MUSC board receives reports on institutional wins, votes to pursue funding for elevated walkway on Charleston campus

CHARLESTON, S.C. (April 11, 2022) – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Medical University Hospital Authority (MUHA) Board of Trustees held their regularly scheduled committee sessions and board meeting on April 7 and 8, respectively, and returned to pre-pandemic meeting operations. 

David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC President, provided board members with a regular report detailing numerous “wins” across the education, research and clinical missions of the institution. Some specific highlights included an update on the growth of the In Our DNA SC community health research program, as well as MUSC’s role as a co-leader in the $3 million, 4-year Stand Up To Cancer grant that established the Southeastern Consortium for Lung Cancer Health Equity of NCI-designated centers (MUSC, Virginia Commonwealth University and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill). The institutions involved have the collective goal of identifying and overcoming barriers to lung cancer screening and developing more precise strategies to identify those at high risk. Lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer in the U.S. and the leading cause of cancer deaths in black and white men and women. The study pairs basic scientists and population and behavioral scientists at each institution to create a study that's highly translational and health disparities focused. 

Cole also highlighted the recent No. 1 national rankings for patient survival associated with the MUSC Burn Center (Vizient - 2021 Q1, Q3 and Q4 quality data, adult and pediatric services combined) and congratulated the team for their recent achievements in quality and innovative burn care for adult and pediatric patients.

“As South Carolina’s only comprehensive burn center and program, we’ve not only seen increased volumes and helped provide this specialized care in state, our teams have also managed to do so while being innovative in what they can offer patients and by consistently receiving high marks for the quality of care they are providing,” Cole said. “Achieving this recognized level of patient care, safety and outcomes is outstanding.” 

The board voted to approve the pursuit of funding for an MUSC campus elevated walkway to physically connect the entire MUSC campus in Charleston and maintain accessibility and operation during disaster response and recovery. 

“This elevated walkway bridge is a critical investment related to flooding and storm resilience for the flagship MUSC campus on the Charleston peninsula,” said James Lemon, D.M.D., MUSC Board of Trustees chairman. “It’s certainly no secret that the area is prone to flooding during storms, heavy rains and sometimes, normal high tide events. We want to partner with federal and state authorities to fund the protection of the state’s only comprehensive academic medical center so that patients, care team members, and supplies can move freely from building to building during storm and flood events. A storm may rage outside, but our people have to be able to provide the high-quality care and emergency response that South Carolinians depend on.” 

The project aims to construct an elevated connector bridge adjacent to Doughty Street from the second floor of the Ashley River Tower over Courtenay Drive to the second floor of the Bioengineering Building. Connections from this Doughty Street bridge will also be made at the second floors of the Thurmond Gazes Building and the Institute of Psychiatry building. A separate connector bridge would be constructed from the second floor of the College of Nursing Building to the second floor of the Clinical Sciences Building. Once completed, all major campus buildings would be connected at the second-floor level. 

The board also voted to approve renovation of the existing ground floor of the College of Nursing (CON) building on Jonathan Lucas Street. The ground floor renovation will consist of approximately 11,000 square feet and will include a new accessible lobby from Jonathan Lucas at the ground level, as well as an interior staircase for access to the 2nd floor. The university-wide simulation center has occupied the first floor of the CON building since approximately 2017; upon completion of the new MUSC Simulation Center at the Colbert Library this summer, this space will be returned to the CON. The primary goal of the renovation is to increase student learning space to manage current enrollment, as well as increase student enrollment in academic programs, particularly the on-campus ABSN program.

In other business, the 16-member MUSC/MUHA board also voted to approve the following items:

  • A lease amendment for 61,645 square feet of clinical and office space located at 2001 Laurel Street, Columbia. The purpose of this amendment is to extend the lease term for an additional six months for MUSC Health Heart and Vascular. 
  • Renewal of the lease for 2,316 square feet of office space located at 52 Courtenay Drive, Charleston. The purpose of this lease is to continue to provide office space for Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences.  
  • This lease renewal is for 9,000 square feet of space located at 1001-B Michigan Avenue, Charleston. The purpose of this lease is to continue to provide space for MUSC Children’s Day Treatment Program.
  • This lease renewal is for 7,962 square feet of office space located at 20 Ehrhardt Street, Charleston. The purpose of this lease is to continue to provide temporary office and swing space for assignment by the MUSC Executive Vice President of Finance & Operations.
  • This lease renewal is for 75,018 square feet of office and warehouse space located at 4295 Arco Lane, North Charleston. The purpose of this lease is to continue to provide space for MUSC Business Services which includes the University Records Center, Warehouse Operations, University Press and University Surplus.

The MUSC/MUHA Board of Trustees serves as separate bodies to govern the university and hospital, normally holding two days of committee and board meetings six times a year. For more information about the MUSC Board of Trustees, visit its web page.


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 3,000 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy – and trains more than 850 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $327.6 million in research funds in fiscal year 2021, leading the state overall in research funding. MUSC also leads the state in federal and National Institutes of Health funding, with more than $220 million. For information on academic programs, visit

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 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital locations in development; more than 350 telehealth sites, with connectivity to patients’ homes; and nearly 750 care locations situated in all 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

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets totaling $4.4 billion. The nearly 25,000 MUSC team members include a world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver and support groundbreaking education, research and patient care.