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MUSC and Shriners team up for new burn unit

Announcement comes at Darius Rucker concert

Dr. Johnson
Dr. Don Johnson takes the stage at the Darius Rucker Big Band Concert to share news about a partnership with Shriners that will mean expanded services for children recovering from serious burns. Photos by Brennan Wesley
Staff Report | | February 8, 2017

The Medical University of South Carolina and Shriners Hospitals for Children are planning to work together to expand pediatric burn services and develop a burn unit in the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, which is under construction. The current children's hospital, MUSC Children's Health, does have a burn center, but the Shriners' contribution will mean even more treatment options.

Scheduled to open in 2019, the new children’s hospital will be the most advanced facility of its kind in the area. MUSC's intent to collaborate with Shriners was announced last night during the Darius Rucker Big Band Concert at the Charleston Gaillard Center. The event was a fundraiser for the new children’s hospital.

MUSC President David Cole said the more time he and other MUSC leaders spent with the Shriners leadership team, the more clearly their compatibility of vision and mission came into focus. “When it comes to marshaling resources to make a positive difference for children in need, the Shriners have an incredible history of impact," Cole said. "As a result, it was natural for MUSC to reach out to Shriners Hospitals for Children to leverage their expertise and experiences in pediatric burn care delivery.”

Darius Rucker singing

Darius Rucker, who co-chairs the Campaign to Build the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital with his wife, performs at the Gaillard Center.  
Summerville resident Kenneth Craven serves on the Board of Directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children. "Shriners Hospitals for Children is honored to have the opportunity to help MUSC in establishing pediatric burn care services at its new Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital, just as we've done with other health care organizations around the world," Craven said.

The Shriners already operate pediatric burn care centers in Boston, Cincinnati, Galveston and Sacramento.

Donald Johnson, chairman of the MUSC/MUHA Board of Trustees, spoke to the crowd at the Darius Rucker concert. "Serious burns are terrible at any age, but when they happen to a child, they can be devastating on every level — physical and emotional. The effects can be both life-threatening and lifelong. This collaboration will allow us to provide these children with a whole new spectrum of skilled, compassionate care, with highly specialized caregivers and new services not available anywhere else in the region.”

Gary Bergenske, who serves as chairman of the Board of Directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children, echoed that enthusiasm. “The future potential for developing a close working relationship with MUSC provides an exciting opportunity for Shriners Hospitals for Children to perpetuate our mission and reach by treating more children in need of Shriners’ specialized burn care in locations more readily accessible to those patients and their families,” Bergenske said.

Patrick Cawley, CEO for MUSC Health and vice president for Health Affairs, University, said the MUSC burn unit's clinical staff will have the chance to train at a Shriners Hospitals for Children Burn Unit. “To establish that level of synergy and ease of operation so early in our relationship reflects the natural alignment of our values and a shared approach to delivering the highest quality care to every patient.”

Boy's burn experience leads to roles in video, comic book (MUSC News, March 19, 2017)

Healing kids' burn wounds through family-friendly technology (MUSC News, Sept. 21, 2016) 

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