MUSC officials, fundraising chair vow to move forward despite funding cut

MUSC officials, Fundraising chair vow to move forward, despite funding cut for new hospital

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The show must, and will go on.

That was the feeling Friday, among officials at MUSC, and Charleston businessman Paul Steadman, the volunteer Fundraising Chairman for the new MUSC Children's Hospital.

"The campaign slogan for this campaign is let's build it, and build it we will," he said.

Thursday, Steadman, like many others across the state, watched closely as lawmakers went back and forth on a bond package, set to send $50 million to MUSC, paying for the down payment on the new $350 million children's hospital.

That bill was rejected twice, before House lawmakers agreed to cut funding to $25 million.

The final amount could change again, when the package goes before the Senate.

"It really doesn't change our game plan at all," Steadman said, adding the hospital project has always been a partnership combining federal, state and private funds.

To date, private fundraising efforts have netted close to $15 million.

"We hope the legislature recognizes, this is not a Charleston funding project.  This is not a Charleston building project.  It is a statewide, state of the art, pediatric hospital."

According to MUSC spokeswoman Heather Woolwine, more than 40 percent of the patients at the Children's Hospital come from beyond the Tri-County area.

In a statement Friday, MUSC officials added, "Our state legislators want pediatric health care to be the best it can be for South Carolina's children."

"We are thrilled and thankful that they have recognized the value MUSC brings to pediatric care for patients throughout the state."

Construction on the new hospital, located at the corner of Calhoun Street and Courtenay Drive, is expected to start in 2016.

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