MUSC Trustees Move Forward With New Children's Hospital

Contact: Heather Woolwine

Feb. 12, 2016

CHARLESTON, SC – The MUSC Board of Trustees held its regular, scheduled meetings Feb. 11-12. The board voted to provide final approval to pursue the HUD loan needed to build the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and women’s pavilion and received updates regarding the development of this new facility.

Its timeline for completion in 2019 remains on track, with a groundbreaking ceremony anticipated in August 2016. To date, MUSC has raised more than $81 million toward a $125 million philanthropy goal to help build the projected $385 million hospital. Board members were also updated on the current Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness. Fifty-nine percent of all contracted dollars to date have been awarded to minority vendors and spent on the demolition of the former McClennan-Banks medical facility to make way for the new hospital. These dollars went to women and small, minority-owned business enterprises, representing $1.04 million out of $2 million in awarded contracts.

The board also voted to move forward with the Charleston Sustainable Energy District, a collaboration across multiple institutions on the peninsula and the City of Charleston that is focused on finding economies and efficiencies of scale to reduce costs and avoid duplication where possible. The district is projected to promote economic development, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and will be funded without a debt increase for the member institutions or adversely affecting credit ratings.

Board Hears From Community Members on Grievance Policies

As part of the regular board agenda, the trustees heard a presentation from two community representatives who are also members of the MUSC President’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion: Leonard Riley Jr., and Pastor Thomas Dixon. Anton J. Gunn, MUHA chief diversity officer, also participated, having been selected by the council to address the board.

The two community members’ presented suggestions concerning MUSC employee grievance policies. Both community presenters commented on MUSC’s ongoing commitment to treat employees in a fair and equitable manner. Legislators in attendance applauded the open dialogue and noted MUSC’s tremendous commitment to patient care throughout the state.

President David J. Cole, M.D., said, ”The advisory council is voluntary, and so there are a lot of people who are very busy committing their time and efforts to move the ball forward and help us all be better. I want to acknowledge that and say thank you.

“This discussion will continue to be a standing agenda item for every board of trustees meeting. So it’s an opportunity for community leadership, through the D&I council, to bring concerns, report and discuss, as we move forward, anything that we need to do to improve ourselves. This is a very directed, specific effort and change that the board has made.”/p>

Reflecting on the grievance policy discussion and suggestions, Cole noted, “One thing that’s been alluded to, we have, at the university level, statutes from the state of South Carolina that provide a framework for the grievance process. We have to work within that [legislative] framework.” He also explained that the hospital authority’s grievance process was created “to be substantially similar to the state regulations.

“Our purpose would be to come back with specific recommended action items to report to the board at their next meeting.”

Cole also observed that the day’s discussions highlighted two of the five strategic pillars of the university: embrace diversity and inclusion and build healthy communities.

“We’re committed to this [embrace diversity and inclusion] and I cannot say that strongly enough.” He then referred to a diversity and inclusion fact sheet that MUSC had shared with everyone attending the Friday morning board meeting. “It’s a snapshot to help people understand where we are and some of the progress we are making, because we are committed to making real change. That’s an ongoing process.”

View the D&I fact sheet

Cole said the commitment to build healthy communities is “not merely about providing the best health care possible. Moving into the future, we have to have partnerships in the community that are meaningful…with dialogue that helps us move not only MUSC but the community forward, because our mission is intertwined with the community by definition.”

MUSC Board of Trustees Chairman Don Johnson, M.D., echoed Cole’s sentiments, saying, “There’s a mechanism in place for people to communicate with the board, and it’s been in place for quite a long time now. This board is hearing you, is listening to you. We appreciate you coming and want to see you back sometime soon.”

Presentations and information

Some additional meeting presentation highlights from MUSC faculty and staff include:

  • MUSC operates the only comprehensive palliative care program in the state
  • MUSC Health remains a leader in transparency and reporting for CMS (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services) and the Joint Commission
  • Research funding is up from $120 million last year to $135 million this year, a tribute to the growing diversity in funding mechanisms
  • A large, multimillion dollar COBRE research grant in stroke recovery has quadrupled the amount of research around stroke recovery and is being conducted in an unprecedented, integrated way

About MUSC

Founded in 1824, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) continues the tradition of excellence in education, research and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges and has more than 17,000 employees. As the state’s only integrated academic health sciences center and largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $3.2 billion, with an annual economic impact of nearly $4 billion and annual research funding in excess of $284 million.

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians’ practice plan, and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina.