GGC, MUSC affiliate to improve patient access to innovations in genetic services

12.04.19

CHARLESTON, S.C.  – The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) have signed an affiliation
agreement with the goal of providing patients across South Carolina with accessible, high-quality, coordinated and cost-effective genetic services
through a collaborative approach to providing medical care. The two entities have worked together informally on clinical consultations, provider education
and research for more than a decade. This affiliation seeks to formalize and expand the depth and breadth of the relationship. According to MUSC, a
partnership with the state’s most advanced and innovative genetic center was an easy choice.

“I live in Greenwood, and I’ve said for years that a lot people don’t understand what an absolute gem this center is,” said Charles Schulze, chairman of
the MUSC Board of Trustees. “They’ve helped almost 100,000 families across the state make incredibly important decisions, unmasked difficult-to-diagnose
conditions, and have been there for these families every step of the way when faced with good news, or not so good news. We are very pleased to be
aligning with this like-minded and advanced care provider to help more MUSC patients benefit from GGC’s expertise.”

While there are any number of reasons people may want to learn more about how their genetics may affect their or their loved ones health, all patients
want the same thing: high-quality care at the lowest cost and access to the latest technologies, diagnostics and research related to their genetic
stories. In the interest of better serving these needs, the initial goals of the partnership include:

  • Increasing access to clinical genetic services for MUSC patients and all South Carolinians.
  • Optimizing the patient journey to improve wait times for appointments and consultations.
  • Sharing critical resources and expertise where possible to lower costs.
  • Pursuing workforce development, research, clinical trials and treatment collaborations.

Nearly every child in South Carolina who was diagnosed with a genetic birth defect, developmental delay or other hereditary disorder has already been referred
to GGC, due to the center’s expertise with rare conditions and commitment to new technologies and diagnostics. GGC, a nonprofit institute centered
on research, clinical genetic services, diagnostic laboratory testing and educational programs and resources, is focused on compassionate patient care
and innovative scientific advancement.

“We know that a timely and accurate diagnosis, paired with early interventions and therapies, allow many of these patients to thrive and live functional
and productive lives, often exceeding the expectations tied to their diagnoses,” said Steve Skinner, M.D., GGC director.
“Our mission to provide compassionate care and desperately sought-after answers for families is being realized every day in our five statewide clinical
offices as well as in our diagnostic and research laboratories. As we look to grow this mission by providing better access to services and more diagnoses
through technological advancement, affiliating with the innovative clinicians, scientists and educators at MUSC is not just the logical next business
step for us; it’s the right thing to do for our patients and our state.”

David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC president, echoed the benefits of the affiliation mentioned by Skinner and Schulze, adding, “The genetics field is advancing
and changing rapidly due to technology and cutting-edge research. How we treat genetic conditions to optimize and preserve human life in our state
is evolving too, and it’s more advantageous and cost-effective to partner rather than go it alone,” he said. “We’re affiliating with the best genetic
experts in South Carolina, and they are partnering with the best academic medical faculty and specialty care providers in the state to move health
care forward for all. To put it very simply, this partnership will enhance genetic care more efficiently and effectively than anything we could do
alone and to date, anything we’ve collectively done together.”

“In this rapidly evolving field of medical genetics, collaborations are essential to ensure that discoveries are efficiently translated to clinical care
and all patients receive timely state-of-the-art services,” said Dell Baker, chairman of the GGC Board of Directors. “This affiliation pairs GGC’s
immense experience in clinical genetics care and technology advancement with MUSC’s leadership in clinical trials and medical education. We expect
this agreement to be not only mutually beneficial to the two organizations but most importantly, to improve the quality of life for the thousands of
South Carolinians who are impacted by a genetic diagnosis.”

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 http://musc.edu.

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 http://muschealth.org.

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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