Skip to main content

Press Releases

Go Search

Search Options

Our Services
Our Quality
Find an Event
Find a Physician
Network Physicians
Health Resources
About Us
English > About Us > Hospital News > Press Releases > Pages  


Modify settings and columns
This system library was created by the Publishing feature to store pages that are created in this site.
Text Area 1Filter
HHH Receives Award for Heart Attack Care6/11/2013
Hospital Promotes 37/1/2004

Patti Tolbert, RHIA, CCS has been promoted to Director of Health Information Management.  Tolbert earned her bachelor of science degree in Health information Management from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.  She started at Hilton Head Regional Medical Center as Coding Supervisor in 2003 and has held leadership positions in Health Information Management at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital and Precyse Solutions, LLC in Pennsylvania.

Elizabeth Kucharczyk has been promoted to Manager, Patient Access.  Kucharczyk will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the patient registration department, including centralized scheduling, pre-registration and the timely flow of patient information through four departments.  Kucharczyk started at Hilton Head Regional Medical Center in 2000 and was most recently the team leader for centralized scheduling.

Mary Harrington, RN, BSN, was promoted to Director, Risk Management and Patient Safety.  Harrington, started at the medical center in 2002 and was the Total Joint Program Coordinator and Charge Nurse of the Orthopedic Unit.  Prior to joining the medical center, she was a Nurse Paralegal/Legal Nurse Consultant with VanGrack, Axelson & Williamowsky, P.C. in Rockville, Maryland where she managed and handled all aspects of personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases from initial client contact through settlement, litigation or trial..  Harrington earned her bachelors of science in Nursing from the University of Kansas and completed paralegal studies postbaccalaureate document from the University of Maryland University College.

Open Heart Surgery Comes To Beaufort County1/2/2003Hilton Head Regional Medical Center has added open heart surgery to its scope of services.

 "This is a significant accomplishment for our hospital. We have been working on this project for several years and look forward to treating patients who require necessary open-heart procedures," said Dennis R. Bruns, CEO and President. "We cleared a lot of hurdles and legal opposition to have our own open-heart program."

In the past, patients were rushed to hospitals in Savannah, GA, or Charleston, SC, for open-heart procedures. "With this procedure offered on the island, patients and their families can receive treatment locally rather than traveling to another hospital 35 to 40 miles away in Savannah, or two-hours away in Charleston," he said. Over the last seven years, more than 800 patients have had to leave the island for open-heart surgery. Making these trips was not only burdensome for the patient, but also for their families who had to travel back and forth to hospitals to be with their family member during critical times.

Hilton Head Regional Medical Center officials recognized the need to have this procedure available on the island. Its heart center includes a team of cardiologists, nurses and other technicians trained to perform open-heart, and an eight-bed unit for hospitalization and recovery. Physicians can perform angioplasty, bypass surgery and heart valve repairs at the Heart Center. Patients and their family will receive education, counseling and other services as needed to make sure there is a smooth transition into surgery and for recovery.

The Medical Center's open-heart program is an expansion of its cardiovascular services, Bruns said. Since 1995, the Medical Center has provided cardiac catheterization, which helps to determine the extent of heart damage brought on by heart attacks and other conditions. In addition to open-heart, the Medical Center has adding a second catheterization lab to accommodate more patients.

With the open-heart unit on site, patients who once had to travel miles clinging to life in an ambulance or helicopter will have the treatment necessary close to them which may increase the chance of survival. It can also make the difference between mild and severe heart damage.

State and national figures show that cardiovascular disease is prevalent in Beaufort County area.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases rank as America's No. 1 killer, claiming the lives of over 40 percent of the nearly 2.4 million Americans who die each year. 61.8 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD). This includes diseases of the heart, stroke, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, congenital heart defects, hardening of the arteries and other diseases of the circulatory system.

The leading cause of death in South Carolina is heart disease, according to the state Bureau of Epidemiology. In Beaufort County, heart disease ranks second to cancer disease. The Medical Center anticipates serving patients from Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties, which currently are more than an hour's drive away from an open-heart surgery center.

"Knowing that so many people in Beaufort County and other nearby counties are touched by heart disease and knowing how risky it was for people with severe heart problems to travel the extent they for treatment were reasons enough for us to have an open-heart center in the county and Lowcountry region," Bruns said.

In August of 2000, the Medical Center made its initial step toward an open-heart center. It applied to DHEC for a certificate of need for open-heart surgery. Its application was opposed by other hospitals in the region, including Beaufort Memorial Hospital in Beaufort, St. Joseph's/Candler Health Systems in Savannah and Roper Hospital in Charleston. Their appeals and challenges were rejected or withdrawn. Initial approval of the island hospital's application was granted in April 2001.

Since its approval, Hilton Head Regional Medical Center had entered into an agreement with University Medical Associates of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) for the clinical management and oversight of the open-heart surgery program. MUSC recently was named to the 2002 list of 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals and was the only hospital in South Carolina to make this accomplishment. The Hilton Head Regional Medical Center open-heart surgery program is designed to comply with all the applicable standards of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the American College of Surgeons.

The hospital plans to revamp its old intensive care unit into a heart center for patients and families. Medical Center officials project that 235 open-heart surgeries will be performed by the third year of operations.

"This center will truly be one that our community can be proud of," Bruns said. "Most of all, we want to save lives right at home."

Press Releases
HHRH Official Healthcare Provider of Verizon Heritage
HHH cited for excellence in respiratory care
HHH BHC Approved by the NAPBC

Health Center in Hilton Head Island, SC, has been granted a three-year/Full accreditation designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons.   Accreditation by the NAPBC is only given to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. 

“This NAPBC accreditation validates the wonderful and compassionate commitment the Breast Health Center team has made to their patients”, said Mark O’Neil, CEO of Hilton Head Hospital.  “The Breast Health Center team, under the leadership of medical director, Dr. Virginia Herrmann, has achieved great results with such compassion and personal care that they certainly deserve this honor.”

During the survey process, the center must demonstrate compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for treating women who are diagnosed with the full spectrum of breast disease.  The standards include proficiency in the areas of: center leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement.  A breast center that achieves NAPBC accreditation has demonstrated a firm commitment to offer its patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease.

The NAPBC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and monitoring of outcomes of patients with diseases of the breast.  This mission is pursued through standard-setting, scientific validation, and patient and professional education.  Its board membership includes professionals from 15 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of breast care. 

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that there would be 192,370 patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the United States in 20091. In addition, hundreds of thousands of women who will deal with benign breast disease this year will require medical evaluation for treatment options.        

Receiving care at a NAPBC-accredited center ensures that a patient will have access to:

·         Comprehensive care, including a full range of services

·         A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options

·         Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options

 And, most importantly,

·         Quality breast care right here at home.

For more information about the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, visit their Web site at .



1.  American Cancer Society Cancer Facts & Figures 2009. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2009.

HHH Receives Gold Performance Achievement Award
HHH Designated ACR Breast Imaging Center of Excellence
Fagan Renews Certified Hand Therapy (CHT) Designation
HHH Receives Distinguished Clinical Innovation Award
HHH Receives Gold Plus Award for Heart Failure
Limited Services Open at Bluffton Medical Campus
Path To Health
HHH Recognized for Heart Failure Care
HHH Holds Community Flu Shot Clinics
HHH Receives “A” in Patient Safety
HHH Now Offers 3D Mammography
HHRH Appoints Jeremy Clark as Market Chief Executive Officer
Hilton Head Hospital Receives Highest Grade in Patient Safety