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Bell scholarship fund reaches milestone

Contact: Heather Woolwine

Feb. 20, 2014

CHARLESTON – After reaching $250,000 with support from friends, family, colleagues and designated profits from the Lowcountry Jazz Festival, the Thaddeus John Bell, M.D. Scholarship Endowment  will grant its inaugural scholarships this year.  Friends of the fund gathered at MUSC Feb. 20 to celebrate the effort with U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn.

Select Health of South Carolina donated initial funding in Bell’s honor to start a scholarship for African American students.  Bell, a family physician, earmarked the scholarship for African American students at the six colleges at MUSC because of the contributions made by those health care professionals to decrease health disparities.  This effort has been further encouraged by MUSC, Roper St. Francis Hospital and private contributions.

Bell’s passion for preventative health care, healthy living, fitness for children and increasing the African American health care workforce resulted in a broadcast program called Closing the Gap in Health Care, aimed at meeting the needs of the underserved.  The program consists of radio and TV health tips to improve health literacy, a major cause of health disparities among underserved populations throughout the nation. South Carolina ranks 47th in the nation for health disparities.

South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson, from the law firm of Motley Rice, was the first chairman of the fundraising effort and under his leadership, corporate donations and pharmaceutical companies made major contributions.  The Lowcountry Jazz Festival, held annually Labor Day weekend, provided additional funds, or as in Bell’s words, “jazzing with a purpose.”

Recipients of the endowment scholarship are encouraged to return the funds that they receive to the endowment fund after 10 years to assist other African American students who matriculate at MUSC.  Scholarships, in the amount of $5,000, will be granted to two African American students at MUSC for the 2014-2015 school year.  For more information visit the Coastal Community Foundation website at or call 843 723-3635.
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 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (one of 66 National Cancer Institute designated centers) and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit For more information on hospital patient services, visit



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