New McLeod Health residency program improves access to care in Manning


McLeod Health announced a new McLeod Family Medicine Rural Residency Program to help increase access to primary care. The first class of residents began on Monday.

The Rural Residency's mission is to graduate skilled physicians who are well-rounded and able to understand and treat the unique conditions of patients within rural and underserved areas.

The focus of the residency includes time spent at the two training hospitals: McLeod Health Clarendon and McLeod Health Cheraw. Residents will continue to improve access to primary care services to their patients at McLeod Primary Care Clarendon and McLeod Primary Care Cheraw.

The training also involves time at McLeod Regional Medical Center with the core residency program in Florence where training has been provided in family medicine for the past 40 years. During this first year, residents will be trained in advanced ICU, geriatrics, obstetric and pediatric skills. The core program benefits from a strong emphasis on procedures such as colonoscopy, EGD and central line placement with an ultrasound curriculum, specialty clinics and classroom instruction.

As program director, Dr. Louis Strauss will help ensure a learning and working environment conducive to educating the residents.

Dr. Susan Robins (Cheraw) and Dr. Lisa Heichberger (Clarendon) are the site directors and associate program directors for their respective sites in the rural communities. They will work collaboratively with Strauss and the residency administrative team on program and curricula development while overseeing preparation and operation of the Family Medicine Practice.

Brooke Smith, as residency manager of both residency programs, ensures effective operations, oversees accreditation and recruiting and other programmatic responsibilities. Janet Evans (Clarendon) and Charlene Geiger (Cheraw), residency coordinators for their respective sites, manage all clinical and rotation schedules for the rural residents and faculty. They will also serve as the program's liaisons to the rural community's teaching physicians.

Resident physicians train in family medicine specialty, under the close supervision of physician faculty. They provide care for the entire family from delivering babies to end-of-life care, including pediatrics, women and men's health and obstetrics. Residents care for patients both in the office and in the hospital.

This incoming class of resident physicians begins providing continuity primary care services to patients at McLeod Primary Care Clarendon and McLeod Primary Care Cheraw on Friday, July 10. The residents will work in conjunction with Dr. Clarence Coker, Dr. Lisa Heichberger and Susanne Johnson, FNP at McLeod Primary Care Clarendon, and Dr. Garrett Barton and Jackie Stafford, FNP at McLeod Primary Care Cheraw. Same or next-day appointments are available.