SouthCoast Health Looks Back on its 20th Year of Service in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry

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With the end of 2016 just a few weeks away, SouthCoast Health, a multi-specialty, physician-owned medical group, is looking back on its 20th year in business.

SouthCoast Health logo.

We’ve got to really rethink that and move to an arena that says we need to provide access to the patient when it’s convenient to them and in a way that provides high quality care.

With the end of 2016 just a few weeks away, SouthCoast Health, a multi-specialty, physician-owned medical group, is looking back on its 20th year in business. Since its inception, the practice has experienced exponential growth — from 20 physicians in 1996 to more that 120 healthcare professionals at present, along with 18 locations throughout the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry.

SouthCoast Health Administrator John Marrero has been with the practice since the beginning, when a number of physicians who met regularly to discuss the state of their industry decided that they would have greater success moving forward if they combined forces. Those original physicians, based on their foresight, invested their own money to purchase and renovate a vacant grocery store building on Eisenhower Drive in Savannah that has become a thriving medical campus.

As originally constituted, SouthCoast Health (named SouthCoast Medical Group at the time of formation) was comprised largely of primary care physicians. Today, it offers specialties as diverse as general surgery, neurology, pediatrics, cardiology and allergy and immunology. On the anniversary of SouthCoast Health’s coming into existence, Marrero reflected on lessons learned over time as the practice has grown to serve thousands of more patients.

“What we’ve learned is that our growth has to be focused around a strategic plan and long-term thoughts about medical specialties that our patients need and that improve the practice,” Marrero said. “Over time, we also have become a much more structured organization, an organization that spends much more time on planning and not just executing. We are a lot more deliberate and purposed about our growth.”

In alignment with its mission to achieve total wellness for its patients, SouthCoast Health has made delivering quality healthcare a hallmark of its practice. It has received National Committee for Quality Assurance recognition for its diabetic care and also for its heart/stroke care. The practice also has received Patient-Centered Medical Home Standard 3 certification and qualifies for Meaningful Use (under federal government guidelines).

Marrero said that, like all healthcare practices, SouthCoast Health needs to continue to adapt to the demands of its patients. The practice continues to innovate in the form of Urgent Care at SCH, its urgent-care style, appointment-free service, and through the use of online appointments for existing SouthCoast Health patients via the practice’s patient portal.

“We’ve got to get away from the traditional way medicine has always done things, which is come to the office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and we’ll see you when it’s convenient to the doctor,” Marrero said. “We’ve got to really rethink that and move to an arena that says we need to provide access to the patient when it’s convenient to them and in a way that provides high quality care. We’re not going to do it if it doesn’t meet that first need but we certainly need to broaden our perspective from that from that traditional 8-5 Monday through Friday model.”

SouthCoast Health is a multi-specialty, physician-owned medical group with more than 120 healthcare professionals and 18 locations. The organization has been providing quality healthcare solutions to the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry for more than 20 years and is dedicated to complete patient wellbeing. For more information, visit http://www.SouthCoast-Health.com and connect with SouthCoast Health on Facebook.

Interviews available upon request

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John Manasso
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