Friday, October 25, 2019

SC University Wins Major Diversity Award

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Charleston, SC  Recently, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) was recognized with two prestigious national diversity honors. MUSC was one of only 43 institutions across the United States to be named a 2019 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award recipient by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity publication in higher education. The HEED Award committee then selected MUSC as one of the few recipients of an additional designation -- a 2019 Diversity Champion. Only those institutions that register the highest scores for their accomplishments in diversity and inclusion earn the designation of Diversity Champion.

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The Health Professions HEED Award is the only national honor recognizing U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, veterinary, allied health and other health schools and centers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion across their campuses. This is the third consecutive year that MUSC earned a place among the HEED honorees and the second consecutive year that MUSC earned the added distinction of Diversity Champion.

"The more we are able to create an environment that is diverse, the stronger we are," said MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. "It is a concept that we don't talk about enough. It's through diversity of thought, expertise, education, culture, background, process and interaction, that's where innovation occurs. Simply put, that's how we, as MUSC, achieve our best for those we serve."

"The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees, and best practices for both; continued leadership support for diversity; and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion," said Lenore Pearlstein, co-publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. "As we continue to see a record number of Health Professions HEED Award applicants each year, nearly every school tells us they use the application itself as a tool to create new programs and to benchmark their accomplishments across campus. The process allows them to reflect on their successes and also determine where more work needs to be done. We also continue to raise the standards in selecting Health Professions HEED institutions."

Among its broad range of diversity and inclusion initiatives, MUSC has a robust supplier diversity program that is projected to spend more than $73 million with small, women- and minority-owned business enterprises on its newest facility, the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women's Pavilion. Set to open in the fall, the $385 million structure will be the most technologically advanced facility of its kind in the nation. The diversity spend for its construction includes some $12.6 million with African American businesses, $26.2 million with small businesses (non-minority, non-female) and $32.1 million with women-owned businesses (all ethnicities). The diversity spend will also include disadvantaged business enterprises ($1.8 million), veteran-owned businesses ($746,848) and Hispanic business enterprises ($7,651).

Another intensive MUSC Diversity and Inclusion initiative is the David J. and Kathryn Cole BRIHTE Leadership Academy, a two year program designed to identify and prepare high potential, diverse talent among the current workforce. Named for the MUSC President and his wife, who sponsored the initiative, BRIHTE stands for Building and Retaining Inclusive High-Potential Talent and Excellence. MUSC is taking a "grow your own" approach to filling its pipeline of excellence and inclusion.

At a recent dinner to celebrate the inaugural BRIHTE scholars completing the program, President Cole told the gathering, "Leadership and diversity are central themes in terms of answering the why. Why are we here? What are we trying to accomplish? I've always thought about leadership as something that is grounded, accessible and personal. Leadership is a choice that we consciously pursue. Everyone has the ability to lead from where they are."

About MUSC
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the oldest medical school in the South, as well as the state's only integrated, academic health sciences center with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and 700 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. The state's leader in obtaining biomedical research funds, in fiscal year 2018, MUSC set a new high, bringing in more than $276.5 million. For information on academic programs, visit

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available, while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Comprising some 1,600 beds, more than 100 outreach sites, the MUSC College of Medicine, the physicians' practice plan and nearly 275 telehealth locations, MUSC Health owns and operates eight hospitals situated in Charleston, Chester, Florence, Lancaster and Marion counties. In 2019, for the fifth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $3 billion. The more than 17,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers and scientists who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.
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