Trustees Welcome Major Gift to New Children's Hospital, Discuss Institutional Progress

Contact: Heather Woolwine

Oct. 13, 2017

CHARLESTON, SC – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Medical University Hospital Authority (MUHA) Board of Trustees held their regular scheduled meeting, receiving reports that included a large donation to the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion, which are now under construction. The board also heard positive reports on recent major grants and strong overall financial performance. 

MUSC Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs Jim Fisher reported that Charleston businesswoman Anita Zucker and her family have made a $5 million contribution to help build the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. The Zuckers’ gift was announced during the MUSC Board of Trustees committee meetings Oct. 12. The Zuckers’ gift will support the child life atrium in the new hospital, a 3,200-square-foot indoor play area where children and their families can relax, paint, read, and play games away from the sometimes stressful environment associated with patient care. The space will be named the Jerry and Anita Zucker Family Atrium.

“The Zucker family’s philanthropy is guided by a Hebrew concept called ‘tikkun olam,’ which means ‘repair of the world,’” said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. “I cannot think of a better example of that principle than an investment in a place devoted to the healing of children. This is such a meaningful and impactful gift, and we’re so grateful for the Zuckers’ belief and confidence in our mission.” The Zucker family’s gift brings the total amount of money raised for the new children’s hospital to approximately $116 million, or 93 percent of MUSC’s $125 million fundraising goal. The approximately $385 million project is on budget and on time to open in fall 2019.

Kathleen Brady, M.D., Ph.D., MUSC vice president for research, discussed research funding for fiscal year 2017, providing updates on grants and awards obtained by each of the six colleges. While more than 80 percent of MUSC’s research funding resides in the College of Medicine, she was pleased to point out the great strides made by the College of Health Professions. “Our College of Health Professions has moved up in ranking to 4th in the nation out of 66 such colleges for research funding, which is an incredible and wonderful achievement,” she said. “The work happening in that college is exciting, and our faculty there have done a tremendous job in finding new ways to serve the research mission at MUSC.”

Brady also noted three recent awards to the institution that denote MUSC’s research prowess, namely:

  • An $18 million grant will help the MUSC National Crime Victims Center create a resource facility for those affected by mass violence. 
  • A $600,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The award marks MUSC as one of only two national Telehealth Centers of Excellence in the United States.
  • A National Cancer Institute grant for $6.5 million awarded to Marvella Ford, Ph.D., SmartState endowed chair and professor of Public Health Sciences. Since her recruitment to MUSC in 2005, Ford has been awarded more than $27.5 million in extramural grants as principal or co-investigator for her work in health disparities and health disparity prevention. 

Trustees also received information on MUSC and MUHA’s financial performance to date, with steady and improving margins for both the university and the health system, increased number of days of operating cash, and continued paying down of state and other debts. 

The MUSC/MUHA Board of Trustees serves as separate bodies to govern the university and hospital, holding two days of committee and board meetings six times a year.