USEDA awards major grant to South Carolina group see more
Summerville, S.C.– SCRA has been awarded approximately $750,000 in federal grant funding by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) as part of the 2018 Regional Innovation Strategies Competition. The grant will fund the creation of the South Carolina Medical Device Alliance to invent and develop products and bring them to market. This partnership, comprised of Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina and industry leaders, will form a regional innovation cluster to grow the economic impact of the medical device industry through job creation and startup formation, as well as to attract international businesses to establish a presence in South Carolina. The project total is $1,814,846, which includes the federal grant funding and matching funds.
“We are honored to be one of forty recipients nationwide,” said Christine Dixon Thiesing, SCRA’s Director of Academic Programs. “This program will serve South Carolina’s academic institutions and clinical innovators to overcome challenges inherent in the commercialization of medical devices. Building the medical device sector will also diversify South Carolina’s economy strategically by leveraging the existing skilled workforce and fostering a broader range of job opportunities for its workers.”
“MUSC’s Foundation for Research Development (FRD) is excited to be partnering with SCRA on this project,” said Michael Rusnak, Executive Director of FRD. “This gives MUSC one more vehicle to advance medical device technologies through our company startup activities; a substantial win for local economic development and more importantly, patients.”
“I am constantly amazed by the creativeness and vision that our students bring to their senior design projects here at Clemson,” said Dr. John DesJardins, Director of Clemson Bioengineering’s Undergraduate Design Program. “Our clinical and industry partnerships in design are essential to this educational process, and we are excited to have the medical devices invented in our senior design program serve as a pipeline in the development and commercialization of innovative biomedical devices.”
The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, leads the Regional Innovation Strategies Program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation.
To learn more about the South Carolina Medical Device Alliance, including the scope of work and key personnel click here.
SCRA is a state-chartered organization that fuels South Carolina’s innovation economy by accelerating technology-enabled growth in research, academia, entrepreneurship and industry.
MUSC Health to build, operate new rural hospital in South Carolina see more
MUSC Health, the clinical enterprise of the Medical University of South Carolina, has signed a letter of intent with Lake City Community Hospital and Williamsburg Regional Hospital that authorizes MUSC to construct, own and operate a new $50 million replacement hospital. The new hospital will be a 25-bed critical access facility, providing care through traditional on-site delivery as well as through virtual visits via the extensive MUSC Telehealth Network.
Critical access hospitals serve small, rural populations and receive cost-based adjusted reimbursements for Medicare services. These cost adjustments help to stabilize rural hospitals, making them less vulnerable to financial issues. The cost-based reimbursements also improve access to much-needed health care, ensuring that essential services are available and sustainable in rural communities.
The new MUSC Health facility will serve the health care needs of the Lower Florence County Hospital District, other areas of Florence, residents of Williamsburg County, as well as neighbors from other adjacent counties. When the new MUSC facility opens, both Lake City Community Hospital and Williamsburg Regional Hospital will transfer all operations for inpatient and outpatient services to the new MUSC hospital.
"Maintaining and expanding access to health care in rural areas across our state is a challenge that my administration is committed to addressing head on," said Gov. Henry McMaster. "With tremendous partners like MUSC, the innovation and creativity that is required to succeed in this endeavor is on full display. We can all be encouraged by what today's news means for the future of health care in Williamsburg and Florence counties, and grateful for what MUSC's commitment to seeing a healthier South Carolina means for our future."
“MUSC is charged with preserving and optimizing the health of the people of our state through education, research and patient care,” said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. “To fulfill our mission, we must be ready to serve patients across the expanse of the Palmetto State, not just in urban areas.”
“Through our many affiliations with community and regional hospitals, and through our extended telehealth network, MUSC Health has established meaningful, life-saving collaborations and outreach across the state,” said MUSC Health CEO Patrick J. Cawley. M.D. “The restoration of a critical access hospital in this rural community and the added connectivity to MUSC specialists and resources will benefit the lives of everyone in the area.”
“We are excited by the Medical University of South Carolina’s continued commitment to rural health care and I am hopeful that this partnership will preserve and improve access to vital primary and critical care services in the region,” said Joshua Baker, director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. “We are proud to support this rural transformation endeavor and continue our commitment to improving the health of all South Carolinians.”
A replacement hospital is desperately needed in Williamsburg County due to the October 2015 thousand-year floods in Kingstree, S.C., the county seat of Williamsburg and location of Williamsburg Regional Hospital. More than three years ago, some 31 inches of rainfall caused massive flooding throughout the area. Torrents of water inside the hospital building, multiplied by standing water and black mold, damaged the Williamsburg Regional Hospital building beyond repair, rendering the structure unsafe and unusable.
Determined not to abandon the citizens of Williamsburg County and the surrounding area, the leadership and providers of Williamsburg Regional Hospital have been operating a temporary hospital to serve patients since April 2016. Modular housing units serve as emergency, exam and other patient care rooms; however, a long-term solution had to be found.
“This collaboration with MUSC opens the door to a new model for rural health care, one that leverages telehealth and advanced practice providers,” said Julie Floyd, chair of the board for Williamsburg Regional Hospital. “This partnership is the right step to take for the state and for our friends and neighbors in the city and region.”
Like many other rural health care facilities, Lake City Community Hospital has also experienced financial challenges. Its leaders are working diligently to balance the uncertainties of the future with the need to expand access to health care for its citizens. For small community hospitals, the threats to long-term viability are all too real due to significant declines in both rural populations and hospital admissions.
“Our hospital has always maintained a focus on delivering the best care available to our patients and families,” said Scotty Campbell, chair of the board for Lake City Community Hospital. “To extend that focus, we must recognize the added value that MUSC Health brings to the equation. Collaborating on a new hospital to serve our friends and neighbors is the most logical, productive and fiscally responsible solution possible.”
The people served by Lake City Community Hospital and Williamsburg Regional Hospital have a history of social, economic and, to some degree, political connections dating from pre-revolutionary war times to present day. The concept of establishing a new hospital facility to serve the patient base of both community hospitals has been discussed periodically since the 1950s when the two community hospitals were being created. Bringing these discussions to fruition appears to be the most appropriate method to meet the needs of both hospitals and their patient base most effectively.
Funding options for the new MUSC Health facility in the Williamsburg and Florence communities are currently being explored. The location for the new hospital has not been finalized; however, several options are under review. Construction of the new hospital is expected to take between 24 and 36 months, thus the opening date is projected as fall 2022.
At this juncture, no decisions have been made about the disposition of either of the old hospital buildings in Kingstree and Lake City. In the coming months, leaders from MUSC, Lake City Community Hospital and Williamsburg Regional Hospital will be involved in the decision-making.
MUSC works diligently to fulfill its mission through prudent financial management, dedicated philanthropic support and strategic business growth. Roughly 60 percent of all MUSC Health patient care revenues are generated from statewide communities outside of the Tri-county area, while the remaining 40 percent of patient care revenues are driven by services delivered within the tri-county market (Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties).
Medtronic partnering with MUSC to improve patient outcomes in healthcare see more
CHARLESTON, S.C., AND DUBLIN – Medtronic plc (NYSE:MDT) and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) today announced a five-year value-based health care partnership intended to transform and improve care for patients in South Carolina. The collaboration will focus on developing solutions that improve the health outcomes and care experiences for patients while also reducing costs.
More than three million South Carolinians have at least one chronic disease such as cardiovascular disease, and the projected total cost of chronic disease between 2016-2030 in South Carolina is $687 billion. The initial focus of the partnership will be on addressing chronic diseases and acute conditions prevalent in South Carolina.
“Together with MUSC, we are committed to fundamentally improving the way patient care is delivered,” said Omar Ishrak, Medtronic chairman and chief executive officer. “Medtronic has a long history of collaboration with health care providers to invent and develop new markets to solve a variety of clinical problems. The partnership with MUSC is an extension of that collaboration, as we look to systematically work together to develop scalable programs aimed at improving patient outcomes while reducing the cost of care.”
Medtronic and MUSC are committed to jointly creating and deploying new programs that will drive better outcomes for patients while reducing costs. For example, the two organizations plan to standardize a comprehensive vascular disease care pathway across the entire continuum of patient care, ultimately implementing a model for the identification, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care of patients with vascular disease who can benefit most from therapy. This evidence-based model is designed to help clinicians identify and treat patients earlier in their disease progression.
The two organizations also plan to implement a standardized care pathway program for joint replacement patients that addresses the bundled payment methodology implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The episodic care pathway intends to establish best practices and streamline processes to improve the quality of care for patients while reducing costs. Similarly, Medtronic and MUSC also plan to standardize care pathways designed to reduce adverse events and optimize care for patients who are at risk for respiratory compromise, or who need a tracheostomy procedure for breathing assistance.
The partnership also creates a unique opportunity for MUSC to build upon existing curriculum to educate future health care professionals about value-based health care.
“This strategic partnership with Medtronic is based on our shared vision and drive to lead the transformation of health care delivery,” said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. “It’s about providing what’s best for our patients. The mutual goal of our organizations is to deliver the best patient outcomes at the lowest cost possible. That’s the true meaning of value-based health care. Through our collaborative partnership, we plan to combat chronic disease and address community health needs in South Carolina and beyond. We look forward to an innovative and productive relationship with Medtronic and will share tangible results of our efforts as our strategic partnership evolves.”
Both MUSC and Medtronic have networks of like-minded partners focused on advancing value-based health care in the United States. This month, Medtronic is celebrating its one-year anniversary of a partnership with Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania, designed to find ways to improve patient care across more than 70 major medical conditions, focusing on value. The partnership progress at Lehigh Valley Health Network is generating blueprints to help implement and scale value-based programs at MUSC.
In August 2018, MUSC announced a strategic partnership with Siemens Healthineers designed to create a blueprint of a transformed health care system that provides safe, equitable, timely, effective, efficient and patient-centered care.
MUSC and Medtronic will explore opportunities to cross-share learnings with their respective partners and collaborate to improve patient outcomes while reducing costs.
About Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and 750 residents in six colleges (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy), and has more than 14,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.6 billion, with an annual economic impact of more than $3.8 billion and annual research funding in excess of $275 million. MUSC operates an 800-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized children’s hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute-designated center), Level I trauma center, Institute of Psychiatry, and the state’s only transplant center. In 2018, for the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the number one hospital in South Carolina. For more information on academic programs or clinical services, visit musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit muschealth.org.
Medtronic plc (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is among the world’s largest medical technology, services and solutions companies – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world. Medtronic employs more than 86,000 people worldwide, serving physicians, hospitals and patients in more than 150 countries. The company is focused on collaborating with stakeholders around the world to take health care Further, Together.
MUSC expands footprint with acquisition of four community hospitals in South Carolina. see more
The Medical University of South Carolina board of trustees voted Monday night to acquire four community hospitals in north-central South Carolina and the Pee Dee.
Community Health Systems, a publicly traded hospital company based in Franklin, Tenn., plans to sell the hospitals, plus their associated physician clinics and outpatient services, to MUSC:
- Chester Regional Medical Center, an 82-bed licensed facility.
- Carolinas Hospital System in Florence, a 396-bed regional, acute-care facility.
- Springs Memorial Hospital in Lancaster, a 225-bed all private-room facility.
- Carolinas Hospital System – Marion in Mullins, a 124-bed acute-care facility providing a variety of inpatient and outpatient services, as well as a 92-bed nursing center.
This is the first time MUSC has agreed to acquire other hospitals. Once the acquisition is complete, MUSC will employ more than 16,400 people throughout the state.
The Medical University of South Carolina's board of trustees voted Monday to acquire four community hospitals in the first quarter, pending approval by the State Fiscal Accountability Authority. (Photo/File)
“The additions will increase the size and scale of the MUSC Health network, and in today’s environment, larger, more efficient health care systems can deliver greater value to patients and have a positive impact on population health,” board Chairman Charles Schulze said in a news release. The MUSC board’s unanimous vote to approve the acquisition came after two hours of discussion in executive session during a special called meeting. Once called to order, the meeting almost immediately went into executive session, which is closed to the public, and the subsequent public vote took less than two minutes.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter, according to a news release from Community Health Systems. MUSC spokeswoman Heather Woolwine said in an email that no dollar figure for the acquisition was available yet. The transaction must still be approved by the State Fiscal Accountability Authority, according to the board’s resolution.
“As the state’s leading academic health center, we must be prepared for the future,” MUSC President Dr. David Cole said in a news release. “MUSC is committed to providing the best health care possible for our communities and state through strategic partnerships and our emerging MUSC Health network.”
MUSC topped its record for annual biomedical research funding with more than $276 million in FY2018 see more
The Medical University of South Carolina has broken its own record as the state’s leader in garnering extramural funding for biomedical research. MUSC set a new high-water mark in FY2018, bringing in more than $276.5 million. The previous MUSC record for annual biomedical research funding was more than $259 million, set in FY2016.
“Being the state’s leader in biomedical research funding year after year is a significant accomplishment, and we applaud the passion and expertise of our dedicated scientists and their teams,” said David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC president. “Even so, reaching another record-breaking number is not an end in itself. The true impact of MUSC research is reflected in how we translate discoveries into new modalities of care and life-changing therapeutics. Research is a dynamic force that fuels how we fulfill our mission to lead health innovation for the lives we touch,” he added.
Kathleen Brady, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for Research, called the accomplishment outstanding, especially during a period when being awarded research grant funding has become more intensely competitive than ever before. No other publicly assisted academic institution in South Carolina consistently garners near $250 million in research funding year after year.
XLerateHealth partners with Clemson, Coastal Carolina, MUSC on regional biomedical technology accelerator hubState universities partner to create hub to accelerate commercialization of biomedical technologies see more
Industry and academic partners across the region on Thursday announced a federal grant that could potentially total $3.5 million over three years to create a hub to accelerate commercialization of biomedical technologies.
The grant, which includes nearly $500,000 in funding the first year, is being awarded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
XLerateHealth, LLC, a Louisville-based healthcare technology accelerator that focuses on startups and commercialization, is the primary awardee on the grant. XLerateHealth joined forces with a consortium of 24 academic institutions led by the University of Kentucky (UK), in partnership with the University of Louisville (UofL) and West Virginia University (WVU). Additional participants include Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, and the Medical University of South Carolina. Read on for full details.
MUSC receives grant for expansion of telehealth program see more
The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) palliative care program has received a $1,278,000 grant from The Duke Endowment to create a statewide, palliative care telehealth program.
Providing end of life and comfort care to those in need, especially for the state’s most vulnerable and rural populations, is the primary aim of the new effort. Program leadership expects not only an improvement to accessibility for this kind of care, but also potential cost savings to individual patients and the system as a whole. Click for full details.
Lita Nelsen named to MUSC Foundation of Research Development Board see more
CHARLESTON, S.C. (May 7, 2018) – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Foundation of Research Development (FRD) has elected Lita Nelsen to its board of directors. An international expert in university technology transfer, Nelsen was elected as an at-large member and began her three-year term April 2018.
“I am honored and excited to be part of the MUSC FRD board as it is embarking on an enhanced effort to bring the results of MUSC research to patients through licensing of patents and new software, collaborative research with industry, and formation of new startup companies based on MUSC research results,” she said. “The benefits will extend far beyond MUSC itself, to patients, to companies, and to economic development of the region.”
Having served as Director of the Technology Licensing Office at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for nearly 30 years, Nelsen brings a wealth of unprecedented technology transfer experience to MUSC. Currently she works as a consultant in licensing, university technology transfer and entrepreneurship in the US, Europe and Asia.
FRD board chair Arlene Morris said, “It is a pleasure to welcome Lita to the MUSC FRD Board. Her vast experience with innovation, licensing and consulting will bring a dimension to MUSC that will be helpful as we transition our science to help patients and healthcare providers improve therapies.”
Amy Salzhauer, managing partner of Charleston-based Good Growth Capital adds, “I had the good fortune of working with Lita when I was starting companies out of MIT; her leadership was an essential part of the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem at MIT for several decades. She is a legend in her field. I am so excited she is bringing her unparalleled expertise and experience to MUSC and to South Carolina.”
Nelsen completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from MIT, as well as earning a master’s degree in management from MIT as a Sloan fellow. Before her position at MIT, she spent 20 years in industry, primarily in the fields of membrane separations, medical devices, and biotechnology.
She is widely published, has lectured in and advised universities in at least 20 countries, and has served on many boards including as president of the Association of University Technology. She was also on the board of Mass Ventures (MTDC) for 20 years, and is currently on the scientific advisory boards of Partners’ Investment Fund and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. The United Kingdom’s government awarded her the honor of “Member of the Order of the British Empire” (MBE) for her work with technology transfer institutions throughout the UK.
“Over the past several years we have recruited some of the best technology transfer, industry, and venture capital talent to the FRD Board. We are grateful to have Ms. Nelsen join us and it exemplifies MUSC’s commitment to the commercialization our technologies, “said Michael Rusnak, MUSC FRD executive director.
About the MUSC Foundation for Research Development
MUSC Foundation for Research Development (FRD) has served as MUSC's technology transfer office since 1998. During that period, FRD has filed patent applications on more than 400 technologies, resulting in over 150 U.S. issued patents. Additionally, FRD has executed more than 150 licenses and spun out more than 50 startup companies. MUSC startups have had products approved by the FDA and acquired by publicly traded corporations while attracting substantial investment dollars into South Carolina. Innovations from MUSC, including medical devices, therapies and software, are positively impacting health care worldwide. Please visit us online at http://frd.musc.edu/
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and 700 residents in six colleges (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy), and has nearly 14,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.4 billion, with an annual economic impact of more than $3.8 billion and annual research funding in excess of $250 million. MUSC operates a 700-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized children's hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute-designated center), Level I trauma center, Institute of Psychiatry, and the state’s only transplant center. In 2017, for the third consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the number one hospital in South Carolina. For more information on academic programs or clinical services, visit musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit muschealth.org.
A Charleston neighborhood is being transforned into a hotbed for life sciences firms see more
A plan from the early 2000s to transform part of Charleston’s Westside neighborhood into a hotbed for life sciences firms, medical device companies and innovative medical research is now in motion.
A large-scale development known as WestEdge is in the works on land bounded by Lockwood Boulevard, Fishburne Street, Hagood Avenue and Spring Street. A few hotels and office buildings, Brittlebank Park, Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park and expansive gravel parking lots dot that part of the Westside today.
Clemson University ranks fourth among America's 50 best value schools for biomedical engineering... see more
Clemson University came in fourth among the nation’s 50 best value schools for biomedical engineering, according to a new ranking from bestvalueschools.com.
The ranking included a variety of factors, including graduation rate, accreditation date, degree popularity, engineering popularity and net price.
Martine LaBerge, SCBIO Board Member and chair of the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson, said the ranking underscores that students are receiving a high-quality education that remains affordable.
“Best Value Schools has done an impeccable job of describing our program,” she said. “The ranking is a result of our faculty’s hard work and dedication to giving our students not only the best-in-class instruction and experience but also great value.”
The website advised students to “get ready to get hands-on at Clemson University.”
“Just about every day at Clemson includes some type of laboratory study, research project, or side-by-side work with faculty,” according to the site.
“Coursework doesn’t spare the details, either; the curriculum goes far beyond the basics to teach students about orthopedic implants, EKG simulations, medical treatment in developing countries, tissue engineering for human organs, and plenty of other topics that will immediately translate into the work environment.
“And students don’t have to wait until graduation to test out their skills. International partnerships enable budding engineers to conduct research in Singapore, work with mentors in Japan, or study bioethics in Spain.”
The department graduated 158 students last year, including 106 undergraduates, 37 master’s students and 15 doctoral students. It has 26 tenured or tenure-track faculty members conducting bioengineering research and clinically embedded education in partnership with the Greenville Health System and the Medical University of South Carolina.
Citing numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the website reported that demand for biomedical engineers will increase by nearly 25 percent by 2024, which it says is much faster than the average occupation. The average salary for specialists in the field is more than $85,000 a year, according to the site.
Clemson came in behind the Georgia Institute of Technology, Rice University, and the University of California-Irvine. The University of Utah rounded out the top five.
Anand Gramopadhye, dean of Clemson’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, congratulated the bioengineering department on the ranking.
“This is a well-deserved honor that underscores the high return on investment our students receive,” he said. “The college will continue to offer access to top faculty, world-class facilities and enriching experiences, while ensuring investment returns remain strong for our students and their families.”
To see the full list of rankings, go to: https://www.bestvalueschools.com/rankings/biomedical-engineering-degrees/.
South Carolina universities are making huge strides in designing better operating rooms for doctors see more
In an effort to design an operating room that increases patient safety and is easier for doctors to use, MUSC has been working with Clemson University on a four-year research project, which began in 2015, to study how doctors maneuver around operating rooms. Now the fruits of their talents and efforts are paying off. Read the full story.
Eight story office and lab building named 22 WestEdge breaks ground in Charleston, SC see more
The third multistory building set to rise in the developing WestEdge community on the Charleston peninsula broke ground Thursday — under a tent because of all the recent rain.
The eight-story office and laboratory structure called 22 WestEdge will sit next to the under-construction, nine-story 10 WestEdge building at Spring Street and Lockwood Drive. That’s where Publix supermarket is set to open on the ground floor in October.
The first floor of the all-glass exterior structure will house 15,750 square feet of retail space while the upper floors will provide 138,500 square feet of office space-targeted firms in the so-called knowledge economy, such as the life sciences industry. About half of the site has already been leased.