Community hits scholarship home run in honor of Drive owner Craig Brown

GREENVILLE – Wednesday’s GHS Night at the Drive turned into “Operation Home Run” for baseball team owner Craig Brown when community members surprised him with scholarship support for the innovative work pipeline he’s championed for nearly a decade.

The $50,000 in support will help fund stipends, scholarships and educational materials for students in the Greenville Health System’s Medical Experience (MedEx) Academy, an award-winning initiative that’s helped introduce more than 500 students into the healthcare field since launching in 2010.

MedEx Academy helps identify and encourage high school and college students into considering a future as doctors – but also as nurses, HR specialists and medical coders to name just a fraction of the administrative and allied health careers open in the health-care field.

Brown is the president and owner of the Greenville Drive Baseball Team, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary season at Fluor Field in downtown Greenville. His partnership with MedEx has included his own personal giving, fundraising on behalf of the program, serving as long-time chair of the MedEx Advisory Board and even hosting Health Careers Night at the Drive.

“Craig Brown came to Greenville in 2006 and has been stacking the bases ever since with the future doctors and healthcare professionals who will be taking care of us and our children,” said Lisa Stevens, chairwoman of the Greenville Health Authority Board of Trustees. Stevens, the catalyst behind the fundraising effort, is a member of the MedEx Advisory Board and has seen first-hand the effort Brown has put into raising community awareness of the one-of-a-kind MedEx program.

“Without his personal devotion to the establishment of MedEx, we would not have 82 local students excelling in medical schools both here and nationwide, as well as an additional 153 pursuing other careers in medicine or health care. Craig didn’t leave developing local talent to ‘someone else.’ He made it his mission and now it’s part of our culture and our collective future,” said Stevens.

Alfred Squire, the director of GHS’ MedEx Academy, agreed wholeheartedly.

“No one gives more of their time, talent, and treasure to the GHS MedEx Academy than Craig Brown,” said Squire. “From our first year in 2010 until now, he inspired the on-going effort to provide resources and stipends to support our students. That campaign, including the recent student support in his name, has raised more than $2.5 million.

Health care is one of the nation’s fastest growing career fields. Helping shape the employees of the future not only helps ensure that GHS and the broader community will have access to well-trained high-quality care, but it helps keep some of the area’s brightest students at home in the Upstate.

“There would not be a MedEx Academy were it not for Craig Brown,” said Squire. “To continue the baseball metaphor, he’s not only the captain of the MedEx Academy team; he’s our Most Valuable Player.”

Brown also serves on several boards in Greenville. Brown is a board member for the Strategic Coordinating Organization as well as a member of the Quality and Academics Committee of the GHS Board of Trustees. He’s also a member of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and serves as co-chair of the ACCELERATE! Greenville initiative.

For more information on the MexEx Academy, visit hsc.ghs.org/medex/need-medex-academy/

Cutline information:
Craig Brown receives an honorary MedEx jacket, along with surprise news of a $50,000 MedEx Academy scholarship in his name, during Wednesday night Greenville Drive game. Included in photo are GHS’ Brenda Thames, Brown, GHS’ Spence Taylor and MedEx alumni/current med school student Kelsey Williams.

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