Darlington McLeod Health building to be torn down
By Bobby Bryant, Editor
McLeod Health Darlington, the hospital building once known as Wilson Clinic, will be torn down because of problems caused by age and storm damage, but McLeod’s other health services in Darlington will continue. In a Feb. 25 news release, McLeod Health said: “After a thorough engineering and cost evaluation of McLeod Health Darlington, it is clear that restoration and upkeep to this aging facility would be cost-prohibitive, especially with recent storms causing significant damage to the roof and structural walls.” McLeod Behavioral Health in Darlington and McLeod Family Medicine Darlington, housed in two separate buildings adjoining the 72-bed main clinic on Cashua Ferry Road, will continue to operate normally, “while the existing McLeod Health Darlington structure is removed for safety,” McLeod’s statement said. “Clearly, this was a difficult decision for many,” McLeod President and CEO Rob Colones said in the statement. “However, we are encouraged that our Human Resources department has worked very hard to find positions elsewhere in McLeod for employees of relocated services and to continue our mission of excellent services for the Darlington community at other locations nearby.” In October 2020, McLeod Health told the news media that recent storms and heavy rains had damaged McLeod Health Darlington to such an extent that officials were moving some inpatient and outpatient services to other McLeod facilities. The building was awaiting a “structural review” at that time. “A thorough evaluation and facility assessment of the Darlington hospital building is underway to determine the future of the facility,” Tracy Stanton with McLeod Health said in October. Last week, McLeod Health emphasized that the services it offers in the Darlington area will not suffer after the loss of the McLeod Health Darlington facility. McLeod Urgent Care Darlington and McLeod Family Medicine Darlington “will continue to provide care as usual in their facilities,” the statement said. “Diagnostic services, such as X-rays, CT scans and mammograms will be referred to the most convenient McLeod location for each patient. Any scheduled or future appointments with McLeod Family Medicine Darlington will not be affected.” Physical therapy that was previously offered in the hospital building will be offered at McLeod Urgent Care Darlington, McLeod Health said. Physical, occupational and speech therapy are also offered at other locations in the McLeod system, the statement said. McLeod Behavioral Health will continue at its Cashua Ferry Road site. The late Dr. John Wilson, with his wife, Amelia, founded Wilson Clinic and Hospital in 1947. It was the first hospital in Darlington and originally was located in a house on Pearl Street. In 1974, the Wilson family built a 50-bed facility off Cashua Ferry Road. McLeod Health bought that hospital in 1994.