Thursday, February 20, 2014
Officials from Palmetto Primary Care Physicians (PPCP) and Equity Healthcare announced last week a plan to build a 28-acre, state-of-the-art medical campus within MeadWestvaco’s master-planned Nexton community.
The Palmetto Health and Wellness Campus is expected to employ 1,500 people. More than 75 percent of the positions will be new jobs.
Phase 1 of the campus construction will cost approximately $135 million and include building two 150,000-square-foot medical office buildings.
The facilities will include an outpatient ambulatory surgery center, clinical decision unit, 24-hour urgent care center and a wellness facility with fitness equipment and rehabilitation services.
PPCP is physician owned and operated, and has been providing medical care across the Lowcountry since 1997.
Company officials noted at the press conference last week that the medical campus will benefit enormously from Nexton’s gigabit capabilities. The high-speed Internet will allow for overall efficiency on the campus, including faster download of CAT scans and x-rays and easier transference of files using electronic bookkeeping systems.
Jeff Lehrich, PPCP CEO, said the campus will “be put on the national stage as innovative.”
The Palmetto Health and Wellness Campus will also be operating with a “fee-for-value” business model, which will drive down costs of healthcare by eliminating unnecessary testing and overnight stays.
Several area notables, including State Sen. Sean Bennett, Berkeley County Supervisor Dan Davis and Summerville Mayor Bill Collins, attended the press conference and voiced support for the project.
“This has every component necessary to start lowering the cost of [health care] delivery. Hopefully it will be a model for moving forward,” Sen. Bennett said.
“I’m very happy about this,” said Mayor Collins.
“This is a very significant announcement, one of the more significant economic development announcements in Berkeley County,” said Chairman Davis.
According to Vivian Barajas, PPCP director of marketing, the announcement is a two-year vision plan “hoping to break ground sometime in April or May.”