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Gunn: Better together
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In November, KershawHealth became a part of the Capella-MUSC Health Network, and some additional logos on the medical center in Camden became quite visible. Ever since then, one of the questions I’m often asked is, “How’s this affiliation with MUSC going to work?”

In reality, it’s already at work. KershawHealth was one of the early members of MUSC’s REACH stroke program. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in South Carolina, and early intervention is crucial to saving lives and improving health outcomes. This innovative telemedicine program brought the expertise of MUSC neurologists and stroke specialists right into the emergency departments of community hospitals across South Carolina, including KershawHealth. 

Through the power of advanced technology -- including two-way cameras, video monitors, and high-speed data lines -- emergency room physicians are able to consult with MUSC stroke specialists to help evaluate patients, confirm diagnosis and treatment protocols, and ensure our patients get the immediate treatment which is critical in reducing damage from a stroke. Today, KershawHealth boasts excellent “door-to-treatment” performance -- an exciting testament to the power of collaboration between a community hospital and experts at the state’s premier teaching facility.

While impressive, REACH is just the beginning. We are finalizing the procedures necessary to implement a partnership with MUSC which will support additional clinical expertise in our Intensive Care Unit, which is expected to launch this spring. This is another telemedicine initiative which allows local physicians to consult with a multi-disciplinary team of critical care specialists at MUSC to determine the most effective treatment regime for their patient. It harnesses the capability of advanced technology and the clinical expertise of a major medical center to ensure patients in our Intensive Care Unit receive the most comprehensive care while being treated by their local attending physician. It is the best of both worlds.

The Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC offers the most advanced, comprehensive treatment options to deliver the highest level of care to patients, and is recognized as one of the premier cancer treatment centers in the country. We plan to develop a local cancer treatment center in conjunction with MUSC which will offer leading-edge treatments and access to nationally-renowned cancer specialists to patients right here in our community.

We also anticipate being able to develop programs which will allow residents and attending physicians from MUSC to extend our physician capabilities and offer more specialty care locally. That peer-to-peer interaction and mentoring will also give our hospital staff invaluable opportunities for engagement and learning. We also plan to develop similar opportunities for allied health professionals and advanced practice nursing students. These will create an atmosphere of excellence that will allow KershawHealth to build on our current foundation of best-in-class quality care to develop an even stronger and more responsive organization.

Our collaboration with MUSC Health holds great promise for the future of healthcare locally, and for those who wisely choose KershawHealth. We are excited about the prospects it offers for those who entrust us with their care.