics, social services, behavioral health counseling, laboratory, ultrasound, x-ray, migrant services, and is a veterans choice provider. The new facility will also provide space for additional primary care providers and additional support services including a pharmacy with a drive-thru.”

Photos by Johnnie Daniels/The Dillon Herald
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