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Health Care Hall of Fame

Robert E. Toomey
Inducted in 1993

Robert E. “Bob” Toomey
Inducted in 1993

Toomey went south in 1953. He left his job as administrator for North County Hospitals in upstate New York and went to Greenville, S.C., to become the general director and eventually CEO of Greenville General Hospital.

Recognizing hospitals could offer more cost-effective patient care through a network managed by one organization, Toomey set off to create the Greenville Hospital System, one of the nation’s first regional multihospital systems.

Back in 1993, the then-president of the system said, “It is not an overstatement to say that Bob Toomey’s concept of the hospital system is clearly the precursor of today’s healthcare network.”
In the 1950s, well before the Civil Rights Movement, Toomey desegregated Greenville General Hospital, breaking down racial barriers in the workforce, patient locations, dining rooms and restrooms.

Later, in the 1970s, Toomey would hire staffers who would handle patient complaints, which was a first for hospitals in the era.