MUSC Trustees Hear of Progress in Diversity & Inclusion, Philanthropy, & Research

Contact: Sheila Champlin

Feb. 9, 2018

CHARLESTON, SC – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Medical University Hospital Authority (MUHA) Board of Trustees held their regular scheduled meeting, focusing on progress reports for the academic, research, and patient care areas of the enterprise. With a fiscal year that runs parallel with the state (July 1 through June 30), MUSC is more than halfway through fiscal year 2018.

“As we enter the second half of the fiscal year, we are making positive strides across the enterprise as reflected by our recent activity in the areas of diversity, fundraising, and research activities,” said David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, president of MUSC.

In the Diversity and Inclusion report, provided by Willette Burnham-Williams, Ph.D., chief diversity officer, university, the board heard about the recent ranking for MUSC as No. 53 out of 250 organizations on the Forbes 2018 first-ever roster of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. In addition, MUSC ranked No. 6 out of 20 institutions in the education industry.

“What’s wonderful about this award is that this is not one we applied for,” Burnham-Williams said. “Forbes did their own investigation to identify appropriate recipients and we are proud to be among those who Forbes selected. This important recognition is perfectly aligned with and true to our commitment to the Imagine MUSC 2020 goal to embrace diversity and inclusion.” To read about the methodology used to create the Forbes 2018 list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity, see the news release at Forbes Diversity.

Additionally, MUSC Health was recently named best new program of the Carolinas by Virginia Supplier Diversity Council. “This speaks to the work that we continue to do to identify minorities, women and small businesses as vendors that are a part of the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion construction project,” Burnham-Williams said.

In other initiatives, she noted that for the second consecutive year, MUSC is the health and wellness sponsor for Black Expo, which draws some 5,000 participants each spring. MUSC is launching a veterans resource group to identify and support veterans who are part of the student body. Plus, for the first time, the MUSC Student Government Association has elected a vice president for diversity and inclusion.

“We continue to be proud of an organization that is committed to making meaningful cultural change,” she said. “These achievements demonstrate we are becoming a national model for what living diversity and inclusion looks like in academic higher education institutions.”

Reporting on philanthropy, Jim Fisher, vice president for Development and Alumni Affairs, told the board that from July 1 through mid-January, fund-raising initiatives have garnered $37.7 million in new gifts and pledges. Additionally, MUSC has received some $18 million in verbal commitments that are expected to be fulfilled prior to the end of the fiscal year. A good deal of the philanthropy is being directed to support the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital. Scheduled to open in 2019, the more than $385 million pediatric facility will be the most advanced of its kind in the area, transforming care for children and families throughout the region.

Kathleen Brady, Ph.D., vice president for Research, advised that research numbers were also “looking very good” for the year to date, comparing the data to the previous fiscal years at the same half-year mark. “We are about $12 million ahead in NIH funding compared to where we were at this same time in fiscal 2017, and we’re up in the non-NIH funding as well, including corporate and private funding,” she reported. MUSC receives more funds for scientific discovery than any other higher education institution in the state, setting a record in fiscal year 2016 by bringing in more than $260 million.

The board also recognized octogenarian Paul B. Underwood, Jr., M.D., an MUSC alumnus (’59) and longtime faculty member (’99), for his five decades of contributions to the organization as a professor, administrator, and clinician in the College of Medicine. MUSC/MUHA Board Chairman Donald R. Johnson II, M.D., read a resolution that, in part, said: “Whereas he is renowned worldwide, a founding member and former president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, an international organization, and a leader in several national, regional, and local organizations as well; whereas Dr. Underwood has devoted his entire career to academic medicine, not only providing his patients with compassion and the ultimate degree of care, but also training generations of physicians to follow in his footsteps, establishing a legacy that will impact health care far into the future; …therefore, let it be resolved by unanimous vote that the Board of Trustees of the Medical University of South Carolina commends Paul B. Underwood, Jr., M.D., for his service to this institution and the citizens of South Carolina for his countless contributions to the healing arts, for his vision in that he has enriched the lives of citizens of South Carolina and beyond.”

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.

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.