MUSC Reaches Out to Shriners Hospitals for Children for Its Expertise in Developing Pediatric Burn Unit

Contact: Sheila Champlin

Feb. 7, 2018

CHARLESTON, SC – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) reached out to Shriners Hospitals for Children (Shriners) seeking its burn expertise, and the parties have now entered into a Letter of Intent to facilitate their potential collaboration on proposed expansion of pediatric burn services and development of a pediatric burn unit to be located within the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. Scheduled to open in 2019, the new MUSC children’s hospital will be the most advanced facility of its kind in the area, transforming care for children and families throughout the region. The intent of MUSC to collaborate with Shriners in this way was announced during the Darius Rucker Big Band Concert at the Charleston Gaillard Center Feb. 7. The concert was a fundraiser for the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital.

“The more time we spent with the Shriners leadership team, the more clearly our compatibility of vision and mission came into focus,” said David J. Cole, M.D., MUSC president. “When it comes to marshaling resources to make a positive difference for children in need, the Shriners have an incredible history of impact. As a result, it was natural for MUSC to reach out to Shriners Hospitals for Children to leverage their expertise and experiences in pediatric burn care delivery.” 

“Shriners Hospitals for Children is honored to have the opportunity to help MUSC in establishing pediatric burn care services at its new Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, just as we’ve done with other health care organizations around the world,” said Kenneth G. Craven, Shriners Hospitals for Children.

During the concert, Donald R. Johnson II, M.D., chairman of the MUSC/MUHA Board of Trustees, told the sold out crowd, “Serious burns are terrible at any age, but when they happen to a child, they can be devastating on every level -- physical and emotional. The effects can be both life-threatening and lifelong. This collaboration will allow us to provide these children with a whole new spectrum of skilled, compassionate care -- with highly specialized caregivers and new services not available anywhere else in the region.”

The Shriners currently operate four inpatient pediatric burn care centers in Boston, Massachusetts; Cincinnati, Ohio; Galveston, Texas, and Sacramento, California. While discussions between the parties are in the very early stages, MUSC foresees a future role and further collaboration with Shriners Hospitals for Children, based on Shriners world-renowned reputation for excellence in caring, treatment, and research related to the full range of pediatric burn injuries.

According to Gary J. Bergenske, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Chairman, Board of Directors, “The future potential for developing a close working relationship with MUSC provides an exciting opportunity for Shriners Hospitals for Children to perpetuate our mission and reach by treating more children in need of Shriners’ specialized burn care in locations more readily accessible to those patients and their families.”

“MUSC burn unit clinical staff will also have the opportunity to train on site at a Shriners Hospitals for Children Burn Unit,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., CEO for MUSC Health and vice president for Health Affairs, University. “To establish that level of synergy and ease of operation so early in our relationship reflects the natural alignment of our values and a shared approach to delivering the highest quality care to every patient.”

About Shriners Hospitals for Children

Shriners Hospitals for Children® is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research, and outstanding medical education. Our locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, including tele-health outreach, provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state's only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,200 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy – and trains more than 900 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $300 million in research funds in fiscal year 2023, leading the state overall in research funding. MUSC also leads the state in federal and National Institutes of Health funding. Learn 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 16 hospitals (includes owned or governing interest), with approximately 2,700 beds and four additional hospital locations in development, more than 350 telehealth sites and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2023, for the ninth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health University Medical Center in Charleston the Number 1 hospital in South Carolina. Learn more about our patient services.

MUSC has a total enterprise annual operating budget of $5.9 billion. The nearly 26,000 MUSC family members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver groundbreaking education, research, and patient care.