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Interim hospital chief enjoying his time in Colleton County

Terence van Arkel

Terence van Arkel

Interim Colleton Medical Center Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Terence van Arkel has adjusted well to his position since he first started in mid-January. He noted, however, that he would like nothing better than to make this position permanent.

“I’ve been here about two months now, and it has been a great experience. Both the community and the employees here are great. There is a family atmosphere here, and we have a wonderful, loyal, and dedicated workforce. The staff here is devoted to the community, and delivers quality care, which results in patient satisfaction.”

van Arkel currently resides in Mt. Pleasant, where his children attend Wando High School. He noted the daily drive to the Colleton Medical Center (CMC) takes about an hour and a half, but he doesn’t mind the daily trips. “It’s not too bad, except for when accidents occur. Then it can take some time.” But van Arkel also noted that he would love to make his stay at CMC a full-time occupation. “I have applied to fill the full-time position here, and I think I qualify.” He added that, if hired full-time, he and his family would move to Colleton County.

van Arkel has also been the CEO of Trident Medical Center, and has been for the past nine months, which like CMC, is operated by the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA).

He noted that Summerville Medical Center is also an HCA facility. Before working in Charleston, van Arkel was the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operations Officer, and Interim CEO of Doctors’ Hospital in Augusta, Georgia for five years.

van Arkel obtained a four-year degree in accounting from Stetson University in Deland, Florida, and also passed his Certified Public Accounting exam within that state. He also attained a Masters of Business Administration from Western Governor’s University in Utah.

Many positive stories concerning patient treatment at CMC have circulated throughout the community over the past few years, and these recollections are based on the hospital staff’s compassion, friendly service, and unwavering commitment to quality health care. CMC’s team of physicians and health care professionals work to ensure the best patient outcomes and have earned national recognition in the process.

CMC was recently named one of the country’s Top Performing Hospitals on Key Quality Measures as identified by The Joint Commission. By comparison, only 14 percent of hospitals throughout the country achieved this distinction, and only 10 of our state’s 67 acute care hospitals were named to this elite list.

Some of the top quality measures used to identify Top Performing Hospitals include acute heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care. Within each area, the hospital analyzes and measures several individual aspects of care. “For example, in a heart attack case, we document whether or not the patient received aspirin on arrival,” said CMC’s Director of Quality Management Alisha Fender. “For surgical patients, we measure how timely antibiotics were started and discontinued before and after surgery.”

Emergency care for the community is also a top priority at CMC. Patients arrive at CMC by ambulance on a daily basis. Hospital personnel partner with local emergency services to provide the best care for hospital patients. Last year, Colleton County Fire and Rescue, LifeNet (medical helicopter service) and the Colleton Medical Center were runners up for the International Trauma Life Support “Trauma case of the Year” award. The judges recognized the tram for patient care, including the assessment, treatment, and overall outcome.

Not only does CMC provide a broad spectrum of top medical treatments, the 500-plus employees who live in our area also participate in community efforts, such as volunteering in church, school, civic, and charitable activities; serve on boards and committees; and help to raise much-needed funds. The employees have participated in local events such as the March of Dimes fundraisers and Relay for Life. CMC employees also participated in efforts to raise funding for organizations such as the Colleton County Animal Shelter, Toys for Tots, and Stuff the Bus.