Letter from the Office of the President: Legislative UpdateTweet
Dear MUSC Family,
As the state legislative session closes, I want to recount the success MUSC experienced this year in securing funds to advance our institution’s strategic priorities. I’ll begin by recognizing the skill and commitment of our Governmental Affairs team led by Mark Sweatman, with ample support from Emzee Hilliard. They have partnered with many of us throughout the year, helping to share our story with the legislative community and properly positioning our organization’s statewide impact. Mark is a respected and valid voice in Columbia. He has built partnerships that allow us to navigate in the political arenas at federal, state and local levels.
At this juncture, the Fiscal Year 2017 State Appropriations Bill and Capital Reserve Bill have been adopted and all of the provisions that will benefit our institution have been finalized. MUSC highlights include:
- $12 million to support MUSC’s ongoing, statewide partnership in the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance (SCTA).
- $10 million toward construction of the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, which follows on the heels of the state’s FY2016 allocation of $25 million.
- $1 million to support our statewide teaching partnership efforts.
- $900,000 in annual, recurring funds to retire the $25 million debt remaining from construction of the new College of Dental Medicine building.
- $750,000 for construction of the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital Helipad — set up as a 1:1 match, which means the funding MUSC received must be matched by an equal amount of private or local government support. This helipad will be equipped to serve not only our new Children’s Hospital but will also be a regional disaster assistance hub in times of need.
The state legislature also mandated a 3.25 percent cost–of–living adjustment (COLA) for all state employees, a pay increase that will become effective on July 1. The increase will add $10 million in salary expense to the university payroll; however, the state has contributed $1.6 million to help fund it. We are working diligently to identify and earmark resources to support the remainder of the salary mandate. The MUSC clinical enterprise is scheduled for salary reviews and potential adjustments in the fall.
This year’s outstanding legislative results are a clear indication that our value as a strategic statewide enterprise is being both understood and acknowledged. In large measure, our success over the past few years can also be attributed to the incredible work that each of you performs every day. Your focus, dedication and ongoing commitment to advance research, clinical care and education are to be commended.
Teamwork and strategy alignment will continue to be keys to our success as an organization. To recognize outstanding individual contributions that are in sync with our organizational values – compassion, collaboration, respect, integrity and innovation — we created the President’s Values in Action Award. I have been amazed at the nominations received thus far, and I encourage you to make the time to share your story about a team member who excels in one of these categories. Employees across our enterprise are encouraged to submit nominations. For more information, please visit: http://academicdepartments.musc.edu/leadership/president/values-in-action.html. Thank you again for all you do to move MUSC forward.
Yours in service,
David J. Cole, M.D., FACS