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Duke Health moves into Horry County. Here’s how they want to save lives

Conway Medical Center President and CEO Bret Barr discusses the center’s new affiliation with Duke Health to add services to their cardiovascular program.
Conway Medical Center President and CEO Bret Barr discusses the center’s new affiliation with Duke Health to add services to their cardiovascular program. The Sun News

Conway Medical Center’s president and CEO is confident the center’s new affiliation with Duke Health will save lives.

Bret Barr was joined Thursday by several Duke Health representatives in Conway to announce the affiliation, complete with an unfurling of banners down the sides of the center’s building.

The affiliation is specifically with the Duke Heart Network, which will regularly bring Duke personnel to work with the center’s cardiovascular services team, most notably assisting in the creation of a Percutaneous Coronary Intervention program, Barr said.

As it stands, Barr said patients who need PCI — a nonsurgical procedure used to help open blood vessels in the heart — must go to a different hospital. He said the center sees at least 350 such cases per year, and the decrease in travel for those patients “will no doubt save lives.”

The adding of services won’t be immediate though, as Barr explained they will need to file a certificate of need with the state, and that process could be lengthy if another hospital challenges that need, which he admitted was likely.

He noted that Grand Strand Medical Center is currently the only local provider that offers PCI.

Conway Medical Center is now one of two Duke Health Affiliates in Heart in South Carolina, according to a joint news release.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Duke personnel would staff the center instead of working with the staff at Conway Medical Center.

David Weissman: @WeissmanMBO; 843-626-0305

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