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, 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.