MUSC Registers Annual Economic Impact of $3.8 Billion in Charleston Metro Area

Contact: Heather Woolwine
Aug 29, 2016

CHARLESTON, SC – Each year, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has an economic impact of $3.8 billion in the Charleston metropolitan area and supports nearly 28,000 jobs, according to a study released today. MUSC attracts more than $250 million annually in research funding, making it the biggest magnet for biomedical, extramural research dollars of all institutions of higher learning in South Carolina.  

The study, conducted by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Business Research (CBR), also found that the 28,000 jobs for which MUSC is responsible generate more than $1.8 billion in income to the Charleston region’s economy. MUSC’s $3.8 billion annual economic impact translates to nearly 12 percent of the metro area’s $33 billion economy. Its total employment impact of nearly 28,000 jobs means 1 out of every 12 jobs in the Charleston region is directly or indirectly attributable to MUSC.

Covering fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015), the study focused on three components of the MUSC enterprise:

  • MUSC Medical Center – a more than 700-bed, four-site inpatient facility that consists of a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute-designated center), Level I Trauma Center, and Institute of Psychiatry.
  • MUSC Physicians – a statewide network of more than 750 primary and specialty health care providers who, together with the Medical Center, treat more than one million patients annually.
  • The Medical University – with its six colleges, Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy, MUSC enrolls about 3,000 students every year, and provides residency training for more than 500 graduate health professionals. Its campus is located on more than 80 acres in the city of Charleston, but the organization is involved in health care initiatives across the state of South Carolina. The university confers degrees at the baccalaureate, masters and doctoral levels, and offers other professional training and certifications. The teaching staff, many of whom also provide clinical care and perform research, is comprised of more than 1,500 full and part-time faculty.

“The MUSC enterprise’s presence sustains economic activity in every business sector in the Charleston Metropolitan Area, which includes Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties,” the study authors noted.

MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, said that as the state’s only academic medical center, MUSC is uniquely situated to directly affect both the health of its citizens and the economic health of the state and region. He also mentioned that the long-term impact of MUSC graduates across the health care sector and South Carolina is essentially priceless.

“Our charge is unlike the mission of any other health care institution in the area because we stand at the crossroads of innovation, health care and higher education,” he said. “This study reaffirms the tremendous, tangible impact our institution has as a major contributor, helping to drive the positive trajectory of our robust Charleston-area economy.”

While President Cole mentioned the gratification that comes with sharing this economic impact data, he was quick to note that there are many elements of what MUSC team members do every day that cannot adequately be measured. A practicing surgical oncologist himself, Cole noted that the vision of MUSC is to lead health innovation for the lives it touches. “As an institution and as individuals, we are committed to a strategy that puts our patients and their families first. Providing compassionate, respectful, family-centered care in a diverse and inclusive environment is at the heart of everything we try to accomplish,” he said.

“We want to change the future for our patients through innovation in scientific discovery and education. Additionally, partnering to build healthy communities is a pivotal element of our long-range plan. Certainly economic standing is one important element used to assess a community’s health, and MUSC is proud to serve as one of Charleston’s central economic engines as we all move forward together.”

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the oldest medical school in the South, as well as the state’s only integrated, academic health sciences center with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and more than 850 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The state’s leader in obtaining biomedical research funds, in fiscal year 2019, MUSC set a new high, bringing in more than $284 million. Find out more about our academic programs.

As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital locations in development, more than 350 telehealth sites and connectivity to patients’ homes, and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2021, for the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. Learn more about clinical patient services.

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $4.4 billion. The nearly 25,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.

About CBR

The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Business Research has served as the center for the compilation, interpretation and distribution of business and economic data for the three-county Charleston Metropolitan Area for more than 25 years. CBR staff for this project included two researchers who together have 50 years of experience in economic and community research, and have conducted hundreds of economic impact analyses in the areas of manufacturing, real estate development, the military, the visitor industry, health care and the transportation sector. For information regarding the methodology of the study, please contact the Center for Business Research, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce at 843-577-2510.