The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville Welcomes New Faculty

January 26, 2017

Anna Blenda, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor, Biochemistry
Renee Chosed, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Biochemistry
Abir El-Alfy, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor, Pharmacology


Aflac provides scholarship funds for the USC School of Medicine Greenville

January 6, 2017

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 33% of American adults are considered obese. In addition, “obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. The estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight,” says the CDC.
To combat this obesity epidemic, and in a continued effort to promote the health and wellness of Upstate communities, Aflac, the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the worksite in the United States, has partnered with the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine Greenville to provide a full scholarship of $160,000 over the course of four years to one of our region’s future physicians. The patient-mindedness, Total Health focus, and population health mentality of the USC School of Medicine Greenville, along with its commitment to lifestyle medicine, optimizes this ideal partnership.

“Aflac products help protect the lifestyles of our policyholders by providing financial security against unexpected illnesses or injuries,” Aflac Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer Virgil Miller said. “But we also want to help people live healthy, and the USC School of Medicine Greenville’s emphasis on total patient care and lifestyle medicine is something we believe will play a significant role in controlling the obesity rate in South Carolina and across our country.”  

The USC School of Medicine Greenville implements lifestyle medicine into its curriculum to promote self-care among the student body as they persevere through school, and for students to impart this knowledge to their future patients. Additionally, the USC School of Medicine Greenville was the first medical school in the country to fully incorporate exercise as medicine into all four years of its curriculum.

“The generosity of Aflac will allow us to continue encouraging wellness in the Upstate, both now and in the future,” said Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina. “This is an investment that will have an impact long after our students become physicians.”

About USC School of Medicine Greenville
The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville is a partnership between the state’s largest university, the University of South Carolina (USC), and one of the largest health systems in the Southeast, the Greenville Health System (GHS). Located near GHS’ flagship tertiary hospital Greenville Memorial Hospital, the medical school graduated its first physician class in spring 2016. This “different school of thought” is dedicated to providing exceptional training for new physicians in transforming healthcare delivery. Learn more at

About Aflac

When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the worksite. Through its trailblazing One Day PaySM initiative, Aflac U.S. can receive, process, approve and disburse payment for eligible claims in one business day. In Japan, Aflac is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance and insures 1 in 4 households. Aflac insurance products help provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For 10 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2016, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 18th consecutive year and included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 15th time, ranking the company No. 1 in innovation for the insurance, life and health category for the second consecutive year. In 2015, Aflac’s contact centers were recognized by J.D. Power by providing “An Outstanding Customer Service Experience” for the Live Phone Channel. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac and One Day PaySM, visit or


Spence Taylor, MD, named vice chair of the American Board of Surgery

August 30, 2016

Congratulations to Spence Taylor, M.D., founding Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Diversity for the USC School of Medicine Greenville, who was recently elected vice chair of the American Board of Surgery for 2017-2018. Dr. Taylor is currently the president of Greenville Health System.


New Leadership Roles Announced

August 5, 2016

The USC School of Medicine Greenville is pleased to announce several new leadership roles:

Paul Catalana, M.D., has been appointed as Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. 

April Buchanan, M.D., has been appointed Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in addition to her responsibilities as Assistant Dean of Clinical Clerkship Education.

Brenda Thames, Ed.D., has been appointed as Associate Dean for Institutional Culture and Inclusivity, along with her GHS role of VP for Academic and Faculty Affairs.

Robert Best, Ph.D., has assumed responsibilities consistent with his newly expanded title of Associate Dean for Administrative and Faculty Affairs.


Dean Jerry Youkey Named 2015 Healthcare Transformation Award Recipient

October 29th, 2015

The award presented by the Community Foundation of Greenville honors Dean Youkey’s outstanding fellowship and work as a physician, his unparalleled commitment to advancing health care in our community, and his groundbreaking leadership role as the founding dean of USC School of Medicine Greenville.


S.C. Foundation Awards $800,000 in Med School Scholarships

August 05, 2015

Greenville, S.C., and Columbia, S.C. — The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation today presented an $800,000 grant toward a University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville scholarship fund that contributes to the goal of increasing physicians in the Palmetto State while placing an emphasis on diversity.

The grant will be distributed through the school’s Levi S. Kirkland Sr. M.D. Scholarship. It will provide five students with $40,000 a year during their enrollment at the medical school. The gift is for under-represented minorities (African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans).

“The number of doctors practicing in South Carolina per 100,000 people is well below the national average, and the state is expected to lose 200 or more physicians each year over the next decade. The shortfall will affect everyone, especially our vulnerable and underserved populations,” said Foundation Executive Director Harvey Galloway. “Diversity of the health care workforce is important to providing culturally competent care. We wanted to support the Kirkland Scholarship to help increase diversity in this workforce, which will help expand access for the underserved, as well as lead to research in neglected areas.”

Students accepting the scholarship must agree to practice full time in South Carolina within one year of completing their graduate medical education residency and/or fellowship training. They must work in the state one year for each year of scholarship support received.

“We have seen a marked increase in the number of highly competitive applicants to USCSOM Greenville, but the state and national number of under-represented minority applicants remains far below the need,” said Jerry Youkey, M.D., dean of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville. “For this reason, scholarship support like this generous award from the BlueCross Foundation is critical to helping us matriculate these excellent students at USCSOM Greenville and retain them in South Carolina.”

The United States will be short more than 90,000 physicians by 2020 and 130,000 physicians by 2025, according to projections by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Many South Carolina counties, like rural communities across the United States, are already experiencing a physician shortage.

There is also demand for minority physicians. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that African American, Asian and Hispanic patients are 19 to 26 times more likely to be cared for by a physician of their same race. Minority physicians treat the majority of underserved patients, even though African American and Hispanic physicians are under-represented in the physician workforce. Together, those groups make up more than 25 percent of the U.S. population, but less than 15 percent of the nation’s physicians.

“USCSOM Greenville is committed to educating under-represented minority students not only to reduce health care disparities, but also to create a diverse student body that enriches our learning environment,” Youkey said.

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville’s Levi. S. Kirkland Sr. M.D. Scholarship is named in honor of Greenville Health System’s first African-American surgeon. Kirkland, a native of Camden, attended Morehouse College, where he was a classmate and friend of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Kirkland graduated from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn., after being denied medical school admission in South Carolina because of the state’s segregation policies. In 2014, the medical school and GHS renamed a scholarship fund focused on diversity to honor Kirkland, who still lives in Greenville.

About the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation
Headquartered in Columbia, the foundation ( is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Its mission is to promote and support healthier South Carolinians, particularly the economically vulnerable, by supporting solutions to address gaps in health care and serving as an agent of change to support innovation and value-added public-private partnerships.

About the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville
The University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine-Greenville is a four-year medical program developed as a partnership between the University of South Carolina (USC) and Greenville Health System (GHS). Since 1991, GHS has provided clinical education to third- and fourth-year medical students of the USC School of Medicine Columbia. In 2009, the decision was made to expand to a four-year medical school. The school welcomed its charter class in July 2012. Learn more at

About Greenville Health System
Greenville Health System (GHS) — an academic health system that is the largest not-for-profit healthcare delivery system in South Carolina — is committed to medical excellence through research, patient care and education. GHS offers patients an innovative network of clinical integration, expertise and technologies through its eight medical campuses, tertiary medical center, research and education facilities, community hospitals, physician practices and numerous specialty services throughout the Upstate. The 1,358-bed system is home to 15 medical residency and fellowship programs. GHS is also home to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, a joint effort of USC and GHS. Visit for more information.


Dr. Spence Taylor elected president of Southern Surgical Association

December 8, 2014

Spence M. Taylor, M.D., was elected president of the Southern Surgical Association (SSA) at the organization’s 2014 annual meeting. Dr. Taylor serves as senior associate dean for academic affairs and diversity at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville and vice president of physician engagement, chief academic officer, and president of the GHS Clinical University at Greenville Health System. He is the first Greenville surgeon -- and only the second surgeon in South Carolina – to serve as SSA president.

Read More.



November 21, 2013

The Greenville Health System's Human Performance Laboratory – expected to open in January 2014 – is the first HPL in the nation to be fully embedded into a cancer research and treatment program.

Read More.



October 29, 2013

Greenville Health System was not only named an academic health center this week; it joined with partners Clemson University, Furman University and the University of South Carolina to announce a unique “clinical university model” that will help pave the way for breakthroughs in healthcare delivery, access and affordability.

Read More.


Medical students, local emergency departments hold joint community-preparedness exercise

October 24, 2013

It’s a final exam like no other. Most exams are nerve-wracking, but not like this. The first-year medical students at the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine Greenville will have sirens blaring, automobile wreckage and emergency responders in their “classroom” Friday as they try to put their instructional knowledge to work in the real world.

Read More.


Making wellness work: USC School of Medicine Greenville, Harvard host Lifestyle Medicine Think Tank

August 26, 2013

Two U.S. medical schools are meeting in the buckle of the nation’s obesity belt to kick-off an effort to transform medical education, placing a much greater responsibility on future doctors in convincing patients to eat better and exercise more.

Read More.


Greenville medical students preparing for global pandemic

August 1, 2013

Second year students at the USC School of Medicine Greenville will get a dose of a medical worst case scenario this month as part of a first-of-its-kind pandemic preparedness exercise conducted in partnership with Greenville Health System (GHS) and public health officials.

Read More.


A Disaster Waiting To Happen: True-to-Life EMT Operations Exercise Will Put USC Greenville Med Students to the Test on August 31

August 31, 2012

On Friday, August 31, members of the charter class of the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Medicine Greenville won’t be sitting in lectures. Nor will they be huddled over textbooks. And they probably won’t be daydreaming about the long Labor Day weekend ahead.

Read More.


USC’s new medical school in Greenville welcomes charter class, sets sights on transforming health care delivery system

July 31, 2012

Three years ago, when the University of South Carolina and the Greenville Hospital System were discussing plans for a new medical school in the Upstate, USC President Harris Pastides issued a challenge to “make this medical school different and special.”

Read More.


USC School of Medicine-Greenville gets green light to move forward

October 05, 2011

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville has been awarded preliminary accreditation, getting the green light to recruit students and open its doors in fall 2012.

Read More.





Jeanne Petrizzo
(864) 455-8373



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British Journal of Sports Medicine, BMJ talk medicine - December 4, 2015


Active Shooter Drill Puts First Responders To Test

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EMT students train for potential attacks

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GHS hosts annual 9/11 service, emergency preparedness exercise

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Emergency drill tests readiness of first responders

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Diversity needed in the medical profession

The Greenville News - September 4, 2015


Grant aims to increase physician diversity

The Greenville News - August 10, 2015


Foundation gives $800,000 for med school scholarship

GSA Business - August 6, 2015


USC School of Medicine Greenville receives $800,000 grant

WACHFOX - August 5, 2015


Medical school dean gets new duties

The Greenville News - July 30, 2015


Youkey named associate provost for health sciences

Univsersity of South Carolina - July 30, 2015


Furman University, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville Forge New Early Admissions Agreement

Furman University - July 20, 2015


New Medical School Scholarship Established for Furman Graduates

Furman University - July 15, 2015


Meet new faculty: Richard Hodinka - December 9, 2014


First responders, med students train for emergencies at Greenville Memorial Hospital

Fox Carolina - October 17, 2014


Emergency Drill Prepares Future Upstate Doctors

WSPA - October 17, 2014


Med students practice for a crisis in an emergency drill

WYFF - October 17, 2014


Who's Who Ones to Watch: Spence M. Taylor, M.D.

Upstate Business Journal - October 16, 2014


Greenville med school’s assistant dean enjoys challenges of teaching

Greenville Online - July 15, 2014


Student Profile: Michael Hood, teasing out the sound

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Iraqi teen gets glimpse of her dream

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The White Coats Are Coming
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2013 HSSC Annual Report
March, 2014


USC School of Medicine Greenville
Palmetto Scene - January 23, 2014


Greenville's new Academic Health Center
Your Day - January 20, 2014


State tries new methods to deal with doctor shortage
Greenville Online- January 16, 2014


New and Future Approaches to Medical Education
in-Training - December 16, 2013


GHS and USC Human Performance Lab to measure benefits of exercise for cancer survivors
Greenville Journal - December 12, 2013


A look inside GHS's new human performance lab
WYFF 4 - November 22, 2013


New GHS lab to seek ways to enhance cancer recovery
The Greenville News - November 21, 2013


Beaufort native wins USC medical-school scholarship
The Island Packet - November 18, 2013


Med school applications keep rising
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Training advances give caregivers new insight into dementia
The Greenville News - November 2, 2013


GHS and its academic partners make history
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Governor Nikki Haley tours USC School of Medicine - Greenville
WLTX - February 11, 2013


Greenville Health System, colleges form clinical university model
The State - October 29, 2013


GHS and partners Clemson, Furman and USC join in novel collaboration
GSA Business - October 29, 2013


S.C. Medical Students, Local Emergency Departments Hold Joint Community-Preparedness Exercise
EMS World - October 24, 2013


Lifestyle Medicine
Greenville Journal - September 12, 2013


Making Wellness Work: USC School of Medicine Greenville, Harvard Host Lifestyle Medicine Think Tank
Reuters - September 9, 2013


Preparing Greenville for a pandemic
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Roads less traveled take Greenville med students on the path to their dream jobs
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New class of future doctors will learn on simulators
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Students from USC School of Medicine Greenville win top honors
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Greenville medical school receives 2,200 applicants for second class
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A Conversation with Dr. Jerry Youkey, Dean of the USC School of Medicine Greenville - March 4, 2013


Med school becomes No. 136 - October 7, 2011


USC School of Medicine in Greenville recruiting students, faculty
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Greenville to get USC medical school campus
Fox Carolina - October 5, 2011