Charleston, SC — The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is on track to spend $52 million in contracts with small, women and minority-owned business enterprises (SWMBEs) during construction of the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion. When construction on the estimated $385 million project is completed and the doors open in 2019, the structure will be among the most well-equipped and technologically advanced facilities in the nation.
Currently, MUSC is on target to spend in the $12 million range with African-American-owned businesses during phases one and two of construction. Supplier diversity was cited as one important aspect of MUSC’s institutional commitment to diversity and inclusion in a February 10 presentation to the MUSC Board of Trustees.
Willette Burnham-Williams, Ph.D., chief diversity officer for the university, and Anton Gunn, MSW, chief diversity officer for MUSC Health and executive director of Community Health Innovation, provided the trustees with a summary of various diversity and inclusion (D&I) achievements from 2016.
“We are working very hard to ensure that all members of our community have the opportunity to partner with us as we expand the great work that our organization is accomplishing,” Gunn said. He noted MUSC’s original goal for SWMBE contracts for the children’s hospital was around $42 million but “we are continuously looking for and finding opportunities to be inclusive of minority and small businesses.”
“We’ve heard stories from these small vendors about men and women working on this project who were born at MUSC or whose children were born there. The connectivity of our SWMBE vendors to our institution and this project really brings our relationships full circle.”
“At the university, thanks to the deans we have D&I officers in each of our six colleges who have identified this work as a priority and who are making significant strides,” said Dr. Burnham-Williams. “As just one example of our progress, in the College of Medicine, our largest college, underrepresented minority faculty now represent 7 percent of the college’s total faculty members, while the national average for other colleges of medicine is 4 percent. In addition, MUSC is among the top medical colleges in the country for the matriculation and graduation of African-American males.”
She reported on advances in a broad range of other D&I initiatives that included D&I training for all new members of the university community — faculty, staff and students; new D&I advisory councils – one for students and one for employees; focus on developing best practices for serving diverse populations, including special needs patients; and increasing the number of postdoctoral students with diverse backgrounds.
“We’re improving our cultural competency and leadership effectiveness in D&I as well as the ways we are connecting our students to community service opportunities,” she added.
MUSC’s purposeful progress in the D&I realm was reported in the oldest and largest diversity magazine and website in higher education today — INSIGHT Into Diversity: www.insightintodiversity.com/medical-university-of-south-carolina-transforms-its-culture-through-accountability/. Embrace Diversity and Inclusion is one of the five pillar goals of Imagine MUSC 2020, the institution’s strategy for the future. The other goals are: Commit to Patients and Families First; Foster Innovative Education and Learning; Build Healthy Communities; and Advance New Knowledge and Scientific Discoveries.
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 in six colleges (Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy), 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 $2.3 billion, with an annual economic impact of more than $3.8 billion and annual research funding in excess of $250 million. MUSC operates a 700-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children’s Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (a National Cancer Institute-designated center), Level I Trauma Center, Institute of Psychiatry, and the state’s only transplant center. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the number one hospital in South Carolina. For more information on academic programs or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit www.muschealth.org.