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FLORENCE, S.C. — A long-time Florence doctor, Dr. William H. Hester, is an assistant dean of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and is tasked to run the  Florence campus of the school.

Dr. Hester is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Hester and grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. G.W. Hester, all of Clarkton.

The School of Medicine says  that Dr. William H. Hester  serves as the assistant dean for medical student education in Florence. Hester said the appointment is an honor, and running this  campus  — a partnership between USC’s medical school, Francis Marion University, Carolinas Hospital System and McLeod Regional Medical Center is a great challenge.

“It’s an awesome responsibility to do something new,” Hester said. “We’ve been educating medical students here for some time; this is a whole different category. It is a more formal structure to take the place of what Greenville Hospital used to offer. Because they are a four-year school now they do not have the room for the third and fourth year students that they used to take so we will take them.”

Hester earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina and served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam as a battalion surgeon. He worked as a family practitioner in Timmonsville for 12 years before he was named the program director for the Family Medicine Residency Program at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence in 1979. A diplomat of the American Board of Family Medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Hester has served as president of both the South Carolina Academy of Family Physicians and the South Carolina Medical Association.

In a release, Dr. R. Caughman Taylor, interim dean of the USC School of Medicine, commended Hester for his many contributions to the health care community of the Pee Dee region, and at McLeod for the past three decades.

“During his tenure, nearly 200 graduates have benefitted from his mentorship and leadership in the family medicine residency program,” he stated. “He is an outstanding physician, teacher, and administrator, and we are pleased to welcome him to the faculty and have him lead the School of Medicine’s effort to furnish educational training sites in Florence.”

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