Advance with MUSC Health

Increasing Accessibility to Specialized Cardiac Care in Rural Areas with New Outreach Program & Leadership

Karlin Ferguson
March 01, 2022
Rodney Rhinehart, M.D.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 659,000 Americans each year. Eliminating access barriers to specialized cardiac care is the focus for the new heart & vascular outreach program for MUSC Health midlands division. Rodney Rhinehart, M.D. has been improving cardiovascular health for patients in South Carolina and beyond for over 30 years. With offices in downtown Columbia and Newberry, SC, he understands firsthand the importance of bringing cardiac care to rural South Carolina. 

“I am honored that MUSC has trusted me with expanding their notable reputation of education, research and patient care to the Midlands community,” said Rhinehart. “Growing up in Blackville, SC, I am keenly aware of the lack of access to specialized care in rural SC and our outreach program will seek to partner with local community leaders and health care professionals to create avenues to increase accessibility to quality cardiac care in the underserved areas.”

Based on the 2020 census, South Carolina has a total population of 5,118,425. Rural Health Information Hub indicates that 728,561 citizens are living in rural South Carolina. That’s 14% of the population having low to no access to specialized cardiac care. With increased availability, cardiac disease can be properly managed and risk of adverse effects reduced – the primary focus of the heart & vascular outreach program.

“Rodney Rhinehart, M.D. has been an engaged, collaborative partner who has built a well-respected reputation with his patients and community in cardiac care,” said Dr. Robert Harrington, Chief Physician Executive, Affiliations Network and MUSC Community. “In his new role, Rodney Rhinehart, M.D. will leverage his vast experience and talents to improve access to specialized, innovative cardiovascular care.”

Rodney Rhinehart, M.D. will continue to provide cardiovascular disease management in the direct patient care setting and is excited for the new partnerships to come with the expansion of heart & vascular outreach.