MUSC trustees vote to pursue certificate of need for new 128-bed hospital, authorize health system to seek $54.4 million for three projects

December 10, 2017

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Medical University Hospital Authority (MUHA) Board of Trustees held their regular scheduled meeting, receiving a series of positive reports on the organization’s overall financial position, fund-raising initiatives, clinical operations, advances in diversity and inclusion efforts, and external audit for fiscal year 2017. The board also voted to support filing a certificate of need (CON) with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for the construction of a 128-bed hospital. DHEC must issue a CON before certain types of health care acquisitions, expansions and creation of new facilities are allowed. Estimated cost for the new hospital is $325 million.

“MUSC is committed to building an integrated health care system with the depth and breadth to lead health innovation for the lives we touch,” said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. “By adding another hospital to the MUSC Health system, we will establish a natural, complementary component to our tertiary, quaternary hospital facility on the peninsula, where we care for the sickest patients and provide the most intensive care.”

“The state health plan has clearly identified that MUSC has a need for 147 additional beds to serve the Charleston area based on current hospital occupancy and fill rates,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and vice president for Health Affairs, University. “As our community expands, its needs are steadily increasing for our full range of health care services. This new hospital will serve to meet many of those growing health care demands, delivering our consistent, high quality and compassionate care.”

“As the state’s only public, academic health science center, MUSC is unlike any other health care organization in South Carolina,” said Donald R. Johnson II, M.D., chairman of the MUSC Board of Trustees. “This board works in concert with the administration to meet not only the needs of today’s patients and families, but also to constantly envision ways to improve health care as we go forward. This new hospital represents a direct response to the changes and needs of our community. It will make the best quality care even more convenient to obtain in the future,” Johnson said.

Additional information about the new, proposed 128-bed hospital will be made available when appropriate, as details are finalized.

The board also reviewed and voted to approve:

  • Authorization for the MUSC Health system to seek approval from the State Fiscal Accountability Authority to borrow up to $54.4 million for the following projects:

– $28 million to purchase land and build a Consolidated Service Center, including a sterile processing facility, in the North Charleston area. The center is necessary to support the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and the MUSC pediatric ambulatory campus in North Charleston.

– $16.4 million for leaseholder improvements for the West Ashley musculoskeletal institute.

– $10 million for the land acquisition needed to construct the 128-bed hospital in the tri-county area.

  • An estimated $800,000 in hallway corridor renovations to the Clinical Sciences Building (CSB), which when completed, will update the structure.
  • The creation of a new High Risk Infectious Disease (HRID) unit in the CSB, a specialized medical unit to allow for isolation treatment for highly infectious diseases. The unit will be constructed in vacated space with a $2.9 million ASPER grant from the Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) is a leader in preparing the nation and its communities to respond to and recover from public health and medical disasters and emergencies. This HRID unit will be one of a few specialized units in the country, and the only one in South Carolina, to address such infectious diseases as Ebola and smallpox. When not in active use for patients, the space can be used for mock training to prepare providers to handle high risk cases.

The trustees also received news that on Wednesday, Dec. 6, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce named MUSC recipient of the 2017 Excellence in Workplace Diversity Award in the category for medium and large businesses. The chamber describes the program as an opportunity for community leaders to recognize the accomplishments of South Carolina companies that are leading the way in developing and implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives. The award was presented during the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s 38th Annual Summit.

In recognition of engagement in graduate medical education, the board confirmed support for the MUSC Institutional Commitment to Graduate Medical Education, a statement that was included in the board agenda packet. The document reads, in part:

“Medical education is a major component of the mission of the Medical University of South Carolina, the Medical University Hospital Authority and the College of Medicine. The Board of Trustees, the President of MUSC and the administrators, faculty and staff are committed to provide graduate medical education using the financial, educational and personnel resources necessary to ensure the highest quality programs… We pledge to emphasize coordinated care with community physicians and to take advantage of cooperative opportunities to work with other institutions to fulfill mutual educational objectives.

“We commit ourselves to provide graduate medical education programs that enable physicians in training to develop personal, clinical and professional competence under the guidance and supervision of the faculty and staff… As a major research institution, MUSC will encourage residents to participate in a wide range of scholarly activities including research and publications.”

As the largest medical school in South Carolina, the MUSC College of Medicine educates and trains the majority of the physicians in the state and region. This fall MUSC will graduate some 171 students who are earning degrees from the colleges of Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine and Nursing.

The MUSC/MUHA Board of Trustees serves as separate bodies to govern the university and hospital, holding two days of committee and board meetings six times a year.


About 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 700 residents in six colleges (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy), and has more than 13,000 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 For more information on hospital patient services, visit