Fetter Health Care, MUSC Health moving forward with plans to improve access to care, help reduce health disparities

Organizations sign affiliation agreement, establish framework for greater impact

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Oct. 7, 2021)MUSC Healthand Fetter Health Care Network, a federally qualified health care center that serves Charleston, Berkeley, Colleton, and Dorchester Counties, have announced an affiliation to improve access to care for patients, help eliminate health disparities, and improve the community’s health.

The affiliation will include opportunities for care coordination when Fetter patients need MUSC specialty or hospital-based services as well as other community initiatives to increase access to high-quality health care for all residents. Fetter is one of MUSC Health’s initial affiliates in a statewide strategy to increase access to care for rural and underserved communities through new agreements with FQHCs located in those communities. The two organizations recently collaborated on a joint COVID-19 vaccination event at the Ladson Fairgrounds, where interested patients were also able to sign up for the federal health insurance exchange to secure coverage for their future health needs.

"We are honored to partner with MUSC and combine our efforts to serve the community," said Aretha R. Polite-Powers, DHA, CEO of Fetter Health Care Network. "Fetter is pleased to join forces and we look forward to making an even more positive impact on the lives of individuals throughout the Lowcountry."  

MUSC Health and Fetter’s agreement will inform the strategy for moving forward on a number of initiatives that will improve access to health care for underserved populations in the Charleston area, with a focus on evidence-driven strategies that lead to sustained and positive impact.

“As part of our local and statewide mission, we are committed to timely and effective solutions that improve health care access for underserved communities,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health system CEO and Vice President of Health Affairs, University. “This framework is critical to moving forward on a number of initiatives that will improve access to health care for underserved populations in the Charleston area. By working together, we can have much greater impact on the complex and interwoven issues that lead to access issues and care disparities. Fetter is a trusted resource in the local community and we look forward to working more closely with them. ”


About Fetter Health Care Network

Fetter Health Care Network is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) chartered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the State of South Carolina in 1975. Fetter provides comprehensive services for insured, uninsured and underserved residents in Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Dorchester Counties. Today, Fetter Health Care Network has 27 different sites which include a mobile dental unit, medical laboratories and pharmacies.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is home to the oldest medical school in the South as well as the state’s only integrated academic health sciences center, with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. MUSC brought in more than $271 million in biomedical research funds in fiscal year 2020, continuing to lead the state in obtaining National Institutes of Health funding, with more than $129.9 million. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality and safe patient care while training generations of compassionate, competent health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Close to 25,000 care team members provide care for patients at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and 5 additional hospital locations in development, more than 300 telehealth sites and nearly 750 care locations situated in the Lowcountry, Midlands, Pee Dee and Upstate regions of South Carolina. In 2021, for the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $4.4 billion. The more than 25,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.