MUSC Health Orangeburg announced the appointment of Carnell Cooper, M.D., as its new chief medical officer.

With a distinguished career marked by excellence, Cooper joins our team, bringing a wealth of leadership experience and invaluable expertise to his new role.

In this capacity, Cooper will oversee all medical staff and medical affairs for the MUSC Health Orangeburg facilities that provide Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties with critical services. These include the main hospital’s Level III Trauma Center and Level II special care newborn nursery, Bamberg-Barnwell Emergency Medical Center and outpatient practices and clinics.

As a board-certified physician leader, he has a proven track record of directing and executing hospital-wide clinical excellence on key quality metrics. His strategic mindset and operational focus have led to remarkable achievements in areas such as mortality reduction and septic shock mortality and the decrease of hospital-acquired infections.

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With extensive experience serving as chief medical officer at several major health care institutions, Cooper has spearheaded initiatives to improve patient care, physician engagement and operational efficiency. Notably, his leadership at HCA Virginia’s Reston Hospital Center earned the hospital numerous accolades, including the 2023 Patient Safety Excellence Award by Healthgrades.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Carnell Cooper to MUSC Health Orangeburg as our new chief medical officer,” CEO Walter Bennett III said. “Dr. Cooper’s exceptional leadership and dedication to clinical excellence will play a crucial role in advancing our mission of providing high-quality health care services to Orangeburg and surrounding communities.”

The Spring into Wellness community health fair, held on Saturday, April 13, saw an overwhelming turnout of 219 attendees from Orangeburg, Calhoun and Bamberg counties.

Cooper, originally from Dillon, describes himself as focused, driven and curious. He believes in the importance of being a lifetime learner and is dedicated to focusing on the processes needed to make the hospital function successfully and meet the needs of the communities it serves.

“I am honored to join the team at MUSC Health Orangeburg and am committed to working closely with the physicians and advanced practice providers to address both their concerns and needs,” Cooper said. “My goal is to help our hospital and other facilities grow and improve, ultimately serving the community in the best possible ways.”

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care.

“Dr. Cooper’s exceptional leadership and dedication to clinical excellence will play a crucial role in advancing our mission of providing high-quality health care services to Orangeburg and surrounding communities.”

MUSC Health-Orangeburg CEO Walter Bennett III


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