A distinguished academic health leader, recognized for her focus on medical research and education for personalized medicine, has been named the new dean of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville.
Dr. Marjorie Jenkins has been hired to lead the four-year medical school. She will look to continue the school’s growth since it was established in 2012 and will begin her new position Aug. 1. She will also take on the role of chief academic officer for Prisma Health–Upstate.
“I am honored to be selected as the next dean of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville and look forward to working with the UofSC and Prisma Health–Upstate leadership, faculty, staff and students to build on the strong foundation established by the former Greenville Health System, UofSC and founding Dean Dr. Jerry Youkey,” Jenkins said. “Together we will achieve the mission of the medical school to provide physicians that are committed to transform the health and wellness of communities of South Carolina.”
The new dean comes to Greenville with significant experience in leadership roles within the health sciences, including creating new paths in women’s health, and specifically in medical research and education that focuses on the differences in disease diagnosis, treatments, and outcomes between men and women with a goal of establishing personalized medicine. She comes from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Women’s Health, where she was director of medical initiatives and scientific engagement.
She joined the FDA by an invited interprofessional agreement with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, where her work showed a focus on program innovation. She served as a tenured professor of medicine, associate dean for women in health and science, and director and chief scientific officer for the Laura Bush Institute for Women’s Health. She was also the founding executive director for the institute.
“Dr. Jenkins’ leadership experience in multiple arenas of health care make her an ideal choice to lead the School of Medicine Greenville and build on our already strong collaboration with Prisma Health–Upstate,” UofSC Interim President-Elect Brendan Kelly said.
Jenkins completed a Master of Education in the Health Professions from Johns Hopkins University. She holds a Doctor of Medicine from East Tennessee State University and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University.
Prior to her career in medicine, she was a chemical engineer for Kodak Eastman Chemical Company.
In addition to her focuses on education program development and research, Jenkins’ expertise includes curricular development and career mentoring. She’s a recognized leader in the field of women’s health and has demonstrated a commitment to improving women’s health policy.
“From the age of five, growing up in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky, I wanted to be a doctor,” Jenkins said. “From the time I received my medical degree from East Tennessee State University, I have strived to make an impact on healthcare delivery. As dean of UofSC School of Medicine Greenville, I welcome the opportunity to engage with a strong and thriving Greenville community to make a difference in the lives of not only their families but also South Carolina and the nation.”
Jenkins will follow Youkey, who is retiring in September as the school’s founding dean. Youkey developed a comprehensive plan for a school of medicine in Greenville and helped it reach new heights since its birth as a four-year medical school with the mission of improving population health in the Upstate and throughout South Carolina.
“Dr. Youkey must be commended for his outstanding work in building the medical school from the ground up and creating an exceptional, patient-centered education program that serves the needs of South Carolina and beyond,” President Harris Pastides said. “With the selection of Dr. Jenkins, the school will continue to deliver on its mission of producing great physicians who have a substantial impact on improving patients’ lives.”
Jenkins begins at a time of growth for the School of Medicine Greenville, which works with Prisma Health–Upstate to provide comprehensive medical education to students. The school has celebrated a 100 percent residency placement rate since conception. The inaugural class included 53 students but has since grown to more than 100 per year as the school helps shape the next generation of physicians for South Carolina and beyond.