Hundreds of donors impact MUSC’s mission through Giving Tuesday

Melissa Varner
November 15, 2021
Dr. Jeffrey Winterfield
Dr. Jeffrey Winterfield

 

In 2020, hundreds of people came together to support the Medical University of South Carolina on Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving. Their gifts ranged from $5 to more than $300,000, totaling a record $569,401.80. Every dollar impacted MUSC’s life-changing mission.

Their generosity created opportunity for students, faculty and staff in all six MUSC colleges through scholarships, experiences and resources. They gave more than $36,000 for lifesaving cancer research at Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC. Nearly $23,000 went to programs that give families hope and help children heal at the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women’s Pavilion.

And thanks to a generous gift of stock from Hank and Laurel Greer, more than $300,000 supported the MUSC Health Heart and Vascular Center through two endowed chairs: The Hank and Laurel Greer Endowed Chair in Electrophysiology and the Elliott-Robison Endowed Chair in Vascular Surgery.

An endowed chair is an elite faculty appointment that carries with it a dedicated source of funding to support the chairholder’s work. It is considered the most prestigious honor a university may award a faculty member. As such, it is a powerful tool for the recruitment and support of world-renowned leaders in patient care, education and groundbreaking research.

Cardiologist Jeffrey Winterfield is one of those experts: He was recruited to MUSC in 2016 for his expertise in treating complex heart rhythm problems.

When he’s not caring for patients or researching, Winterfield, an associate professor of cardiac electrophysiology, is training future physicians. “There's just there's too much to do,” Winterfield said. “I can't do all of it.”

He says the Hank and Laurel Greer Endowed Chair has allowed him to build a team so he can dedicate more time to pursuing discoveries that lead to better patient care. Because of Winterfield’s research, MUSC Health pioneered the use of state-of-the-art heart mapping tools. Heart mapping is like a GPS, directing doctors to heart problems.

“Without the Greers’ help, I don't think we would have the program we have today,” Winterfield said. “I'm very thankful.”

Endowed chairs can also be used to recognize and retain outstanding faculty like vascular surgeon Ravi Veeraswamy, the inaugural Elliott-Robison Endowed Chair in Vascular Surgery.

Veeraswamy says several research projects are currently supported by the endowment. “We are using artificial intelligence to help identify patients at risk of stroke from their carotid arteries,” he explained. “In addition, we are exploring ways to identify patients with peripheral arterial disease much earlier in their disease process so we can help save their limbs from being amputated.”

Veeraswamy is deeply grateful to the Greers and everyone who contributed to his chair. “Our promise to you is to give you the best return on your investment through good stewardship and improved patient care.”

Winterfield estimates hundreds of patients have been positively impacted by the Greers’ generosity. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

The Greers chose to make their donation on Giving Tuesday to inspire others. “We do this for one reason: to save lives,” said Hank Greer. “We appreciate everyone who joined us in supporting the Medical University on Giving Tuesday and hope you will consider doing so again.”

Giving Tuesday

MUSC employees, alumni, patients and friends will come together again Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, to support MUSC on Giving Tuesday! Money raised on Giving Tuesday will advance MUSC’s lifesaving mission of learning, discovery and healing. We hope you’ll join us in changing what’s possible for all the lives we touch!

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About the Author

Melissa Varner

Keywords: Thank You Notes