Lisa Montgomery
Lisa Montgomery takes a commencement selfie with other university and Charleston leaders.

Lisa Montgomery began her career at MUSC as director of patient financial services.  After receiving a Master in Health Administration from MUSC’s College of Health Professions, she quickly moved up at MUSC – to controller, then to chief financial officer of the hospital.  Montgomery currently serves as executive vice president for finance and operations. In this role, her responsibilities include oversight of the operations for four main university entities: finance; operations; diversity and inclusion; and engineering and facilities.

Her career trajectory has been steadfast, and she’s quick to tell you how she got there, because it wasn’t alone.  When asked about her recent gift to MUSC’s College of Health Professions, she replied, “You get to a certain point where you reflect on what you want your legacy to be. I've had a very rewarding career and a lot of great mentors along the way, and I wanted to give back.”

As a high school student, Montgomery assisted her father, Berkeley County’s first full-time dentist.  She reflects back on her time in his office, handing him instruments as he worked with patients.  She also helped her mother, who managed the office, with billing and paperwork.

“My parents built the business from the ground up, and they set a great example of what it means to dedicate yourself to what matters—to family, service and a good work ethic,” Montgomery said.

Those experiences at the family practice not only instilled in her a connection to health care, but they also served as the foundation for why health care is important—service and not only providing care, but showing people that you care.

Lisa with her mother
Lisa Montgomery enjoys traveling with her mother, Helen Pennington

As a 1993 MHA graduate of the College of Health Professions, Montgomery sought to further her connection to health care. “I decided an MHA was the best of everything,” she said. “I could do it while I worked, and while I continued to advance in my career and contribute to MUSC’s missions.” Montgomery’s gift, which also will incorporate funding from her mother’s estate, will help to provide scholarships or leadership training to women in the College of Health Professions.  She discussed the gift with her mother, now 90, and they made the decision together.  “My mother was an extraordinary role model growing up,” Montgomery said. “It meant a lot to have her input and contributions incorporated into this gift.”

MUSC Provost Lisa Saladin, former dean of the College of Health Professions, called the funding “a generous and really important gift.  “We both recognize there’s a unique need in leadership development for women,” Dr. Saladin said. “It’s so important to lift up other women.”

Montgomery sees her gift as an opportunity to continue to make the university’s future accomplishments a part of her own legacy by helping to change what’s possible for the College of Health Professions, with a specific focus on leadership development for women.

Over her more than 25 years on MUSC’s campus, Montgomery has watched the organization transform into a world-class research institution.  Montgomery can look just outside her own window to see firsthand some of the positive, physical changes around her that have taken place.  Although she played a critical role in many of the large infrastructure projects of the past several decades, she takes special pride in the development of MUSC’s campus into a place where patients, families and employees can seek healing and comfort.  

“Philanthropic support helps ensure MUSC will be able to provide services that support its missions of research, patient care and education,” she said. “I'm passionate about MUSC’s commitment to serve others, and as a leader, I want to be a part of that and pay it forward.”