Generous Giving

The Power of Philanthropy

Prisma Health’ss Office of Philanthropy & Partnership welcomes gifts of time, talent and treasure from the giving community. These contributions help provide high-quality medical care for people in the Upstate. Programs, medical equipment, renovations and education—such as the recent milestones described below—are a few examples of what can be made possible through generous donations.


Prisma Health Launches Nation’s First Rare Tumor Center

In March, Prisma Health announced the opening of a Rare Tumor Center—the nation’s first center dedicated to treating and researching rare cancers. This ambitious initiative reflects Prisma Health’ss commitment to collaboration, research and academic medicine.

The center will attract patients from throughout the U.S. and already has sparked a $1 million gift and a strategic alliance with national molecular-medicine leader Foundation Medicine. Molecular profiling helps doctors more precisely target cancer based on each cancer’s unique genomic signature.

The $1 million gift by Jerry and Harriet Dempsey marks the largest individual gift ever given to the Prisma Health Cancer Institute. Jerry Dempsey is the past chairman of the Prisma Health Board of Trustees.

Rare tumors affect one in five patients with cancer. These patients usually do not receive standardized treatments because their individual cancers, which can affect as few as 150 people, are poorly understood. Clinical trials aren’t routinely available and treatments often are based on observational use of medications, which are less reliable than evidence-based approaches typical of more common cancers.


Medical Student Scholarships

In March, Jerry Youkey, MD, and wife Sharon established an $800,000 scholarship fund to help recruit and retain top students at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. Their gift will fully support the education of five physicians over 20 years. Dr. Youkey is executive vice president for Prisma Health Health Sciences and dean of the USC School of Medicine Greenville.

Applicant rates at the medical school have skyrocketed. The quality, diversity and commitment of the applicants are impressive, but more than two-thirds receive competing offers from other schools. Attracting the best applicants hinges on the ability to offer competitive scholarship support—and this new medical school won’t have loyal, committed alumni able to help for at least a few decades.

With their generous gift, the Youkeys are creating a legacy that will live on for generations, encouraging scholarship winners to stay and practice in the Upstate, and making the USC School of Medicine Greenville more competitive.


Seed Fund for Advanced Pediatrics

William Schmidt III, MD, PhD, medical director of Prisma Health Children’s Hospital, wife Jean and his family made a $1 million donation to create the Children’s Hospital Seed Fund for Advanced Pediatrics. This endowment will support “big leap forward” pediatric innovations and help make the hospital a regional leader in advanced care.

Shortly after their gift was announced September 8, a matching contribution from an anonymous donor also was announced. Decisions on how the money is used will occur as new breakthroughs and technologies become available.

Children’s Hospital—the Upstate’s only pediatric hospital recognized by the national Children’s Hospital Association—has 185 primary and specialty physicians and features nearly 40 pediatric specialties. The hospital and its practices tallied nearly 500,000 visits this year.


Dragon Boat Upstate Festival

This 2014 fundraising festival paddled to a record-breaking $350,000+ and boasted a full complement of teams. The annual event, which cruised to its seventh year May 3, has raised over $1 million in support of local families and hosts more than 1,500 visitors and team members at Lake Hartwell.

Paddlers, volunteers and supporters enjoy a day at the lake while supporting oncology research, rehabilitation programs through Prisma Health’ss Center for Integrative Oncology and Survivorship, and other cancer services at the Cancer Institute.

Learn more at dragonboatupstatesc.org