South Carolina Legislature Supports Establishment of New Adult Burn Center at MUSC

Contact: Sheila Champlin

Feb. 23, 2017

CHARLESTON, SC – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has received financial support from the South Carolina House Ways and Means Committee to establish a new adult burn center. Legislators voted to provide a recurring $5 million annually to ensure that South Carolina adults who suffer from burns can remain in state to receive high-quality, specialized care.

As the state’s only pediatric burn referral center, the MUSC Children’s Health burn specialists already care for hundreds of children every year from across the state in hospital, emergency department and outpatient locations. The MUSC pediatric team treats all burns, ranging from minor to severe. Funding from the legislature will allow MUSC to build out an adult burn center adjacent to its current pediatric burn unit. The state legislature is expected to finalize the fiscal year 2018 state budget in May. The FY2018 budget begins July 1.

Previously, MUSC had operated an adult burn center for more than 30 years, suspending operations effective June 10, 2002. Founded by Dabney R. Yarbrough, III, M.D., and Max S. Rittenbury, M.D., the prior adult burn center provided comprehensive multidisciplinary care for burn victims.

“Every year, roughly 1,000 South Carolina residents experience the trauma of burns of all types,” said David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC president. “We are proud of the long history MUSC has for providing the best care possible to burn victims throughout South Carolina. When we open this new burn center, it will be the only one of its kind in South Carolina serving adult burn victims from across the state.”

“The professionals who provide care to burn patients are some of the most dedicated men and women in our organization,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., CEO of MUSC Health and vice president for Health Affairs, University. “Funds designated by the state legislature will provide the underpinnings to expand our physical facilities and acquire the human resources needed to serve our adult population. We welcome the opportunity to re-launch this much-needed service for the citizens of our state.”

Once the new adult burn center opens, MUSC will be the only health care institution in South Carolina with both a pediatric and an adult burn center, each serving citizens statewide. According to data from the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs inpatient data set, of the approximately 1,000 South Carolina burn victims cared for in an inpatient setting each year, an average 76 percent are adults and 24 percent are pediatric.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and 700 residents in six colleges (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy), and has nearly 14,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.4 billion, with an annual economic impact of more than $3.8 billion and annual research funding in excess of $250 million. MUSC operates a 700-bed medical center, which includes 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, Institute of Psychiatry, and the state’s only transplant center. In 2017, for the third consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the number one hospital in South Carolina. For more information on academic programs or clinical services, visit For more information on hospital patient services, visit