SCBIO honors MUSC with Life Sciences Pinnacle Award

March 02, 2022
MUSC President David Cole, far left, speaks at the SCBIO Conference at Charleston's Gaillard Center
MUSC President Dr. David Cole, far left, speaks at the SCBIO Conference at the Gaillard Center. Photos provided by SCBIO

SCBIO, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting and expanding South Carolina’s booming life sciences industry, has honored the Medical University of South Carolina with its Life Sciences Pinnacle Award for Organizational Contribution. It cited MUSC’s leadership in research, patient care and innovation during the pandemic and beyond as a key factor.

“My initial reaction was one of extreme gratitude. I was happy that we were recognized, but I was even happier for our entire team, because that's who really deserves this award,” said Patrick Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and vice president for health affairs at MUSC.

MUSC President David Cole, M.D., called it "a tribute to the MUSC family."

“MUSC has 25,000 talented and dedicated faculty, educators, researchers, students, clinicians and staff who work daily to make a difference, a positive impact, on individuals’ lives,” Cole said.

The award was announced at SCBIO’s annual conference in Charleston. The organization said the event drew more than 500 life sciences leaders. SCBIO is the South Carolina chapter of the national Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

The life sciences industry is booming in South Carolina. Its financial impact has more than doubled in less than five years, and its core employment has surged more than 40%.

David Cole, Pat Cawley, James Chappell, Caroline Brown and Jessie Goodwin on stage at SCBIO. 
From left, MUSC President Dr. David Cole, MUSC Health CEO Dr. Patrick Cawley, SCBIO CEO and President Dr. James Chappell, MUSC chief external affairs officer Caroline Brown and MUSC chief innovation officer Jesse Goodwin gather to celebrate the award.

SCBIO defines the life sciences industry as “encompassing firms in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, biomedical devices, life systems technologies, food processing and any organization that is actively engaged in the various stages of research, manufacturing and distribution of products within these fields.”

MUSC, one of the largest public sector employers in South Carolina, hits a lot of those marks. Thornton Kirby, president and CEO of the South Carolina Hospital Association, called the MUSC Health University Medical Center an anchor in Charleston.

“They take care of people in Charleston, and now in some other communities in the state, but they are also more than that. They're a thought leader. They are one of the institutions that teaches our future health care professionals, and they stand up to meet the biggest challenges when those come down the line.”

Cawley said there have been plenty of challenges during the pandemic. “We've learned that communication and more communication and even more communication is the key to making sure that our entire team is always moving forward. We've also learned to be nimble, even more nimble. I thought we were pretty good before, but the pandemic has taught us to do things even faster and get things out to the public as soon as possible.”

Cole said MUSC needs to continue to innovate to transform health care delivery, education and research. “It is imperative that we define new paths, new thinking and new approaches that enable us to make substantive impact.”

Get the Latest MUSC News

Get more stories about what's happening at MUSC, delivered straight to your inbox.