Palmetto Health celebrating its 20th anniversary, Friday, Feb. 9

Posted on 2/9/2018

Pictured: Lester P. Branham, Sr., Chairman, Baptist Healthcare System of SC, Board of Trustees; James H. “Jed” Suddeth, Jr., Chairman, Richland Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees; Kester S. Freeman, Jr., President and CEO, Richland Memorial Hospital; Charles D. Beaman, Jr., President and CEO, Baptist Healthcare System of SC

More than 20 years ago, Charles D. “Chuck” Beaman Jr., then CEO of Baptist Medical Center, and Kester S. Freeman Jr., then CEO of Richland Memorial Hospital, began a conversation that would alter the landscape of health care in the Midlands of South Carolina forever. The idea was simple – join together to keep health care locally owned to better care for our community. That idea came to fruition when Palmetto Health was formed Feb. 9, 1998.

“Creating Palmetto Health was all about preserving our mission to serve for years to come. It required giving up self-interests in order to create an entirely different entity. It also required the commitment of two strong, diverse organizations to serve, educate and be responsible for the well-being of the community. Creating this health system transformed the best of both organizations into something extraordinary,” said Beaman, now co-CEO of SC Health Company.

Over the years, Palmetto Health has expanded its footprint and offerings to serve the changing needs of the community. A few examples include: 

  • Building South Carolina’s first children’s hospital, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital
  • Building South Carolina’s only freestanding heart hospital, Palmetto Health Heart Hospital
  • Designing and building Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge to better serve the residents of Irmo, Harbison, Chapin, Dutch Fork and surrounding areas
  • Partnering with Palmetto Health Tuomey to continue its century-long legacy serving patients in Sumter and the surrounding area
  • Forming the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group as the largest multispecialty, clinically integrated medical group providing the broadest range of health care services in the Midlands region
  • Continuing its 10 percent tithe of Palmetto Health’s bottom line every year. To date, Palmetto Health has invested more than $56 million in health care services in our community

Today, more than 14,000 Palmetto Health team members, physicians and volunteers walk through the doors of Palmetto Health every day committed to living our Vision, To be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves.

“Palmetto Health is well positioned after its first 20 years to move boldly into the future in partnership with Greenville Health System. Many courageous people have laid the solid foundation for us to continue serving our patients and their families, now as part of a new health company focused on improving the health of all South Carolinians,” added John Singerling, president, Palmetto Health.

A video celebrating 20 years of Palmetto Health was created. For more information about Palmetto Health, visit


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