Barbara Righter is part of a small group of employees who have worked continuously
for Trident Health since the organization began 40 years ago.
From the top floor of Trident Medical Center (TMC), Barbara Righter considers
the past 40 years since the hospital opened.
“We evolved from a very small, little hospital to a major medical
center,” says Righter, who recalls when they added the hospital’s
sixth and seventh floors.
Righter’s career also evolved from the early days, when she worked
evenings and nights as a medical and surgical “float nurse”
at the new hospital, to her long-held position as hospital coordinator
for Wound, Ostomy and Continence (WOC) services.
She is one of a small group of employees who have worked continuously for
Trident Health since 1975, when the organization was born with the July
launch of what was then called North Trident Regional Hospital.
In addition to Righter, veterans include Bonnie Johnson, Melody Patrick
Pinckney, Linda Stone and Julia Wilson. All were recognized for reaching
the 40-year milestone at Trident Health’s annual service awards
banquet this spring, though the organization truly celebrates its birthday
A lifelong resident of St. George, Pinckney recalls joining Trident that
first summer as a respiratory therapist at the new hospital. “Everybody
was impressed with it,” she says. But when Trident opened a small
diagnostic center in St. George a few years later, she welcomed the opportunity
to split her shifts between the hospital and the diagnostic center, where
she handled registration and lab services until it closed in the 2000s.
Now she works full time in registration at Moncks Corner Medical Center,
though she plans to retire in September. “I have a whole Trident
scrapbook that I’ve been working on for all those years.”
Trident Health has expanded into Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties
in a variety of ways with some efforts taking stronger hold than others.
At the forefront now are TMC, Summerville Medical Center, Moncks Corner
Medical Center and Centre Pointe Emergency by the North Charleston Coliseum.
Righter’s base remained at the original hospital’s campus,
where she saw the expansion of technology and services as the nature of
health care became increasingly complex. During that time, she completed
her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing as well as
WOCS certification at Emory University. “Trident Health has been
very good to me. They sent me back to school and paid for my education.”
While she is now based on TMC’s seventh floor, her specialty, sometimes
referred to simply as wound care though it involves more, takes her throughout
the hospital as she consults on a variety of patient cases. As a result,
she knows most of the nurses, who are “truly experts at what they
do,” and she is encouraged to see their growing empowerment through
shared governance. “Of all the things that have changed, that's
probably one of the biggest.”