CHARLESTON, SC (September 9, 2022)- MUSC leaders, local community leaders and Sea Island citizens gathered on September 8 to inaugurate the MUSC Health Sea Islands Medical Pavilion, located on Johns Island. The medical lodge will meet community needs for emergency services and specialty care to serve Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns Islands.
The 20,000+ square foot facility will be located at 1884 Seabrook Island Road near Bohicket Marina. The Sea Islands community is expected to experience significant population growth over the next few years, especially residents 65 and older. The Sea Islands are also geographically isolated, located more than 20 miles from the nearest hospital. The area also hosts a large seasonal population of tourists, many of whom find it difficult to navigate local healthcare services.
“It can take up to 45 minutes to get to the nearest hospital from the Sea Islands. That’s too long for an emergency situation like a stroke, where every minute counts. As As the only comprehensive academic healthcare system in the state, we are committed to providing the best care possible, as close to home as possible,” said David J. Cole, MD, FACS, MUSC President. “This new medical pavilion will provide timely access to exceptional care to the entire Sea Islands community.”
As part of the overall MUSC Health System Strategy, the MUSC Health Charleston Division has worked to provide better community access and local care in the greater Tri-County area, as well as coastal communities north and south of Charleston. This allows for better capacity of flagship facilities, which provide specialized and complex care downtown while improving overall accessibility and continuity of care for patients and families, especially in underserved communities. Since 2019, four new multi-specialty ambulatory care hubs have opened in West Ashley, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant.
In addition to 24/7 emergency care, the facility will offer two trauma rooms, a rooftop helipad and a medical office building that will provide primary and specialty care, including emergency services. imaging and laboratory, cardiology and physiotherapy. A telemedicine network will connect the entire facility to some of the nation’s top providers at MUSC Health in downtown Charleston. The City of Kiawah Island donated $1 million to create a calming and restful green space and garden adjacent to the new facility.
“Accessibility to the wonderful healthcare system and hospitals we have here has been a concern, so it was exciting to hear about this project,” said Kiawah Town Mayor John Labriola. “I tip my hat to the MUSC Board of Directors and the leadership of the institution, because getting a certificate of need is not easy… personally, I can’t wait to cut the ribbon and see our garden which will bear the name of the city of Kiawah.
The project was made possible in part by Kiawah Partners, which was acquired by South Street Partners in 2013, which donated 6 acres of land to the Medical University Hospital Authority (MUSC Health), valued at $4, $85 million.
“This project was initiated to address the huge need for medical services on Kiawah Island, Seabrook and Johns Island. With no practical emergency healthcare options currently available, we have been working for over seven years to find a way to bring accessible health care to the Sea Islands,” said Chris Randolph, South Street Partners. “Thanks to MUSC, we will soon have a world-class medical facility that offers so much more than we originally envisioned. We couldn’t be happier to have been able to donate the land for this project and are so grateful to associate ourselves with such an excellent health care system.
Of the estimated $30 million needed to fund the project, MUSC has pledged to raise $17 million in private support. To date, he has received over $9.5 million in confirmed donations, many of which come from local residents.
“Private support is critical to the long-term success of MUSC Health Sea Islands Medical Lodge due to the many financial challenges of operating a medical facility in this community,” said Kate Azizi, Vice President for the institutional advancement. “One of the challenges is the low population density of the Sea Islands. Although it is an aging population that needs rapid access to medical care, there are not enough people living in these communities full-time to support our operations Philanthropic support helps fill these gaps, allowing us to provide the best possible care where and when it is needed.
Donors Chris and DeeDee Gibson donate $2 million to the project. In recognition of their generosity, the physiotherapy space will be named in their honor. “My family has been coming to Kiawah for almost 40 years,” said Chris Gibson. “When my wife DeeDee and I built a house here, she had one request: that there be a hospital nearby in case of an emergency. All these years later, we are thrilled to contribute to the new MUSC Health Sea Islands Medical Lodge and help make these vital medical services available to our neighbors at Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns Islands.
“Building a full-fledged medical center with emergency services is a dream come true for all of Johns, Kiawah and Seabrook Islands,” said local resident Pam Harrington, who donated $2 million. and will name the emergency department after the Harrington family. “As our population continues to grow and more people retire in our area, the demand for medical services increases with it! Being a resident of Kiawah/Cassique for many years, the addition of a medical pavilion fills a real need that has existed for several decades. Prior to my 40+ years in real estate on the islands, I was a critical care nurse. This medical center is near and dear to my heart! As a thank you and appreciation to everyone who has been so supportive of my success here on the Sea Isles, it seems fitting to take this opportunity to give back in a meaningful way.
Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
Mayor of Seabrook, John Gregg – “It is indeed a pleasure for me to welcome MUSC to Seabrook Island, as our local community will be well served by the capabilities of this facility and the practitioners who will work there. We look forward to increased availability of care, from emergency room treatment to advanced diagnostics for the ailments, bumps, aches, scrapes, bites and strains that come with an active and diverse population.
MUSC Board Vice-Chair Charles Schulze – “On behalf of the Board, I would like to acknowledge, congratulate and deeply, deeply thank you for your dedication, hard work and public-private collaboration that is falling into place to get us to where we are today. As an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War, I know the importance and necessity of teamwork. When you have complex mission ahead of you in these situations, your unity as a team is your greatest strength… And it didn’t matter where you lived, where you came from, or what your background was in our military.You learned that persistence, perseverance, collaboration and expertise are essential to mission success. And it was no different in this case. When the board began discussing the feasibility of this project, we knew it was not going to happen. was not going to happen without teamwork and without sight. Not only from everyone at MUSC, but also from the community here in the Sea Islands.”
MUSC Health System CEO and Executive Vice President of Health Affairs, Dr. Pat Cawley – “What makes this project difficult is that it doesn’t fit into normal health concepts. We spent a lot of time with the community trying to assess what was needed and it was clear there was huge community support for this project and that was the engagement with the concept of neighbors taking care of neighbors and community work to reach out to state officials and regulators who helped make this project a reality. MUSC Health is proud to be part of this community and its healthcare provider of choice, and we are humbled by the level of support we are receiving to realize this shared vision.
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the only comprehensive academic healthcare system in the state, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,000 students across six colleges—dentistry, graduate, health professions, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy—and trains more than 850 residents and fellows in its healthcare system. MUSC provided more than $327.6 million in research funding in fiscal year 2021, leading the state in overall research funding. MUSC also leads the state in funding federal and state institutes of health, with more than $220 million. For more information on academic programs, visit web.musc.edu
As a health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to providing the highest quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of health care providers. health and exceptional leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided in 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital sites under development; more than 350 telehealth sites, with connectivity to patients’ homes; and nearly 750 healthcare locations located in all regions of South Carolina. In 2022, for the eighth consecutive year, US News & World Report named MUSC Health the #1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.
MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets totaling $5.1 billion. The approximately 25,000 members of the MUSC team include professors, physicians, specialist providers, scientists, students, affiliates and world-class care team members who deliver and support education, research and state-of-the-art patient care.