Sampson County Memorial Hospital was dedicated on October 5, 1950. Originally built with 100 beds, the hospital was considered one of the most modern of its size in the country. From 41 personnel and a 20-member medical staff in the 1950s, the hospital is now one of the county’s largest employers, employing nearly 700 people. Through the years, the hospital has undergone numerous major expansions—the first of which was completed in 1956, bringing the addition of an emergency room, radiology, central sterilization, a recovery room, medical records, storage facilities, and the installation of central air conditioning. With the hospital’s 100 beds taxed to capacity, the hospital began a new construction project in 1960, which included the addition of 45 beds, the expansion of the administrative area, additional diagnostic radiology facilities, relocation of the morgue, renovation of the kitchen, and installation of a central vacuum and oxygen supply system. By 1967, the hospital increased its bed capacity to 170, added a physical therapy department, and expanded or upgraded several other areas.
In 1970, the Woodside Professional Building was added to the complex. This five-story structure was built specifically to provide office facilities for physicians. A corridor links the Woodside Professional Building to the main hospital, giving physicians immediate access to hospital facilities.
With a trend toward ambulatory services in the 1980s, the hospital constructed a $6.6 million Diagnostic and Treatment Building. The ultra-modern facility included a surgical suite with six operating rooms, a recovery room, an intensive care unit, radiology, nuclear medicine, respiratory therapy, a stress testing lab, electrocardiography, and a new emergency department with seven trauma beds, six private treatment rooms, and a cast room. Shortly following this expansion, the Lundy Memorial Pediatric Unit opened, along with new laboratory, physical therapy, and pharmacy facilities. An intensive care step-down unit and waiting area also opened as part of the expansion project.
Due to a critical shortage of long-term care beds in Sampson County, the hospital converted 30 acute beds into skilled nursing beds in 1987. In the 1990s, the emphasis on healthcare continued to be on outpatient and ambulatory services. During this time, lithotripsy (or “stone busting”) was introduced as a new outpatient procedure and was soon followed by one-stitch cataract surgery and outpatient removal of the gall bladder, known medically as laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Laser surgery made its debut at Sampson Memorial in 1990, and in 1991 the hospital opened an in-house clinic specifically for the evaluation and monitoring of pacemakers.
Diagnostic radiology services were also significantly expanded and upgraded in the early 1990s. New radiology equipment was installed in five examination rooms, and the department acquired a new mammography unit and a SPECT camera for nuclear medicine studies. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was also introduced as a new service.
To better serve healthcare needs throughout the county, the hospital assumed management responsibility for two clinics in the early 1990s: Newton Grove Medical Clinic and Four County Medical Clinic in Harrells, both of which are located approximately 30 miles from Sampson County’s center and border adjoining counties. In 1994, Sampson Memorial purchased the Roseboro Medical Clinic, located about 15 miles from Clinton. Although these clinics are no longer managed by the hospital, Sampson Regional continues making strides to provide access to care in the county’s most underserved areas.
The hospital moved into home health care in July 1994, when it assumed ownership of a home health agency formerly a part of the Sampson County Health Department. Today, the agency is known as Sampson Home Health. A major construction project completed in 1997 provided a spacious new maternity suite, along with expanded ambulatory and emergency care facilities. A $2 million renovation project completed on the third floor in 1999 provided 55 spacious private rooms with private baths.
In 2002, the hospital changed its name from Sampson County Memorial Hospital to Sampson Regional Medical Center. During the same year, the hospital opened a 15,000 square foot Outpatient Rehabilitation Center at the corner of Beaman and Johnson Streets, and in January 2004, a 42,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Center for Health + Wellness became a reality.
The hospital's cardiac program evolved in early 2005 to include a Cardiac Rehab program, a Heart Clinic, and a Congestive Heart Failure program. The Heart Clinic and Heart Failure programs are located in the Woodside Building and are under the direction of Dr. William Newman of Wake Heart Associates. Both programs are provided in partnership with WakeMed.
Sampson Regional Cancer Center opened in the summer of 2006. Now owned and operated by Southeastern Medical Oncology, the Center provides radiation therapy next door to the oncology center. With these two centers in our community, cancer patients are afforded the opportunity to receive both chemotherapy and radiation therapy at home, rather than traveling at least 45 miles for treatment, as they have been forced to do in the past.
In 2007, the hospital opened the Outpatient Diagnostics Center two blocks from the hospital on Beaman Street. This 11,000 square foot facility houses state-of-the-art imaging technology that includes MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, mammography, ultrasound, radiography, and bone density testing. The center features a women's center dedicated entirely to women's radiology services.
In 2009, the hospital opened Sampson Internal Medicine, located on Vance Street in downtown Clinton. The practice treats adult patients, providing primary care, wellness preventive care, and later life care.
The hospital improved the Emergency Department in 2010 with the addition of five Fast Track rooms. The Fast Track service expedites wait times in the ER by allowing the least acute patients to be treated by a Physician Assistant, rather than waiting for a bed in the ER. Also in 2010, the hospital acquired Clinton Urgent Care, which expanded access to care and now provides an alternative to ER care for patients with less serious illness or injury. Soon after acquiring the urgent care, it was expanded to include a dedicated area for occupational health and employee health services. These services are provided under the WorkSafe program and are designed to assist area employers in managing their employee health programs.
The hospital also enhanced women’s healthcare in Sampson County by opening two new practices in 2010. Dr. John M. Roberts’ practice provides gynecology care, exclusively. And, Sampson Women’s Center, the practice of Scott Augustine, MD., provides both obstetrics and gynecology care. Both practices are conveniently located in the Woodside Professional Building.
In 2010, CAPRI (Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation Institute), located on Vance Street, opened to combine care for cardiac and pulmonary patients in one location. Features of the program include: medically supervised cardiovascular exercise and strength training, muscle conditioning, education for patient and family, along with specialized counseling to help with psychosocial, nutritional, and vocational adjustments.
During the same year, the hospital opened, in partnership with Eastern ENT, the Rest Assured Sleep Lab. Rest Assured conducts sleep studies in its two-bed sleep lab to help diagnose and treat specific sleep disorders for patients.
To better serve patients in need of lab work, QuickDraw, located inside the Outpatient Diagnostics Center, opened also in 2010. This service provides a more convenient option for patients requiring lab specimen collection.
In 2011, digital mammography was added to the Outpatient Diagnostics Center. With digital mammography, the breast image is captured using a special x-ray detector, which converts the image instantly into a digital picture providing quicker results for the patient.
In 2012, Sampson Regional relocated its Blood Donor Center from the hospital’s laboratory to the Outpatient Diagnostics Center, located just blocks from the main hospital. The new location provides greater convenience and access for the hospital’s current donors, while increasing community awareness of blood donor services.
Also added to the Outpatient Diagnostics Center in 2012 was the option of 3D & 4D Ultrasounds. This added service is intended for expectant mothers to see 3D/4D images of the fetus for their enjoyment.
In 2013, the hospital implemented the use of swing beds on separate medical and surgical units. With this program the hospital is now able to switch the patient’s status from acute care to sub-acute care without having to move the patient to a new room. With this change the Medical-Surgical Unit is now divided into two units with all medical patients staying on the third floor and all post-surgical patients remaining on the second floor.