Ten years of transforming medicine.
Ten years of educating and preparing tomorrow’s dedicated physicians, whose clinical ability is only exceeded by their compassion.
Ten years of improving the health and wellness of the Greenville community, and beyond.
The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville is celebrating 10 years of lifting medical education to new heights, an anniversary that was officially ushered in Sept. 22 at the 10th Anniversary Gala attended by many from the community including: donors, faculty, staff and students from the UofSC School of Medicine Greenville; business and community leaders; Prisma Health representatives; and administrators and board trustees from the University of South Carolina.
“Tonight, as a community we celebrate the people, perseverance, planning, and partnerships which shaped this amazing medical school,” said SOMG Dean Marjorie Jenkins, MD MEdHP FACP.
Throughout this year, the School of Medicine Greenville will acknowledge its history and the opening of the school to its inaugural class of students in July, 2012 — a milestone for the community and the medical school.
Jenkins also told those in attendance that in addition to commencing a time to celebrate the achievements of the School, the anniversary also marks a time to envision the journey into the next 10 years. The School of Medicine is committed to training tomorrow’s physicians to become leaders in medicine and helping people in the region and state stay healthy and well. Jenkins said future goals include remaining a top, innovative school for medical students and growing cutting-edge research, especially research that nets a positive impact on the community.
The School of Medicine Greenville (SOMG) was specifically created to address a shortage of physicians in South Carolina, including a shortage of 815 primary care physicians forecast by 2030, according to a study by the Robert Graham Center. It was out of this concern for future community health that the University of South Carolina partnered with the former Greenville Health System, now Prisma Health, to establish the School of Medicine Greenville in 2012. Founders strove to create a one-of-a-kind curriculum — one that prioritized integrated academic and clinical learning, involvement in the community and hands-on learning — for a new kind of medical school that seeks to inspire the next generation of doctors. Furthermore, SOMG is proud to be the anchor for South Carolina's Flagship University in Greenville.
University of South Carolina President Michael Amiridis was university provost when the school was formed. After years of discussions, the effort started in earnest in 2009 when the University of South Carolina and Greenville Health System authorized a study to examine the creation of a four-year medical program in Greenville, concluding that a new medical school was consistent with the mission statements and goals of the respective institutions.
The gala event Sept. 22 was held at the Huguenot Mill and Loft in Greenville.
“I am really excited to be part of this celebration,” said Amiridis. “We are celebrating our students’ success as well as the vision and the commitment of the School of Medicine Greenville’s founders, staff and faculty,” said Amiridis. “This school has been advancing medicine and has had an immense impact already, including the number of physicians who stay to practice in the state of South Carolina and make contributions to the community.”
The ambitious mission at the new UofSC School of Medicine Greenville required collaboration at multiple levels and an all-hand’s-on-deck approach from 2009 to 2012 as plans to open the school were implemented.
“It was from the beginning an innovative school with a different approach to the curriculum,” said President Amiridis, “and that was recognized by the accrediting body (The Liaison Committee on Medical Education) at the time (of the school’s founding).” Some examples of the innovative curriculum include emergency medical technician (EMT) training that every medical student undergoes and a first-of-its-kind Lifestyle Medicine program to highlight prevention and health wellness, and an integrated academic curriculum.
School of Medicine Greenville became the third accredited medical school in the state.
Minor Shaw, a Greenville business leader and longtime contributor to numerous community boards, noted how SOMG has been having a positive impact on the Greenville region, including training physician specialists, a significant number of whom stay in the area to practice medicine. “The School of Medicine Greenville is elevating medical care and makes medical care even better than it is,” said Shaw.
Close to half of SOMG’s charter graduating class now practice primary care in South Carolina, with a continued focus at the School on producing even more physicians for the Palmetto State in the future.
Over the past three years, SOMG has raised $11 million to support students and programs,
and the School is launching its Next Decade Initiative philanthropic drive, Jenkins
announced at the Gala — to help the school continue to train tomorrow’s physicians
to become leaders in medicine.
The School’s partnership with Prisma Health helped create a state-of-the-art feeder program for new physicians for the health care system, and it grants students immediate access to help from dedicated clinicians as students train in their medical specialty.
“I am grateful for the long-standing partnership between Prisma Health and the School of Medicine Greenville,” said Mark O’Halla, President and CEO of Prisma Health. “Our shared commitment to research and education is truly making a difference in the lives of patients and communities across the state — and will continue to do so for decades to come.”