January 10, 2012 marked the centennial anniversary of Greenville Health System. For us, the centennial is an opportunity to reflect on the stories of all those in and around our community who have helped us transform health care — and the lives of those we are proud to serve.
Join us as we commemorate 100 years of healing compassionately, improving constantly and teaching innovatively. For us, this also is a time to look ahead because the most powerful stories of GHS’ first 100 years are the ones yet to be finished. With new medical students arriving and community wellness initiatives expanding throughout the Upstate, GHS stands ready to embark on a second century of high-quality, community-centered health care.
GHS Logo Transformation
Over the years, our logo has been adapted to reflect the changes from a small city hospital in 1912 to an academic health system of today.
On January 10, 1912, 80 years after becoming a city, Greenville opened its first community hospital – the beginning of Greenville Health System.
When Greenville, South Carolina, was incorporated as a city in 1831, there was ONE doctor in town and NO hospital. By the 1890s, Greenville was a bustling blue-collar city of 10,000 with 50,000 residents in the county. More doctors had moved in. Several even ran their own mini-hospitals, called “sanitariums,”, for their private patients. But for the general population, there wasn’t a hospital open to all. A newspaper editorial in 1895 declared, “A charity that has become an absolute necessity is a city hospital with a casualty ward.” The risks of malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases ran high.
That year, the Greenville Hospital Association board was formed to raise money to build a permanent hospital. It included the Ladies Auxiliary Board of the Hospital Association. Together, together they raised the private funds needed to purchase a large sanitarium, which proudly reopened as City Hospital on January 10, 1912.
Three days later, the City Hospital Training School for Nurses was founded and accepted its first student, setting the course for an emphasis on clinical training and education that is integral to fulfilling our mission.
The 84-bed City Hospital would evolve into Greenville Health System, the county’s largest employer and one of the nation’s most respected healthcare system with a heritage of caring for generations and a vision to do so into the future.
Decades of Care
The Beginning: 1831-1912
Eighty years after becoming a city, Greenville opened its first community hospital – City Hospital…the beginning of Greenville Health System.
Greenville boasted five railroads, six public schools, 47 churches, two colleges, an opera house, six miles of paved streets and finally …its own community hospital. The beginning of Greenville Health System happened in 1912.
“Do and Be Silent” was a motto of nursing students at City Hospital…it happened at Greenville Health System in the 1920′s.
Nursing Superintendent Byrd Holmes set the tone for what an administrator should be for decades to come. Her impact was felt at Greenville Health System beginning in the 1930′s.
James Sweeney was on-duty when the greatest tragedy in Greenville’s history occurred…resetting his career path for the next 40 years. It happened at Greenville Health System in the 1940′s.
Allen Bennett lost his life in WWII. In his honor, a community would have healthcare for generations. It happened at Greenville Health System in the 1950′s.
Over three Sundays, 163,000 Upstate residents were vaccinated for polio. It happened at Greenville Health System in the 1960′s.
Edna Childers didn’t set out to break any records when she began as a hospital volunteer, but 29, 000 volunteer hours later she did just that. It began at Greenville Health System in the 1970′s.
The last baby born at Greenville General Hospital and the first baby born at Greenville Memorial Hospital, happened on the same day at Greenville Health System in the 1980′s.
The longest serving employee of GHS was Doris Culbertson Bramlette. Hired as a nurse at Greenville General Hospital in 1942, Doris was the nursing administrative coordinator when she retired 50 years later. It happened at Greenville Health System in the 1990′s.
For GHS, the new Millennium brought change and tremendous growth.
GHS Wellness Centers, physician practices and specialty facilities wrap the region in total care – The Right Care in the Right Place at the Right Time.
The Next Century
The University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville was awarded preliminary accreditation on October 4, 2011, getting the green light to recruit students and open its doors in fall 2012. Preliminary accreditation is the first step in the accrediting process, which takes about four years.
USC President Harris Pastides said the announcement is a milestone for health care and education in the Palmetto State.
“This plan has been scrutinized at every level, and I am delighted that it has passed scrutiny with the true experts, the LCME,” Pastides said. “Expanding medical education in Greenville is the right thing to do because it will increase the supply of physicians and advance efforts to retain physicians in the Upstate and the state at large.”
Pastides said the fact that GHS officials approached USC about the expansion is recognition of the USC medical school’s strong record of educating physicians who remain in the state and USC and GHS’ longstanding partnership to offer clinical training to medical students in Greenville.
In 1991, the USC School of Medicine expanded its third and fourth years of medical training to GHS. The number of USC students who have completed their training at GHS is 271. Currently, 35 third-year students and 31 fourth-year students are doing their clinical training at GHS.
Founding Dean Jerry Youkey said the expansion will impact how healthcare is delivered in the Upstate.
“A day doesn’t go by when I don’t hear from interested students about whether the medical education program will get the go-ahead from the LCME,” said Youkey, who also is GHS’ vice president of medical and academic services. “I’m thrilled to finally say that the USC School of Medicine-Greenville is accepting applications. This program will significantly impact the way healthcare is delivered in our area. We are gratified for the confidence and support that has been provided to us from the citizens of South Carolina, the business community and our legislators.”
USCSOM-Greenville will begin recruiting students and faculty immediately and expects to accept 50 first-year students for fall, Youkey said. Plans call for gradual expansion of each first-year class, with a goal of 100 students in the fourth entering class.
Dr. Jay Moskowitz, president and CEO of Health Sciences South Carolina, said the expanded program will advance healthcare, education and research.
“Every man, woman, and child in South Carolina and its adjoining regions will benefit tremendously from the expanded medical education program in Greenville,” Moskowitz said. “It brings new opportunities for quality care, research and advanced education to our state. We are excited about this new addition in South Carolina for collaboration, care coordination and alignment of resources for clinical effectiveness.”
Youkey said the USCSOM-Greenville curriculum will emphasize collaborative learning, early integration of direct patient care throughout all four years of training, interdisciplinary team-based care, interpersonal skills with an emphasis on communication, integration of research with real-world concerns and life-long learning.
Youkey said plans call for recruiting 22 to 24 basic sciences faculty. GHS has approximately 300 clinical faculty members.
Most of the classes will take place in the Health Sciences Education Building, a state-of-the-art, 90,000-square-foot education facility that will include interactive team-focused “smart” classrooms and simulated patient clinical space where doctors in training will learn and practice patient-interaction skills. The building is on the Greenville Memorial Medical Campus close to GHS’ flagship regional referral center, Greenville Memorial Hospital.
The USCSOM-Greenville is the 136th medical education program in the United States and the only one that was accredited this year by the LCME.
Pastides said the fact that the program is not funded with public dollars made the arrangement particularly attractive.
“We have an airtight agreement with GHS that this program will not rely on any state funds. To turn down a proposal to expand medical school education without state funds would not have been a wise decision for the people of our state.”