Foundation for Fort Mill Schools took home some pocket money Friday, thanks to a new sponsorship from Piedmont Medical Center.
Brad Talbert, CEO of the hospital group, announced a five-year $100,000 sponsorship for a group he said shares the same values he promotes daily among his staff.
“Excellence is the standard,” Talbert said June 16. “It’s nice to partner with organizations that share those same expectations.”
Foundation for Fort Mill Schools began in 2003. The group provides small grants and scholarships within the Fort Mill School District. The new money will be used to fund teacher-led projects through grants, and as scholarship money for high school students.
“Just to have this opportunity to make a lasting impact on our kids and teachers in the Fort Mill School District is huge, and we don’t take this very lightly,” said Scott Patterson, executive director of the foundation. “It’s going to go a very long way and we’ve got some great ideas, including some for the entire district as well.”
Talbert said foundation efforts in the past went a long way toward the new partnership.
“The history of the foundation is impressive, and the programs, events and volunteer opportunities that they’ve provided in the past have had a tremendous impact,” he said.
Also, it’s a continued opportunity to build a presence in Fort Mill.
“It’s no secret, for many years, that we’ve been on a journey to expand our presence in the Fort Mill area,” Talbert said. “As we watched the area north of the Catawba River grow, we’ve been right there along the way.”
Piedmont has been part of the years-long legal battle to build a new hospital in Fort Mill. Multiple times a hospital has been awarded by state regulators. Each time, an appeal was made by at least one hospital company that didn’t get its plan.
Talbert said his company didn’t sit around and wait, as it has multiple affiliated physician offices in the Fort Mill area along with an imaging center in Baxter and urgent care sites on Sutton Road and Baxter. The group recently got approval for an expanded emergency department at its Gold Hill Road site.
The hospital will be the biggest piece, but not the only one.
“Everyone knows our current situation with the hospital,” Talbert said. “We’re very excited about being able to open that hospital here in the next few years as the legal challenges wind down.”