The historic facade of Roper Hospital, c. 1950 | Credit: Flickr user hdescopeland

Roper St. Francis Healthcare, which runs one of the three hospitals in downtown Charleston’s medical district, announced plans Wednesday to move its flagship hospital off the peninsula, citing the threat of continued flooding, earthquakes and other natural disasters.

The company’s long-term Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH) 2030 plan, announced Wednesday, focuses on “moving Roper Hospital from the Charleston peninsula so patients can more easily access care closer to where they live and work,” according to a press release.

A location for the new hospital will be announced “in the coming weeks,” according to the release.

“Whether you live in downtown Charleston or the farthest reaches of Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston counties, Roper St. Francis Healthcare will be a short drive away to serve your health care needs,” said Dr. Jeffrey DiLisi, RSFH president and CEO.

Roper Hospital is a 332-bed facility that opened in its current Calhoun Street location around 1950. RSFH operates four other hospitals in the Charleston area.

Roper’s move comes as Charleston leaders, along with the federal government, scramble to address the long-term impacts of climate change on the peninsula, where water levels are rising and sunny-day flooding is a common occurrence. City-contracted consultants evaluated the medical district as its own distinct challenge in compiling the exhausting Dutch Dialogs report that charts recommendations on how to live with water as one of the impacts of the changing climate.

But while Roper may be eyeing plans elsewhere, the Medical University of South Carolina, which has the largest footprint in the medical district, continues its expansion downtown and last year opened its new children’s hospital tower.