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Bruce retiring as KHF executive director, hospital marketing VP

Posted: February 20, 2015 2:15 p.m.
Updated: February 23, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Joseph Bruce

Joseph Bruce, executive director of the KershawHealth Foundation and KershawHealth’s vice president of marketing and community development, will retire from both positions March 13. Bruce, a South Carolina native, returned to his home state in 2007 to join KershawHealth and the foundation after a career with major New York City and Washington, D.C., advertising and public relations agencies.

Bruce revitalized the foundation and created The Baruch Society to recognize its most generous donors. The annual Baruch Society Members’ Dinner brought noted speakers to the community, including the executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine and Bernard Baruch’s grandnephew. With an expanding base of donors and significant increases in financial support, the foundation funded a variety of significant projects. They  included a lithotripter center to treat kidney stones, the renovation of the medical center cafeteria and, most recently, a new nurse call/monitoring system.

“Joseph had a real vision for what the foundation could achieve and a passion that inspired members of our board,” KershawHealth Foundation Board Chair Kathy Comer said. “His years in New York and Washington gave him a broader world view and a heightened sense of what was possible.”

As marketing and community development vice president, Bruce guided the transition of the healthcare system’s name from Kershaw County Medical Center to KershawHealth, and developed a successful marketing launch for its Urgent Care and Primary Care facility near Elgin. He was also responsible for planning the celebration of KershawHealth’s centennial in 2013.

One of Bruce’s chief interests has been population health and the continuing declines at the national, state, and local level despite enormous expenditures in healthcare. In response, he envisioned an initiative to use Kershaw County as a model for how a community could achieve measurable improvements in the health of its population.

Under his leadership, an initiative called LiveWell Kershaw grew into a collaboration among KershawHealth, the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, Kershaw County Community Medical Clinic and Access Kershaw. With a $3 million grant from the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services, LiveWell Kershaw is now implementing an innovative community-based population health improvement plan in the North Central area of the county.

“LiveWell Kershaw will no doubt be one of Joseph’s greatest legacies to our community,” KershawHealth CEO Terry Gunn said. “And indeed as a model for other communities, its impact has the potential to be far-reaching in South Carolina and beyond.”

Bruce reflected back on his eight years with KershawHealth and the foundation.

“I came to Camden originally with the idea of retiring. And so my time at KershawHealth was quite literally the career I never expected to have,” Bruce said. “But it ended up being some of the most fulfilling years of my working life. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to help advance healthcare in our community and especially to launch an initiative that will successfully address the seemingly intractable challenge of improving population health.

“And now with the pound sterling hovering around $1.50, it’s time for me to travel back to the UK!”


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