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.

Record-breaking Year for Philanthropic Kindness

Thanks to generous philanthropic support, Prisma Health’ Office of Philanthropy & Partnership celebrated its most successful fundraising year ever, amassing more than $19 million in strategic support!

“Community support, vision and hard work started Prisma Health in 1912, and it’s that same support, vision and hard work that has grown us into what we are today,” said Jerry Dempsey, former chairman of the Prisma Health Board of Trustees. “Prisma Health has transformed itself over the last 103 years from a small hospital in Greenville to the nation’s 100th academic health center, where research and academics are coming together to provide constantly improving health care despite a climate of constant change.”

Since Prisma Health receives no financial assistance from local or state government, philanthropic support allows for investments that make additional high-quality, patient-centered care possible.

Dragon Boat Upstate Festival

The 2015 fundraising festival took place at Lake Hartwell with over 30 teams paddling to the beat of $380,000. The annual event, which cruised to its ninth year May 2, saw record-breaking support for local cancer research and survivorship programs at the Prisma Health Cancer Institute and the South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation.


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Foundation Awards Med School Scholarship

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation presented an $800,000 grant toward a USC School of Medicine Greenville scholarship fund to increase physicians in the Palmetto State while placing an emphasis on diversity.

The grant, distributed through the school’s Levi S. Kirkland Sr., MD, Scholarship fund, will benefit under-represented minorities (African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans) by providing five students with $40,000 every year they are enrolled in the medical school.



Scholarship recipients must practice full time in South Carolina within a year of completing their graduate medical education residency and/or fellowship training. They must work one year for each year of scholarship support they receive.

USC School of Medicine Greenville’s Levi S. Kirkland Sr., MD, Scholarship is named in honor of Prisma Health’ first African-American surgeon. In 2014, the medical school and Prisma Health renamed a scholarship fund focused on diversity to honor this surgeon, who still resides in Greenville.

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Seed Fund Grows

When William Schmidt III, MD, PhD, medical director of Prisma Health Children’s Hospital, and his family made a $1 million gift in 2014 to create the Children’s Hospital Seed Fund for Advanced Pediatrics, it was with the hope that others would contribute to the fledgling endowment.

Thanks to Dr. and Mrs. William DeLoache, along with daughter and son-in-law Frances and Dave Ellison, the original $1 million gift was matched. Frances Ellison, a longtime Children’s Hospital champion and former Prisma Health Board of Trustees chair, gave the donation in keeping with the generosity of her parents, who now are deceased. (Dr. DeLoache was a leader and founder of Children’s Hospital.) The fund currently stands at nearly $3 million.

This endowment will support “big leap forward” innovations that will make the hospital a regional leader in pediatric care. How the money is used will be decided as new breakthroughs occur and leading-edge technologies become available.

Landmark NIH Research Project Grant

Amy Picklesimer, MD, medical director of Prisma Health’ Obstetrics Center, and Clemson University’s Liwei Chen, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in public health sciences, received NIH R01 funding for their study, “Reducing disparities in birth outcomes: a randomized controlled trial on CenteringPregnancy.” The grant is for $3.5 million and will last five years. This award is the first Prisma Health-based R01-funded grant in the system’s history.

In South Carolina, Dr. Picklesimer is the leading pioneer of the CenteringPregnancy model of group prenatal care, which is a national care innovation. In CenteringPregnancy, patients receive all of their prenatal care in a group with other pregnant women due in the same month. Together with their healthcare provider, they have extended time to share information, receive prenatal care and enjoy social support.

Drs. Chen and Picklesimer serve as co-principal investigators for the study.

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Polo Classic Raises $140,000

The Greenville Polo Classic benefits Prisma Health’ Neurological Institute, which supports patients with movement and neurologic disorders in our community. These patients face a critical challenge as more than 30% of South Carolina counties lack a practicing neurologist. Donor support through events such as the October 18 event held at Hopkins Farm makes it possible to focus on the comprehensive needs of neurologic patients in the Upstate.

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