Health Sciences South Carolina lands an $11.25M grant from The Duke Endowment

10/19/2011 

Major gift can result in health care innovation, boost economy, and translate into healthier citizens.

Leaders from Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC), The Duke Endowment, and the state gathered in Columbia today to announce significant news for the future of health care in South Carolina. HSSC, a statewide biomedical research collaborative, has been selected to receive a major grant from The Duke Endowment totaling $11.25 million.

"This grant will help us continue to improve health, health care and health research in South Carolina," said HSSC President and CEO Dr. Jay Moskowitz. "HSSC, through the support of The Duke Endowment, can translate research discoveries into improved delivery and care models and healthier lifestyles that will benefit not only South Carolinians, but all humanity."

Today's grant marks the second time that The Duke Endowment has invested in HSSC's work. In 2006, HSSC received $21 million from The Duke Endowment, the largest grant for a health care initiative in the foundation's history. As a result of The Duke Endowment grants, HSSC, through research grants and proposals, has brought another $50 million into South Carolina.

"From the beginning, Trustees of The Duke Endowment were impressed with Health Sciences South Carolina's vision and commitment from its partner organizations to share knowledge and to work together," said Neil Williams, chair of the Endowment's Trustees. "Through this new investment, we believe South Carolina has a chance to bolster leading-edge programs and impact pressing health issues. It will help HSSC continue its vital role in making good health possible in South Carolina."

The Duke Endowment funding will enable HSSC to build on its existing infrastructure and move in a new strategic direction focused both on research and on translating that research into better clinical care in all parts of the state.

For example, the grant will support HSSC in its efforts to continue to build and implement a health care information technology and clinical trials network in South Carolina. The central feature of this effort is a statewide clinical data warehouse, which will compile real-time clinical data from across HSSC's collaborative hospitals. The statewide IT and clinical trials network not only will make research more efficient, but also will allow medical teams to use clinical data to make evidence-based decisions, resulting in better patient care. In addition, it will help South Carolina attract clinical trials, which can benefit patients and bring economic activity to the state.

Furthermore, the new funding will enable HSSC to improve the pace at which health care quality and patient safety innovations are integrated into practice in South Carolina. By translating research into clinical practice faster, HSSC believes it can significantly improve how some of the state's most critical chronic diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, are treated.

While the grant will help HSSC foster research and translate that research into better health care, it also can strengthen South Carolina's economy by leading to the development of new products, new jobs and new industries. Additionally, with the support of the grant, HSSC can play a role in containing and reducing health care costs in South Carolina.

"In 2004, HSSC set out to develop a health care model that was unique in the U.S. and, through it, to improve the health of all South Carolinians," Moskowitz said. "Through HSSC's ongoing initiatives and the support of The Duke Endowment, we are realizing the promise of new treatments, methodologies, tools and discoveries. We believe that this grant, ultimately, will translate into healthier citizens in every part of South Carolina."

About Health Sciences South Carolina
Established in April 2004, Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC) is a statewide public-private collaborative of research-intensive universities and major health systems possessing the shared vision of using health sciences research to improve the health, healthcare and economic wellbeing of South Carolina. HSSC includes Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina, Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center, Palmetto Health, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, McLeod Health, Self Regional Healthcare and AnMed Health.

About The Duke Endowment
The Duke Endowment, a private foundation in Charlotte, N.C., seeks to fulfill the legacy of James B. Duke by enriching lives and communities in the Carolinas through higher education, health care, rural churches and children's services. Its founder is the same Duke behind Duke University and Duke Energy, but they are all separate organizations. Since its inception in 1924, the Endowment has awarded nearly $2.8 billion in grants.