Greenville offers residents access to high-quality and innovative health-care options
After graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama-Huntsville and after medical school at the University of South Alabama, Shannon Burgess, MD, trained her sights on a pediatric residency with Greenville Health System, a growing academic system with eight inpatient campuses. The match turned out to be a perfect one. During her residency, Burgess served as the vice president of the GHS House Staff Senate in 2014 and as president in 2015 and 16. In turn, she received training at Greenville Memorial, the health system’s flagship hospital and the largest acute-care hospital in South Carolina. So when the time came to choose where she would continue her career, the decision was simple.
“During my residency training at GHS, I was treated very well and my opinion was valued. I also really appreciated the comradery held by the faculty at GHS. Everyone here has the same goal – to take great care of our patients and provide them with the highest quality care we have to offer, and I really wanted to continue to be a part of a health system that continually chooses to put the patient first,â€ Burgess says.
She says the GHS Healthy Greenville 2036 initiative – an $80 million, 20-year pledge to help make Greenville County the healthiest county in America by 2036 – is just one example of how the health system puts patients first. The initiative provides grants to programs that tackle community health issues, such as obesity, diabetes and mental illness.
“Several of my own patients who have recently moved from large, nationally-known medical institutions comment on how impressed they are with GHS and the care they have received since moving here. Greenville continues to grow, and the population is booming because more and more people are discovering how easy it is to live here. There is so much that Greenville has to offer, and that makes it a great place to live, work, play, raise a family, and retire,â€ she says.
Thomas Cummins, MD, chief medical officer of Greenville’s Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, is also a recent transplant to Greenville. Before joining the faith-based health system, which is part of Bon Secours international, Cummins served as senior vice president and chief medical officer of CHI St. Vincent Arkansas in Little Rock.
“The very first time I came to Greenville to interview with Bon Secours St. Francis, I fell for downtown Greenville – Falls Park, the restaurants, the Peace Center. It just blew me away. And every time we have visitors, we go downtown so they can see it and see why we moved here after 30 years in Arkansas,â€ Cummins says.
Cummins says he was also impressed by wealth of talent both at St. Francis and within the community as a whole. The health system is one of the largest employers in Greenville County.
“Our people are our strongest attributes – from physicians to nurses to every other member of our team. We have so many great people who truly live the mission of providing Good Help to the people we serve. I stand in awe of the number of coworkers we have who have served for 10, 20, 30, and even over 40 years. We would not be able to deliver the care we do without their loyalty and passion for who we are,â€ Cummins says. “Health care is a large part of the draw to Greenville – from employers to retirees. A community without great health care cannot grow.”
Cancer Care Crusader
Dennis Ruder, a scientist with KIYATEK – a biotech company creating a new paradigm shift in cancer care by developing a predictive test that will allow clinicians to more accurately and efficiently select effective therapeutic regimens for cancer patients – immigrated with his family from Eastern Europe when he was young. He grew up in Texas and studied cell and developmental biology at the Baylor and the University of Texas. His interest in studying the biological nature of cancer led him to Greenville and KIYATEK. But Ruder says it’s Greenville’s quality of life that keeps him here.
“Greenville offers something for everyone, which is why it is a wonderful place to live and work. It has the charm of a small town, but has everything one would see or do in a big city. The close proximity to everything is a big plus as well, especially the short commute to work. The industries of jobs here are diverse and competitive, and are continuously attracting top talent. There is a reason why ‘this’ Greenville stands out above the rest,â€ Ruder says.