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Press Release
August 11, 2008
John Nash
(843) 792-0687

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Duke Endowment gift bolsters four outreach programs at MUSC

CHARLESTON, S.C. (August 11, 2008) – The Duke Endowment of Charlotte, NC, has partnered with the Medical University of South Carolina through philanthropic commitments to four distinct programs totaling $2.5 million. These pledges will enable the University to address a number of critically important outreach initiatives.

A grant totaling $311,400 has been approved for a program aimed toward the prevention of cardiovascular disease in women in South Carolina. Heart disease remains the number one cause of death amongst women throughout the United States. Despite the seriousness of cardiovascular disease, its symptoms are often unrecognized by women and their physicians. The establishment of the Women’s Heart Care program at the Medical University has led to a statewide educational and awareness campaign for women comprised of female physicians targeting women and their primary care providers to convey that heart disease can be successfully prevented and treated.

In a move to improve the health of racially and ethnically diverse communities in South Carolina, a grant of $649,544 will be used to enhance the state research community’s ability to enroll a more diverse selection of patients for medical research. To overcome this common barrier to the development of new knowledge for medical problems affecting racially and ethnically diverse populations, the project will aspire to promote a greater sense of trust between medical researchers and the community. This two-year program aims to develop both community-based and physician-based interventions to increase the minority participation in medical research in institutions that comprise Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC).

Reducing the causes of interpersonal domestic violence through early intervention in a network of community partners is the objective of an $817,465 grant from The Duke Endowment. The City of North Charleston, S.C. was recently identified as the 8th most violent community in the United States. The violent crimes that parents and children in this community have witnessed can lead to impaired concentration, hyper-vigilance and nightmares; and contributes to behavioral problems in school. This three-year program will use primary prevention and early intervention techniques in school and primary care settings, as well as provide training and quality assurance measures for primary care providers for effective screening and referral for victims of interpersonal violence.

The Outreach Wellness House, located on Johns Island, is the recipient of a $770,000 grant facilitated through the South Carolina Hospital Research & Education Foundation that will enable the project to transition from a temporary location to a permanent facility. A partnership between the Medical University and Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services, Inc., the Outreach Wellness House’s primary mission is to provide a full level of women’s health and prenatal care, dental services and health education to low-income residents of the Lowcountry. The three-year grant will allow the Outreach Wellness House to sustain a greater and enhanced level of service for the long-term future of the project.

The Duke Endowment has partnered with the Medical University for over 15 years and has provided over $ 18.3 million in financial support, making it one of the more generous benefactors of public health in South Carolina today. The Duke Endowment is pleased to support these four outreach programs at the Medical University of South Carolina,” said Mary Piepenbring, Director of Health Care for The Duke Endowment. “We applaud the Medical University’s innovation and commitment in addressing important health care issues in South Carolina.”

“Over the years, the Medical University and The Duke Endowment have continuously built a strong and successful relationship, based upon our shared commitment to improving health care in South Carolina’s underserved populations,” said university President Ray Greenberg. “We are truly grateful for their generous support, and look forward to a future of continued partnership.”

The Duke Endowment, 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. With assets of over $3 billion, the Endowment has awarded more than $2.4 billion in grants since its inception in 1924.

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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 residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.6 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu or www.muschealth.com.