Review Category : Health

Health Briefs

Don’t let a disability stop fun on the fairway

Beaufort Memorial Hospital and the Legends at Parris Island will host a free adaptive golf event this Saturday, Oct. 18 to introduce individuals with physical disabilities to techniques and equipment they can use to enjoy the game of golf and the therapeutic benefits it offers.

Designed to encourage and educate would-be players, the two-hour session will include demonstrations by golf professionals and therapists. Participants will be playing alongside other physically challenged civilians, veterans and active military personnel.

During the program, scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m., players will learn about ongoing adaptive golf events, tournaments and clinics, including classes held the third Saturday of each month.

Take advantage of this opportunity to learn how to enjoy golf — and improve your balance, strength and coordination.

For more information or to register, contact either physical therapist Steve Giammona at 843-522-5850 or, or PGA professional Andy Hinson at 843-228-2240 or


Beaufort Memorial offers free seminar on pain 

Beaufort Memorial will host a free seminar on Monday, October 20 at 9 a.m. in Room 364 of the hospital’s Medical and Administrative Center at 990 Ribaut Road (directly across the street from the main hospital campus) where Beaufort Memorial Orthopedic Care Coordinator and Physical Therapist Andrea Sadler will provide information about normal knee and hip anatomy, signs and symptoms of joint-related problems, and treatment options to relieve or resolve pain. From in-home exercise and medical management, to physical therapy and surgery, she will explain appropriate options that can be personalized for a patient’s specific needs.

The seminar is free but registration is requested. To learn more or make a reservation, call 843-522-5585.

‘Baby University’ adds new parenting class

Beaufort Memorial’s Baby University has added a new parenting class to its schedule of offerings. “Hug Your Baby!” is scheduled for on Wednesday, Oct. 22 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and will help parents identify their baby’s needs by understanding his or her body talk. Learn how to prevent and solve problems related to eating, sleeping and crying. The instructor is a family nurse practitioner and certified Hug Your Baby trainer.  The class, which is recommended for expectant parents, will be offered monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month beginning in January. Cost is $10.

In addition to the Baby University classes, Beaufort Memorial’s LifeFit Wellness Services has added prenatal massage and a prenatal wellness package that includes a one-month membership to LifeFit, nutrition consultation with a registered dietician, consultation with a perinatal fitness specialist and a prescription for prenatal exercises. Call 843-522-5635 for more information about any of the prenatal offerings or to register for “Hug Your Baby.”

The hospital’s Birthing Center is also offering monthly prenatal classes. “The Gift of Motherhood,” a three-part series of classes that includes Prepared Childbirth, Newborn Infant Care and Breastfeeding, is now free to any mother-to-be. The classes are offered from 6 to 8 p.m. the first three Wednesdays of the month, with the next session starting Nov. 5. For more information or to register for the series, call 843-522-5570.

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‘Extraordinary’ nurse receives award

Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Kim Raines surprised with DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses

After weeks of careful planning, Beaufort Memorial Hospital administrators were set to surprise cardiopulmonary rehab nurse Kim Raines last Thursday morning with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.

But all their arrangements had to be scrapped when the guest of honor did something, well, extraordinary.

Kim Raines’ daughter Addison, son Jordan and husband David joined her co-workers for the surprise presentation of the DAISY Award at Beaufort Memorial’s LifeFit Wellness Center.

Kim Raines’ daughter Addison, son Jordan and husband David joined her co-workers for the surprise presentation of the DAISY Award at Beaufort Memorial’s LifeFit Wellness Center.

She put in for a personal day off to take a former patient to the Medical University of South Carolina for treatment of a large melanoma on his leg.

“They started making excuses why I couldn’t have the day off,” recalled Raines, who works at the LifeFit Wellness Center. “But I kept pushing. I told them the patient was 85 years old and too weak to drive himself to Charleston.”

It’s that kind of compassion that prompted a co-worker to nominate Raines for the prestigious DAISY Award, a national tribute reserved for RNs who go the extra mile to care for patients and their families.

With some last-minute scrambling, her supervisors were able to rearrange the award ceremony for the following day. Only it turned out it was her day off.

Undeterred, they concocted a meeting Raines would have to attend. When she walked into the LifeFit Wellness Center, she found the meeting room decorated with balloons and her co-workers and family gathered for a celebration.

“I was totally shocked when they gave me with the award,” said Raines, who works with patients recovering from heart attacks. “It was amazing!”

The 25-year nursing veteran was presented with the DAISY Award trophy — a hand-carved sculpture titled “A Healer’s Touch” — along with an engraved vase full of daisies.

Graham Jones, a clinical exercise physiologist at LifeFit Wellness Center, nominated Raines for the award, citing her unflagging dedication to her job.

“She has spent many weekends and afternoons off the clock meeting with current and past patients, helping them with the physical, emotional and financial stresses that come with having a heart attack,” he said. “So many of her patients continue to work out at the Wellness Center just to keep Kim in their lives.”

Anyone can nominate a BMH nurse for the DAISY Award. Applications are available throughout the hospital.

“I’ve always had an open door for my patients to come in and talk,” Raines said. “I just feel it’s part of my job.”

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Longtime Born to Read director steps down

Chris Taggart is one of those all-time great teachers. Not only did she choose teaching as her career for 26 years, but shortly after she retired, and was working with the University of South Carolina, she took a position as executive director of Born to Read, a local non-profit dedicated to showing new mothers how they could foster their children’s love of books and hence increase their early language skills.

Former Born to Read Director Chris Taggart (center) with two of the original  volunteers she recruited at Beaufort Memorial, Corinne Hagood and Ginger Bolden.

Former Born to Read Director Chris Taggart (center) with two of the original
volunteers she recruited at Beaufort Memorial, Corinne Hagood and Ginger Bolden.

“It was a natural fit for me,” she said.  “I mean what’s not to like about helping mothers learn the importance of reading to their babies regularly?  It’s a win-win for everybody — me included! And it’s not rocket science, just cuddling up with your little one and enjoying a book together.”

A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Taggart became a teacher, married a U.S. Marine and moved to the United States. For 26 years, she taught as an elementary teacher at schools sponsored by the Department of Defense. After she retired from teaching at Laurel Bay Schools, she was looking around for what she might want to do next.

When she heard about a new program in 2002 that promoted early literacy starting at birth, she was interested in finding out more. The program, called Born to Read, had just received private funding to hire a full time executive director.  The minute the board members met Chris, they knew she was the right person to build this new, early literacy program.

“Born to Read offered everything I believe in,” said Chris. “Parents are the child’s first and best teachers. If we can teach new parents how important it is for them to read to their children daily, the children will be that much better prepared to learn at school.”

Her philosophy was recently confirmed in a paper published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and touted in the national news.  It stated the importance of reading and interacting with babies from birth, pointing out that the result is children who are ready to learn at every age.

“Of course, this makes perfect sense,” said Nancy Gilley, who chairs the Born to Read Board. “But, hearing that the American Academy of Pediatrics supports and encourages early literacy from birth just validates our assumptions and the need for our program.”

Twelve years and thousands of babies later, Taggart decided earlier this year it was time for someone else to take on the job of director of the program.  In March, the Board accepted her resignation.

During her tenure as director of Born to Read, Taggart recruited a dedicated group of volunteers to visit new mothers in hospitals in Beaufort and Hilton Head. Once she had the opportunity to convey the purpose of the program, finding volunteers was not a problem.

“I’m really proud of these ladies,” Taggart said.  “They are so dedicated to our mission. They make the program a success.  Of course, all of our volunteers are important, but I feel these ladies deserve some sort of recognition for their dedication. They are true believers!”

In fact, four of the current volunteers at Beaufort Memorial — Corinne Hagood, Ginger Bolden, Anne Kennedy, and Liz Key — have been with the program since it started in 2002.  A fifth original volunteer, Linda Priest, decided to leave at the same time Chris stepped down as executive director.

Happily, Chris isn’t leaving the program, but will stay on as a volunteer.

In April, the board hired her replacement, Terri Sassmann, formerly a volunteer coordinator at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, who recently moved to Bluffton.

“I really like her,” said Taggart. “I think the board did a good job finding someone to take this important program to the next level. And, I’m looking forward to her leadership.”

Since Sassmann took over the program, she has expanded the program to Coastal Carolina Hospital with the recent opening of their new Birthing Center.

“I had to hit the ground running,” she said. “I’m busy finding enough volunteers to be sure we can visit every mom who delivers their baby in Beaufort and Jasper counties.”

To learn more about Born to Read, or if you are interested in volunteering, you can contact Terri Sassmann at 843-379-3350, or visit their newly redesigned website at

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YMCA presents ‘Live It! Love It!’ seminar

The Wardle Family YMCA of Beaufort County will host “Live It! Love It! Senior Wellness Celebration” on Tuesday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Y, located at 1801 Richmond Avenue in Port Royal. The public is invited to join their choice of the Deep Water Hydrobics class starting at 10 a.m. or the “Fit Over Fifty” fitness class at 10:30 a.m. Then join certified personal trainer Bruce McCarthy for his seminar, “A Balancing Act: Fall Prevention and Stability” at 11:25 a.m., followed by music, light refreshments and more from 12:30 to 1 p.m. You do not need to be a member of the YMCA to attend.

Physical fitness for those age 50 and better is extremely important. Not only does regular exercise significantly decrease the chances of developing type two diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis, it is also an excellent way to banish the blues.

YMCA Wellness Director Denice Davis says, “When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which help to alleviate anxiety and sadness.” By exercising regularly, you can keep your weight down which means less stress on your knees, hips, and lower back.

“I’m inspired every day to see firsthand how exercise — no matter if it’s yoga, cardio, water aerobics or a combination — enhance the lives of our older Y members. Group exercise really encourages them to step out of their box and bring excitement and fun into their lives.” Davis added.

Research has also shown that exercise helps to lessen dementia and to improve memory as well.

During the stability class, led by Bruce McCarthy, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the risks of falls, prevention, safety, and balance exercises. McCarthy holds specializations in both Senior Fitness and Weight Loss and is proficient in fitness assessments and program designs with concentrations in stability and balance.

If you are interested in more information about this event, please contact Denice Davis at 843-522-9622. This program is free and open to the public.

The YMCA of Beaufort County is part of a 256 year old worldwide organization that enables the citizens of Beaufort County to develop values and behaviors that are consistent with our mission: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. The Wardle Family YMCA of Beaufort County was charted in 1990 and opened its doors in June 1996.  The YMCA is a locally autonomous organization made up of voluntary membership that is open to individuals of all ages, race, religion, incomes and abilities.  Programs and services incorporate the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility and the YMCA encourages and challenges its staff, members, volunteers and program participants to accept and demonstrate these values. For more information, visit

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Get ready for a night of healthy fun: Beaufort Memorial, The Island News team up for Girls Night Out

This month’s Island Girls Night Out will be a different kind of celebration! While it’s Beaufort Memorial’s first time hosting the monthly event, it’s certainly not their first time hosting a party.

In fact, the hospital’s popular annual Girls Night Out celebration will be back for its fifth year with music, munchies and a whole new lineup of fun activities designed to help women improve their health. The program is being billed as a marquee event of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, offering women their “ticket” to wellness with a focus on breast care, OB-GYN health and an active lifestyle.

These women, along with hundreds of others, attended last year’s Girls Night Out sponsored by Beaufort Memorial Hospital. This year’s fun event promoting women’s health will be Thursday, Oct. 16.

These women, along with hundreds of others, attended last year’s Girls Night Out sponsored by Beaufort Memorial Hospital. This year’s fun event promoting women’s health will be Thursday, Oct. 16.

The free event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16 on the second floor of the Beaufort Memorial Medical and Administrative Center on Ribaut Road (directly across the street from the hospital’s main campus).

The event has “sold out” in years past, so registration is recommended by
Oct. 9 in order to guarantee admission.

Visit and click on the “Girls’ Night Out” banner on the homepage to reserve your ticket. (If you do not have web access or need additional information, call 522-5952.)

As they enter the venue, guests will be issued a ticket to all of the interactive displays and demonstrations, along with two beverage tickets for wine or beer.  Participants who visit all three health stations will have the chance to win prizes. The festivities also will include hors d’oeuvres and music.

“We want to provide women with the information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices,” said Emily Harris, who is helping coordinate the event for BMH. “But we’re doing it in atmosphere that’s fun and entertaining.”

At the breast health area, attendees will be invited to play the popular cornhole “Tata Toss.” In this game, participants are asked to answer true or false to questions related to breast care by throwing a pink (of course) bean bag into one of two holes marked “myth” or “fact.”

The area will also include breast models used to teach women how to perform monthly breast self-exams, as well as a display explaining the difference between the new 3-D mammogram and standard mammography. General surgeon Dr. Deanna Mansker and plastic surgeon Dr. Audrey Klenke, as well as the staff of the Women’s Imaging Center, will be on hand to answer questions and provide information about breast health, while radiologist Dr. Christa Catalano will be available to discuss the benefits of the new digital breast mammography, a three-dimensional X-ray that provides a clearer, more accurate view of the breast.

Beaufort Memorial gynecologist Patricia Thompson, MD, and breast nurse navigator Amy Hane discuss breast health with guests at last year’s Girls’ Night Out.

Beaufort Memorial gynecologist Patricia Thompson, MD, and breast nurse navigator Amy Hane discuss breast health with guests at last year’s Girls’ Night Out.

To help women determine if they’re at high risk for breast cancer, the hospital will present a mini seminar on the topic — one of three breakout sessions being offered during the event. The program also will include “Maybe Baby” for women thinking about getting pregnant and “Hot and Flashy,” a discussion on menopause.

In the active lifestyle station, internist Dr. Robert Vyge will join several of the hospital’s nutrition experts to offer advice about making smart food choices, knowing your healthy weight, and the importance of regular exercise and check-ups.

The all-star lineup of medical professionals expected at the event includes members of BMH’s new OB-GYN practice, Drs. Christopher Benson, Gregory Miller and Berniece Redmond. They will be joined by gynecologists Drs. Eve Ashby and Pat Thompson. They will be discussing topics such as minimally invasive hysterectomies, hormones and menopause.

For the first time, pediatricians and anesthesiologists — essential members of Beaufort Memorial’s cohesive Birthing Services team — will be participating. Drs. Faith Polkey, Nicole Broerman and James Simmons or a healthcare professional from his practice will be available to answer questions, as will one or more physicians from Low Country Anesthesia.

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Former Beaufort Memorial Hospital board chairman awarded high honor

The South Carolina Hospital Association named former Beaufort Memorial Board Chairman Jerry Schulze the 2014 Distinguished Hospital Trustee of the Year, capping a dozen years of service that accompanied unprecedented growth of the community hospital.

Jerry Schulze

Jerry Schulze

Schulze was presented with the award — the highest honor given in hospital trustee leadership — at the association’s annual Trustee Administrator and Physician Conference held in September on Hilton Head Island.

“With all the changes occurring today in healthcare, Beaufort Memorial has stayed ahead of the curve,” said Schulze, who stepped down as chairman in March after two six-year terms — the maximum allowed under board bylaws. “It’s a very well-run, sophisticated hospital.”

The prestigious tribute comes on the heels of two other statewide honors for BMH. In January, President and CEO Rick Toomey was elected chairman of the South Carolina Hospital Association’s board of trustees. Then in May, Beaufort Memorial general surgeon Dr. Tim Pearce was installed as president of the South Carolina Medical Association.

“One of the advantages the hospital has is that it can attract top talent because Beaufort is such a desirable place to live,” said Schulze, a retired health care executive who moved to the Lowcountry in 1998. “For a community of our size, we have a tremendous pool of talent.”

Schulze himself boasts an impressive resume that includes stints as vice president and elected corporate officer of Pfizer Inc., and president and CEO of Medeva Americas Inc., a NYSE-listed, London-based pharmaceutical company.

Three years after moving to Beaufort, Schulze was named to the board of Broad River Healthcare, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports Beaufort Memorial. The following year, he joined the hospital’s nine-member board. His fellow board members elected him chairman in 2008.

“For every one of his 12 years on the board, and most especially for his six as chairman, Jerry was unstinting — utterly unstinting — in his efforts on Beaufort Memorial’s behalf,” said BMH President Toomey. “Simply put, he used his prodigious talent, limitless energy and broad experience in the business of health care to make things happen and get things done.”

During Schulze’s tenure, the hospital initiated a wide range of improvements, including a $14.5-million renovation and expansion of the emergency department, construction of a four-story medical and administrative building, purchase of the advanced da Vinci Si Surgical System, state approval to perform life-saving emergency cardiac interventions, and ongoing technological upgrades that have earned the hospital “Most Wired” status 11 years in a row by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

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Study: Hip fractures less likely after cataract surgery

By Dr. Mark S. Siegel

After practicing ophthalmology for nearly 15 years and performing thousands of cataract surgeries, I’ve recognized additional benefits beyond better vision and spectacle independence: patients improve their ability to ambulate; cognitive function and mood are improved in patients with dementia and depression; and overall quality of life improves.

When older people have cataract surgery to improve their vision, they also lower their risk of falling and breaking a hip, according to a national study. People in their 80s and those who have serious illnesses such as heart disease are most likely to benefit — the research shows that these patients had about 30 percent fewer hip fractures in the year after they had cataract surgery. The study, published in the August edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared the rate of hip fractures in more than 400,000 Medicare patients who had cataract surgery with a matched group of patients who did not have their cataracts removed.

Older people are more likely to fall and break their hips or other bones, and recovering from such injuries is often difficult for them. Earlier studies have found that vision loss is a key reason for seniors’ higher risk of falling. When cataracts and other aging eye problems decrease older people’s visual sharpness and depth perception, they also lose the ability to maintain balance, stability and mobility.

People should never be regarded as “too old” to have their cataracts removed. Other studies show that after cataract surgery, older people tend to sleep better, be less depressed, and lead more active, enjoyable lives.

Overall, the greatest decrease in hip fracture risk was seen in patients aged 80 to 84 who had cataract surgery. Another notable group was patients with severe cataracts, for whom risk was reduced by 23 percent. Although U.S. health statistics show that women are more susceptible to hip fractures than men, this study found no significant gender-linked differences in fracture risk.

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Musings from the therapist’s chair

Don’t change the edge, let the edge change you. The edge of things is where growth happens. Take the edge of the river where it meets the land; different species meet and change and nourish each other. Yet we change that edge by building into it, on it, and beside it. What if we let it, the edge, change us by seeing it and letting it be? The same is true for people, we have growing edges that need to be nourished and left to grow, rather than manipulated and changed into what we think others want us to be. Benton Lutz is a psychotherapist in private practice in Beaufort.

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Health Briefs

Learn how to manage multiple medications 

Are you being prescribed multiple drugs by multiple doctors and find it difficult to keep track of all of your medications? Do you wonder how medications and supplements interact? If so, mark your calendar for Thursday, Oct. 2, at 1:30 p.m. when Lynn Harrelson, RPh, FASCP, will address these questions and more at the Parkinson’s Support Group of Beaufort and Port Royal’s next meeting.

Ms. Harrelson is a senior care clinical pharmacist with more than 35 years of experience. She provides medication therapy management services to patients across the Southeast. The meeting is free and open to those who are managing multiple medications, dealing with aging or chronic disease. The Parkinson Support Group meeting will be from 1:30-3 p.m. at Shell Point Baptist Church on Parris Island Gateway, across from the Bi-Lo Shopping Center. For more information, contact Rose Ewing at 843-252-3001 or

Pinnacle Plastic Surgery has community events 

• Thursday, October 2: Pinnacle Plastic Surgery’s First Anniversary Celebration from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., 7 Mallett Way, Bluffton, SC, 29910. Join a champagne reception as Pinnacle Plastic Surgery celebrates its first anniversary. Tour the facility and meet Dr. Audrey Klenke as you enjoy light refreshments, product demonstrations, fantastic door prizes and the grand unveiling of The Bra Project of the Lowcountry.

• Thursday, October 9: Pinnacle Plastic Surgery Presents: The Bra Project of the Lowcountry, 5 to 8:30 p.m., at Belk of Beaufort. Vote for your favorite one-of-a-kind, student-designed bra and be entered for a chance to win that bra. You can also vote at Pinnacle Plastic Surgery, located at 7 Mallett Way in Bluffton, from October 3-23. The Bra Project benefits DragonBoat Beaufort to help local breast cancer survivors.

• Tuesday, October 28: Breast Reconstruction Lecture, noon to 1 p.m., at Beaufort Memorial Hospital Keyserling Cancer Center conference room. Join the Paula Williams Memorial Breast Cancer Support Group as Beaufort County’s only female plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Audrey Klenke, gives an informative lecture regarding the latest in breast reconstruction options. Please RSVP at 843-815-6699 or


Beaufort Memorial named ‘Most Wired’ 

For the 12th straight year, Beaufort Memorial earned a spot on the list of nation’s Most Wired Hospitals in the U.S., putting it in the company of some of the most prestigious medical centers in the country.

Only six South Carolina hospitals met the American Hospital Association’s set of rigorous IT criteria designed to reduce the likelihood of medical errors.

Each year, Hospitals & Health Networks magazine conducts a survey that asks hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their information technology initiatives. This year, respondents completed 680 surveys, representing 1,900 hospitals.

“The Most Wired data show that shared information allows clinicians and patients to have the information they need to promote health and make the most informed decisions about treatments,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA. “Hospitals, their clinicians and their communities are doing tremendous work to enhance their IT systems in ways that support care and delivery improvement, and patient engagement goals.”

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Co-chairs named for 26th Annual Valentine Ball

Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation has tapped longtime BMH boosters Dr. Andy and Laura Beall and Dr. D.J. and Ryan Christian to co-chair the 26th Annual Valentine Ball, the organization’s biggest fundraiser.

The black tie event will be held Feb. 7 at the Beaufort Memorial Medical and Administrative Center, located across from the hospital.

Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation taps Dr. Andy and Laura Beall and Dr. D.J. and Ryan Christian to co-chair the annual Valentine Ball.

Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation taps Dr. Andy and Laura Beall and Dr. D.J. and Ryan Christian to co-chair the annual Valentine Ball.

Both the Christians and Bealls have firsthand experience with BMH. All three of the Christians’ children were born in the hospital’s Birthing Center. Laura Beall, a breast cancer survivor, was treated at Beaufort Memorial’s Keyserling Cancer Center.

A sales consultant for Etcetera clothing, Beall recently joined the foundation’s Board of Trustees. Her husband, Andy, is executive director of the Santa Elena Foundation.

D.J. Christian is an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist) with Beaufort ENT and Allergy, where Ryan previously worked as the office manager.

Staunch supporters of the hospital’s mission, the co-chairs have been regular attendees at the ball and have hosted several pre-ball dinner parties with friends. They’ve also served on the decorations, auction and dinner party planning committees.

“The dinner parties are our favorite part of the ball,” Beall said. “We love how they bring together the most interesting people of all seasons — people you might not have known otherwise, but can now count among your dearest friends.”

Held at some of Beaufort’s most beautiful homes, the pre-ball dinner parties will kick off the evening of fun. Every guest who purchases a ticket by Jan. 16 will receive a personal invitation to one of the parties.

Following dinner, guests will make their way to the ball. The festivities will include a silent auction, dancing and decadent desserts. More than 500 people are expected to attend this year’s event.

Since its inception in 1990, the Valentine Ball has raised nearly $4.2 million for the non-profit hospital. Proceeds from the 2015 event will help finance the renovation and much-needed expansion of the Intensive Care Unit. Other improvements will include state-of-the-art cardiac and invasive monitors, lift equipment, special ICU beds and family consultation and waiting rooms.

Tickets to the 2015 Annual Valentine Ball start at $150 per person. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 843-522-5774 or visit

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