Berkeley county residents will soon have access to a new 43-bed, freestanding rehabilitation hospital on the campus of the future Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare and MUSC have partnered together to create the hospital and improve access to rehab services with RSFH serving as the managing partner.

“Healthcare systems across the country are finding new ways to come together to improve the health and well-being of the communities they serve, and working collaboratively on this future rehab hospital with MUSC is both a wise investment of our funds and an important step in making rehab more accessible to the community,” said Lorraine Lutton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Roper St. Francis Healthcare.

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control has identified the need for additional rehab beds in the community in its 2018-2019 South Carolina Health Plan.

“Patients always win when high-quality health care providers work together for their benefit, and this is certainly not the first time MUSC and Roper St. Francis have collaborated on caring for our community,” said Dr. Patrick J. Cawley, MUSC Health CEO and Vice President of Health Affairs, University. “We’ve partnered for years on sharing rehab beds in downtown Charleston so that every patient seeking rehabilitation can be served, and we’ve also come together to help patients who suffered spinal cord injuries.”

Additionally, Roper St. Francis Healthcare and MUSC also collaborated on a stroke care initiative focused on sharing resources, clinical expertise and technology to improve and expand stroke care throughout the Lowcountry.

The cost of the proposed project has not yet been determined. Later in January, Roper St. Francis and MUSC plan to file a joint request to DHEC to build the rehabilitation hospital to offer comprehensive care including rehabilitation nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy, speech language pathology and rehabilitation case management.

MUSC announced last year it also has plans to construct a $325 million hospital complex in Nexton by 2020.