CoEE Program Attracts Leading Experts in Healthcare Quality to South Carolina

December 2, 2007

COLUMBIA, SC – November 30, 2007 – The board that oversees the state’s Center of Economic Excellence (CoEE) Program announces the appointment of two world-class scientists to lead a state research center devoted to improving healthcare quality.

Dr. Jay Moskowitz and Dr. Iain Sanderson will lead the Center of Economic Excellence in Healthcare Quality, a joint effort among USC, MUSC, and Clemson, along with partner Health Sciences South Carolina. This collaborative Center works to link the state’s research universities and health systems and to improve the safety, effectiveness, and affordability of healthcare in South Carolina through applied medical research and state of the art information technology.

The CoEE Program grants awards to the state’s three research universities (Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina) to create Centers of Economic Excellence (CoEEs), along with associated endowed professorships, in technology-based fields that are likely to enhance the state’s economy. Each award must be matched dollar-for-dollar with funds from private, federal, or municipal sources.

Moskowitz, who holds a doctorate in biomedical science, will serve as the CoEE Chair in Clinical and Translational Research. Sanderson, who is a medical doctor and holds an advanced degree in the Foundations of Advanced Information Technology, will serve as the CoEE Chair in Medical Informatics. Moskowitz and Sanderson also hold positions with Health Sciences South Carolina, as president and chief medical informatics officer, respectively.

One objective for the research to be performed at the Healthcare Quality CoEE is to make healthcare research and delivery in South Carolina more efficient—for example, creating a statewide data portal for sharing clinical trial research information among the various state healthcare systems, and through researchers across the statewide use of electronic medical records.

“If you’re traveling on Interstate 26 and you have an illness or accident far from where you live, the treating physicians will be able to access your medical record and instantly know your medical history,” says Moskowitz. “The concept is unique and is something that will really raise the bar of health quality and safety in this state.”

Moskowitz notes that the Healthcare Quality CoEE should have a positive effect not only on the health of South Carolinians, but on the health of the state economy, especially when it comes to recruiting large companies.

“What large companies look at are superb school systems and healthcare systems,” says Moskowitz. “A quality healthcare system will mean more businesses and people coming to South Carolina.”

Moskowitz applauds the leadership of South Carolina’s universities and health systems for their innovative and collaborative approach to developing a more advanced healthcare model. He adds that he is excited to contribute to creating new methods that could serve as healthcare quality examples for other regions.

“As a former director of NIH [the National Institutes of Health], I visited probably 124 of the 125 academic health centers. I had never been to a state that had a creative idea to look at an entire state and say, ‘We can improve the healthcare system. We can improve the healthcare. And we can grow economically,’” Moskowitz says. “It is really a privilege to take this position.”

In addition to his CoEE Endowed Chair position at the USC Arnold School of Public Health, Moskowitz will also have a faculty appointment with the Medical University of South Carolina.

Moskowitz was most recently associate vice president for health sciences research at Penn State University, vice dean for research and graduate studies at Penn State College of Medicine, and chief scientific officer at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He previously served as senior associate dean for science and technology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, where he played an instrumental role in the development of Wake Forest’s Downtown Research Park. Before that, he was the founding director of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and was a deputy director for Science Policy and Technology Transfer at the National Institutes of Health.

Sanderson will have appointments at USC and Clemson in addition to his CoEE Endowed Chair position at MUSC.

“The CoEE program and the HSSC collaboration reveal that South Carolina as a state is very interested in healthcare quality for its citizens,” Sanderson says. I am pleased to be able to play a role in enhancing the information technology infrastructure in South Carolina.”

Sanderson served in the department of anesthesiology for nearly 15 years at Duke University, where he was associate chief information officer (perioperative systems) for the Duke University Health System. He was responsible for clinical information systems in the perioperative areas of all the Duke affiliated hospitals, including Duke University Hospital, Durham Regional Hospital, the Davis Ambulatory Surgery Clinic, and Duke Health Raleigh Hospital.

Sanderson is the developer of a software portal, ORview, which is used over two million times a year by staff throughout the Duke hospitals as the main means of processing operating room schedules, anesthesia records, preoperative medical visits, post operative visits, and pharmacy charges. ORview won the ComputerWorld Honor Program’s 21st Century Achievement Award for Medicine in 2006.

About the CoEE Program

The S.C. Centers of Economic Excellence Program was established by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2002, with $200 million appropriated from the South Carolina Education Lottery Account to fund the program through 2010. The legislation authorizes the state’s three public research institutions, MUSC, Clemson and USC, to use state funds to create Centers of Economic Excellence in research areas that will advance South Carolina’s economy. Each Center of Economic Excellence is awarded from $2 million to $5 million in state funds, which must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis with non-state funds. The program also supports CoEE endowed chairs, world-renowned scientists who lead the Centers of Economic Excellence. By investing in talent and technology, the CoEE Program is designed to fuel the state’s knowledge economy, resulting in high-paying jobs and an improved standard of living in South Carolina.

For more information on the CoEE Program, visit


About Health Sciences South Carolina

Health Sciences South Carolina includes Clemson University, MUSC, USC, the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center, Palmetto Health, and Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. The collaborative effort was established in 2004 to conduct joint health sciences research to improve the health, education, workforce development, and economic wellbeing for all South Carolinians.

For more information, visit