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Health Sciences South Carolina lands $11.25M grant

Staff Report
Published Oct. 19, 2011

Health Sciences South Carolina, a statewide biomedical research collaborative, today received an $11.25 million grant from The Duke Endowment.

“This grant will help us continue to improve health, health care and health research in South Carolina,” HSSC President and CEO Jay Moskowitz said. “HSSC, through the support of The Duke Endowment, can translate research discoveries into improved delivery and care models and healthier lifestyles that will benefit not only South Carolinians, but all humanity.”

Today’s grant marks the second time that The Duke Endowment has invested in HSSC’s work. In 2006, HSSC received $21 million from the endowment, the largest grant for a health care initiative in the foundation’s history. As a result of its grants, HSSC has brought another $50 million into South Carolina through research grants and proposals.

“From the beginning, trustees of The Duke Endowment were impressed with Health Sciences South Carolina’s vision and commitment from its partner organizations to share knowledge and to work together,” said Neil Williams, chair of the endowment’s trustees. “Through this new investment, we believe South Carolina has a chance to bolster leading-edge programs and impact pressing health issues. It will help HSSC continue its vital role in making good health possible in South Carolina.”

The Duke Endowment funding will enable HSSC to build on its existing infrastructure and move in a new strategic direction focused both on research and on translating that research into better clinical care in all parts of the state.

For example, the grant will support HSSC in its efforts to continue to build and implement a health care information technology and clinical trials network in South Carolina. The central feature of this effort is a statewide clinical data warehouse, which will compile real-time clinical data from across HSSC’s collaborative hospitals.

The statewide IT and clinical trials network not only will make research more efficient, but also will allow medical teams to use clinical data to make evidence-based decisions, resulting in better patient care. In addition, it will help South Carolina attract clinical trials, which can benefit patients and bring economic activity to the state.

Furthermore, the new funding will enable HSSC to improve the pace at which health care quality and patient safety innovations are integrated into practice in South Carolina. By translating research into clinical practice faster, HSSC said it believes it can significantly improve how some of the state’s most critical chronic diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity, are treated.
“In 2004, HSSC set out to develop a health care model that was unique in the U.S. and, through it, to improve the health of all South Carolinians,” Moskowitz said. “Through HSSC’s ongoing initiatives and the support of The Duke Endowment, we are realizing the promise of new treatments, methodologies, tools, and discoveries. We believe that this grant, ultimately, will translate into healthier citizens in every part of South Carolina.”