MUSC, tRMC finalize long-term lease and operations agreement

CHARLESTON, S.C. (March 1, 2023)  After appropriate due diligence and with the overwhelming support of board members, county officials and state legislators, the Medical University Hospital Authority (MUSC Health) and the Regional Medical Center (tRMC) in Orangeburg, South Carolina, have finalized a long-term lease and operations agreement. 

MUSC was invited by the state legislature and elected officials of Orangeburg and Calhoun counties to consider a new relationship with tRMC following the establishment of Proviso 23.6 of the South Carolina General Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2022-2023, which states that “The Medical University of South Carolina and the Medical University Hospital Authority shall partner with the Regional Medical Center in Orangeburg for research and improved access to care in rural and underserved communities experiencing chronic disease.”  

MUSC Health has assumed oversight of all hospital operations and associated ambulatory practices for MUSC Health Orangeburg. The new relationship includes the hospital in Orangeburg, a freestanding Emergency Department (FSED) in Barnwell and affiliated physician practice locations, serving communities in Orangeburg, Calhoun and Bamberg counties.

MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, said, “We are thrilled to partner with our new MUSC family members, and we will work to ensure and elevate the best local care with improved access to some of the more complex care offered only at our tertiary care location in Charleston. Together, we’re going to broaden our ability to serve greater numbers of patients, families and neighbors where they live and work, and that is a reason to celebrate.” 

As part of its commitment to providing accessible high-quality, coordinated and cost-effective patient care services through a community-based health care delivery network, MUSC Health will work with the local health care community to improve and expand access to advanced medical care in Orangeburg, Calhoun and Bamberg counties by: 

  • Recruiting physicians, nurses and allied health workers to meet the community’s needs most effectively.
  • Developing and applying best practices to improve care delivery and decrease health disparities.
  • Implementing and expanding telehealth services and using technology to enhance quality, safety and access to care.
  • Offering health care providers and clinical staff training and skill development opportunities.
  • Establishing future graduate medical education opportunities. 

“Our board of trustees worked diligently to explore a potential relationship with MUSC Health. Ultimately, we determined that joining MUSC Health would be beneficial to the community and would improve the health care available to residents. We are very thankful for the incredible support provided by Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, our legislative delegation and the Orangeburg and Calhoun County Councils in this endeavor.  We all had one goal – to provide access to comprehensive, quality health care to our community now and in the future,” said RMC Board Chairman Lucius Craig, M.D. “While you will see some changes, such as in the hospital’s name, many of the familiar faces you know and trust will not change. MUSC Health has embraced our work family and physicians, and the entire team is excited to show the community what it can accomplish.”

Terms of the transaction include a 99-year lease of the facilities owned by the Regional Medical Center and its affiliates, assumption of other real estate leases and certain operating contracts and the purchase of hospital and ambulatory assets and inventory. MUSC Health is hiring active employees in good standing at compensation levels generally consistent with current rates and fair market value. MUSC Health team members are meeting with the administrators at each of the facilities to determine staffing and needs, with the intent to make operations as efficient and successful as possible, maximizing value to patients, families and their respective communities.

“MUSC Health has existing relationships with tRMC, so bringing them fully into our network is another step toward every patient in this community getting the right care, in the right place and at the right time. We anticipate a positive and meaningful relationship that is going to produce sustainable results that these communities will be able to see and feel,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health system CEO and executive vice president of health affairs, University.  


About MUSC 

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,000 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy – and trains more than 900 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $297.8 million in research funds in fiscal year 2022, leading the state overall in research funding. For information on academic programs, visit

As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 15 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and four additional hospital locations in development; more than 350 telehealth sites, with connectivity to patients’ homes; and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2022, for the eighth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets totaling $5.4 billion. The nearly 25,000 MUSC team members include a world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver and support groundbreaking education, research and patient care.