Skip to content
October 24, 2023

Out & About, Vol. 4

In this edition of “Out and About,” SCHA President & CEO Thornton Kirby gives us an update (and pictures) from his October travels.

The last two weeks have been just as busy as the month prior!

I started with a visit to the SC Emergency Management Division, where we discussed the state’s new PPE warehouse. SCEMD Director Kim Stenson and his team are working hard to ensure our hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, and other caregivers don’t run out of PPE the next time we have a nationwide crisis. You’ll hear more on this in the months to come.

Next stop was SCHA’s Fall Executive Orientation, where we host C-suite leaders who are new to South Carolina hospitals. It was great to spend time with Walter Bennett III (MUSC Health Orangeburg), John Snow (Newberry County Memorial Hospital), Roxanna Schmidt (Lexington Regional Rehab Hospital), Patti Monczewski (Aiken Regional Medical Centers), and Wendy Hughes (LRADAC). We are excited to watch all these leaders succeed in their new roles!

Later that week I was honored to speak at the Bon Secours St. Francis Greenville Board Retreat in Asheville. What an amazing group of leaders! Matt Caldwell and his team hosted a great event at the Grove Park Inn, and I learned more than I shared (as usual).

Thornton explains the latest Medicaid initiative for the Bon Secours St. Francis Board
No trip to the Grove Park Inn is complete without a visit to the fireplace

Last week kicked off with two meetings, the SCHA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and the SCHA Foundation Board. It’s energizing to see our members so engaged in work to improve the health of their communities!

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of visiting Donna Isgett, CEO of McLeod Health, in Florence. Donna’s a past SCHA Board Chair and a good friend—it was exciting to hear about all the innovative work taking place in the Pee Dee region, especially with respect to behavioral health!

Thornton and Donna with McLeod Regional Medical Center in the background

Wednesday involved a trip to Spartanburg, where Bill Little and I visited the Via College of Medicine (VCOM) campus. Bill is CEO of Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center in Hartsville, and he has been struggling to recruit primary care physicians to the area. We met with VCOMs’ Dean, Dr. Matt Cannon, to explore better ways of connecting medical students with hospitals here in the Palmetto State. Dean Cannon gave us a great overview of the school of medicine, and his simulation team even let Bill and me try our hands at laparoscopic surgery!

Aspiring surgeon and current Carolina Pines CEO Bill Little
“Doctor” Kirby finishes his first lap chole

On Thursday and Friday of last week, our SCHA Board had its Fall Retreat, which included a fundraiser for SC House Speaker Murrell Smith. We spent Thursday afternoon and Friday morning discussing a wide range of issues important to our state’s hospitals. I can’t adequately express my gratitude for our SCHA Board members who give their time, money, and energy to help our state’s hospitals carry out their missions. A BIG thanks to all of them!

Bruce Holstien, Lari Gooding, and Matt Logan talk with House Speaker Murrell Smith
Bruce Bailey commands the dinner conversation during the SCHA Board Retreat
J.R. and Tonya Green with Thornton at the SCHA Board Retreat
Matthew Roberts and Carol Kenley with Thornton at the Retreat

Thanks to all my friends who joined me for photos!

Until next time,