Governor McMaster, elected officials, MUSC leaders, patients, families and donors celebrate innovation, teamwork and community support
The MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion will open to patients and families in October. In celebration of this upcoming occasion, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster; deputy assistant secretary of the Federal Housing Administration’s Office of Healthcare Programs Roger Lukoff; Mother Emanuel AME Church senior pastor, the Rev. Eric Manning; and major benefactor Shawn Jenkins, founder and former CEO of BenefitFocus, joined MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS; MUSC Health CEO Patrick J. Cawley, M.D.; MUSC Board of Trustees Chairman Charles Schulze, MUSC Children’s Health and Women’s Health chief medical officer Mark Scheurer, M.D.; and patient and family representative Kelly Loyd in offering remarks to more than 900 elected officials, MUSC leaders, donors and community and business partners.
Event speakers emphasized that the new hospital is a reality because of the determination and commitment of the statewide community, from gubernatorial and legislative support and donors large and small to the unprecedented level of collaboration and integration of new ideas among care providers, construction and design teams, patients and their families. Scheurer opened the program with a reminder of the site’s prior history as the location of Charleston’s first African American hospital. He said that in the spirit of innovation, progress and reverence, it was important to carry that inclusive spirit forward in the fabric of the new building.
In 2014, MUSC launched a fundraising campaign to raise $50 million for the new hospital. The following year, Jenkins provided a $25 million commitment to the effort, inspiring the MUSC Board of Trustees to name the children’s hospital in his honor, recognizing his and his family’s significant commitment to children’s health.
The campaign continues to draw broad-based support from across the state today, in the form of individual donations, corporate gifts, special events and even neighborhood lemonade stands. To date, the campaign has raised more than $146 million, more than any other single project in MUSC’s history. “The public’s support for this project has been amazing,” said Cole.
The MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion will offer inpatient pediatric specialty services, labor and delivery care as well as an advanced maternal fetal medicine center. Located prominently within the medical district on the Charleston peninsula, the new hospital features an unprecedented level of patient and family-centered design and amenities combined with innovative technology that will enhance already excellent care and further elevate the entire patient experience. The new hospital will have 250 beds, an increase of nearly 20% over the current children’s hospital, with a labor and delivery unit consisting of spacious and private mother/baby rooms. The unit will also provide couplet care rooms where newborns and mothers can recover together in an intensive care setting.
Expectant mothers will take a special “stork” elevator directly to the maternity pavilion on the fourth floor when they arrive to give birth, bypassing other parts of the hospital to get to where they need to go. The facility will also include the largest and highest level neonatal intensive care unit in the state with more than 80 beds and single-patient rooms, an innovative departure from the open bay design in the current facility. Among its many health care services and amenities, the new hospital’s seventh floor includes a first-of-its kind indoor and outdoor play space and atrium, a full-service cafeteria and balcony water-front dining, laundry and shower facilities for families and an education and meeting room with soothing riverfront views.
Finally, a rooftop helipad was engineered to accommodate the Coast Guard’s new 22,000-pound Jayhawk helicopter for emergency and disaster situations that affect the entire peninsula.
Perhaps it’s these traits that have enabled the Children’s Health teams to deliver high quality care despite a current facility that was built at the end of the 1980s. With this new hospital, providers in South Carolina’s only pediatric burn center, solid-organ and bone marrow transplant programs and Level 1 pediatric trauma center, and so many other areas, will be able to do even more when the doors open this fall. One example is the smart room technology that’s being integrated into patient rooms, allowing for seamless communication between patient families and care team members. This technology, along with MUSC’s robust telehealth network, will allow for enhanced and continued collaboration with the state’s pediatricians and other children’s hospitals. This kind of innovation and coordination is critical to the success, health and happiness of all children in South Carolina.
More than 200 care team members, MUSC leaders, administrators and more contributed to the concept, design and building of this facility. This group included almost 30 family members who participated in the planning and design process, spearheaded by Loyd, all of whom had previous experience with the children’s hospital.
Speaking on behalf of the entire clinical enterprise, Cawley said that the team has been humbled and overwhelmed by the generosity of the statewide community and the team heard that community “loud and clear:” The citizens of South Carolina want the best care for their children and families now and in the future. “I want to leave you with one profound and heartwarming thought,” he said. “When this facility opens its doors to patients, it will be the most patient-and family-centered and technologically advanced children’s hospital in the nation.”
About MUSC Children’s Health
At MUSC Children’s Health, we are imagining what’s possible for each and every child by providing the pediatric expertise your child deserves and needs. From promoting healthy lifestyles to offering lifesaving treatments, we deliver comprehensive and compassionate care to children throughout South Carolina and beyond. Our integrated health care system consists of a 186-bed pediatric hospital, providing the most advanced care possible in more than 26 specialty areas. We also provide the same depth and breadth of expertise in multiple neighborhood locations throughout the Lowcountry, offering primary, urgent and specialty care. As a Level 1 trauma center, our pediatric emergency department specializes in providing emergency care for any serious injury or illness your child may experience at home, at school, or at play. Working collaboratively with pediatricians throughout the community, MUSC Children’s Health also provides after-hours care to children from birth to 17 years of age in three different locations on weeknights, weekends and holidays. In addition to the clinical care MUSC Children’s Health provides, we are a major pediatric clinical research center conducting significant and ongoing research efforts through the Charles P. Darby Research Institute. This involvement allows us to enhance our ability to provide the highest level of care to children by translating laboratory advances to bedside, developing new technologies and conducting clinical trials.