The following remarks were delivered by Marietta Lawson at the press conference announcing the South Carolina College of Pharmacy. I think she stole the show! If anyone is wondering why our mission includes teaching, here is the reason.
As you can plainly see, I am not your typical pharmacy student. I am an adult with adult issues. I have a house in Spartanburg, a husband, a mortgage, a child who just began high school Monday, and a another who is a student at USC Columbia, just a few years younger than most of my classmates. When I embarked upon this new career path five years ago I imagined a lot of challenges but one of them was not spending a large portion of my time on I-26 up and down the road from Columbia ,or spending many nights away from my family in Columbia. The original plan had been to pack up and move the whole family to Columbia, but the recession of 2008 dashed those plans and my option thereafter was either to go forth with commuting to SCCP on the USC campus or give it all up, the years of prereqs, the planning, the dream of becoming a pharmacist.
So I forged ahead.It has been a long two years for myself and my family but I just kept hoping that this greenville campus I had heard about was indeed going to make it for my 3rd year as I had heard it might. My favorite person to email on this matter was Dr. Dipiro because he was the most positive of anyone on the subject. Before I started school and every semester thereafter I would ask, how is the Greenville campus going? Is it really going to happen for my 3rd year. Every time he answered something like “everything is looking really good, it should be on schedule for your class.” I would immediately relay this important information to my husband and parents and we would hang on to every word.
Last spring I received an email that a Dr. Alissa Smith was coming to Columbia to meet with students who would consider transferring to the new Greenville campus for the fall. I immediately realized it was now a sure thing. This was the best meeting I had ever been to, in fact I could hardly keep myself from cutting cartwheels throughout her presentation. As if not commuting wasn’t’enough during the presentation I learned we were going to have state of the art facilities, a small class size of less than 20 and still all the resources of USC, MUSC and now GHS. After the meeting I introduced myself to Dr. Smith by giving her my name and stating this was one of the happiest days of my life. She looked a little surprised, but it really was the truth.
I don’t know if any of you who worked so hard to bring this program to Greenville really realize the impact you have had not just on my life, but many people who are limited geographically but will now be able to become a pharmacist, and stay in this area. I know GHS is a great place to be, because I just finished my first hospital rotation in May on this campus, and the facility and professionals you have on staff here are amazing and in my opinion first rate. Everyone I talked to seemed excited about this new campus and more than willing to help me learn during my rotation and thereafter.
I would also like to say, Thank you Dr. Dipiro, I trusted you could make this happen and you did. I know you were just one piece of the puzzle but your reassuring emails which always came promptly and encouraged future inquires made those 2 years go by a lot quicker. And thank you to all the previous speakers today who I am deeply honored to share the stage with. Without your support and making this a priority on your busy lists I know this would not have been possible. And finally thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone else who was involved, especially our director Dr. Smith. Because of your hard work you have made a huge difference in my life, my fellow classmates with me here today, and those who will follow us into this new growing program. The lives of many and the future of pharmacy in the upstate will forever be changed for the better because of you.
I have spoken in the past about what it means to be a physician led organization and how this philosophy lines up with our goal of being a Highly Integrated Delivery System. I believe the systems that can integrate with their physicians have a huge advantage over typical community hospitals, that may or may not own physician practices, unable or unwilling to fully integrate. In fact, our physician engagement and satisfaction scores are in the 99th percentile. We have the most engaged physician workforce that I have ever been associated with – much more so than the University of Chicago or Emory.
Several years ago we made history when we appointed the first women campus president – Suzanne White was the President of the Greenville Memorial Medical Campus. Recently, we took another historical step by selecting a physician as a campus president. The following is the announcement:
TO: GHS Employees
FROM: Greg Rusnak, Executive Vice President and Chief Operation Officer
DATE: August 12, 2011
RE: Hillcrest Hospital Campus President
It is my pleasure to announce that Eric Bour, M.D., has been selected to serve as Campus President for Hillcrest Memorial Hospital.
For the past 10 years, Dr. Bour has been performing bariatric surgery at Hillcrest; the place he calls his “surgical home.” In 2007, Dr. Bour, along with campus staff and leaders, helped Hillcrest achieve recognition as a Bariatric Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He has also served as the Vice Chair of Quality for the Department of Surgery for the past several years.
While serving as Campus President, Dr. Bour will remain clinically active on a part-time basis. I am truly excited about the unique skills and perspectives that he will bring to this position.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude to the Search and Selection committee, chaired by Dr. Ken Rogers, for the wonderful efforts conducting this search. We were fortunate to have had a group of extraordinary internal candidates interested in this position, and I credit the Search and Selection committee with having done a great job networking and promoting this opportunity.
Please join me in congratulating and supporting Dr. Bour as he assumes his new role!