Sandhills Medical Foundation celebrates 40th anniversary



Sandhills Medical Foundation Inc. recently celebrated its 40th anniversary at Indigo Jones in Camden.

The foundation is a Federally Qualified Community Health Center that offers primary care in a premier doctor's office setting and has seven locations, which include the city of Sumter. SMF was first funded in 1978 with a small group of community leaders in McBee and has grown to serve Kershaw, Chesterfield, Lancaster and Sumter counties.

The event was well attended by community leaders, partners and supporters from the four counties served by the organization.

CEO Christopher Dixon also took the opportunity to announce recognition the organization has received. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced SMF has been recognized with the Health Resources and Service Administration's Health Center Quality Leader Award. SMF was placed in the top 30 percent for clinical quality measures among all community health centers across all U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia.

SMF is also recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a Patient-Centered Medical Home, and the primary care center was also presented the Health Center of the Year Award by the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association in October 2017.

Dixon said most Sandhills Medical offices have on-site pharmacies and offer pediatric and behavioral health services. The SMF team served more than 9,634 patients last year. Dixon thanked the SMF Board of Directors and staff. He recognized that many of the board members were successful in their own areas of expertise and had a major hand in guiding SMF to where it is today.

Also recognized at the event were Tim Walters and Jan Robinson, whose early dedication laid the foundation for SMF. Walters was the "first employee" and initial CEO. Robinson worked as a nurse for SMF until retirement and was the "fourth employee." SMF currently has more than 110 employees.

The Rev. Don Robinson, board chairman, thanked everyone for their attendance and recognized Dixon for his leadership. He said SMF is one of the top health centers in the nation because of the hard work and dedication of the CEO. Robinson also thanked the community for its support of SMF throughout its 40 years of success.