The Medical University of South Carolina and local community leaders celebrated a new pediatric medical campus in North Charleston with a groundbreaking ceremony June 30 at the site of the planned facility. MUSC Board of Trustees Chairman Donald R. Johnson, II, M.D., said it was a good day for all involved, but most importantly, that it was a great day for children and their families.
"Pediatric health care is a top priority of the university, and we are grateful to the city for making this ambulatory center possible by donating the land. On behalf of the board of trustees, we are honored to serve the needs of infants, toddlers, and adolescents. This is an important responsibility, one that our physicians, emergency specialists, nurses and staff are excited to undertake in this area."
The MUSC Children’s Health Ambulatory Campus in North Charleston, a pediatric-dedicated,100,000-square-foot facility, is scheduled to open in early 2019 on the corner of Rivers Avenue and Mall Drive. Among its many amenities are a pediatric outpatient surgical facility and a pediatric multispecialty medical office building that will include an urgent care clinic, imaging facility and infusion rooms. The total, projected cost to design, construct and outfit the new building is approximately $50 million.
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said years ago when he was a young parent, his daughter was admitted to MUSC with spinal meningitis. “I witnessed firsthand the need for high quality, accessible health care for children. Decades later, MUSC remains at the forefront of excellence in patient care and research. We see the donation of land to MUSC for a Children’s Health Ambulatory Campus as an important investment in regional health care, as well as a key node of revitalization along the Rivers Avenue corridor.”
Summey and North Charleston City Council voted last year to donate the land for the facility to MUSC, aligning with MUSC Children’s Health’s focus to provide more clinical access to patients and their families who live in communities throughout the Tri-county area. The reality is that parking concerns, travel time, and transportation costs can make it difficult for many families to conveniently access ambulatory care and services on the Charleston peninsula.
MUSC Children’s Health Chief of Clinical Services, Mark A. Scheurer, M.D., said the new campus will meet that important community need and delivers a commitment made with community leadership. “If you look nationally, the direction for best children’s care is to have ambulatory services within local communities and deliver more acute care at the major flagship hospital,” he said.
“We have two parallel tracks that we are pursuing vigorously: getting the children’s hospital and women’s pavilion built while simultaneously developing our regional outpatient pediatric subspecialty care presence. We are trying to complement, not duplicate, what we’re doing downtown in Charleston.”
In addition to this new facility and its offerings, MUSC Children’s Health has already expanded the number of community-based clinics located in Mount Pleasant, North Charleston and Summerville. For more information on those efforts, visit www.musckids.org/our-services/after-hours-care.
“We know that by putting the needs of patients and their families first, we make better decisions about the services we can provide and where they need to be located,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and university vice president for health affairs. “We need to provide the best combination of high quality, lower cost, and easily accessible care possible. It’s not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight, but it feels really good knowing that with this groundbreaking, we are one more step along on this journey to reimagine children’s health care for our local community and for our state.”