The University of South Carolina and Prisma Health – the state’s largest not-for-profit health organization – have announced a partnership that aims to encourage the development and implementation of innovative health care delivery models, medical devices, digital health applications, and treatments for diseases.
Under the arrangement, which was approved by UofSC’s Board of Trustees on Feb. 21, the University’s Office of Economic Engagement will assist Prisma Health – along with the UofSC Schools of Medicine in Columbia and Greenville – in identifying opportunities to develop mutually beneficial relationships with industry partners, bridging the gap between Prisma Health’s health research and the development of new technologies that help patients.
“At Prisma Health, we strive to go beyond treating diseases or their symptoms and aim to find cures and to design medical devices and digital capabilities that allow us to restore and transform lives,” said Mark O’Halla, president and chief executive officer at Prisma Health. “Harnessing our expertise and that of the University of South Carolina together will help us accelerate our ability to address society’s most significant health challenges.“
Specifically, Prisma Health and UofSC will collaborate on a number of opportunities, including intellectual property patents and technology transfer support, operations development, cybersecurity, institutional insights, and strategic planning – all towards the shared goal of furthering research and innovation towards improving treatments and health care delivery.
At its core, this partnership will drive innovation through UofSC’s extended efforts delivering education, mentoring programs, and incubation asset development, as well as Prisma Health’s experience in leveraging its clinical and non-clinical expertise in the health care market, to drive innovations from benchside prototypes to clinical outcomes.
“This strengthens the outstanding partnership that already exists with Prisma Health. We are greatly committed to addressing the health needs of all South Carolina residents, and working together with Prisma in academics, research and patient care will make a real difference,” said UofSC President Bob Caslen.
This new relationship builds off of previous partnerships the university had with Prisma Health and its legacy predecessors, Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health, before they combined in 2019 to form Prisma Health, officials said.
“We have an extensive history of facilitating and supporting innovation efforts across multiple sectors,” said Bill Kirkland, executive director of UofSC’s Office of Economic Engagement. “Through this partnership with Prisma Health, we will now apply our commercialization and entrepreneurial successes to healthcare and life sciences. While this relationship will bear fruit for both insitutions, the real winners are the people of South Carolina, who stand to benefit from better access to care, innovative treatments, and the latest applications of research.”
“Prisma Health is committed to improving the health of South Carolinians,” said Brenda Thames, Prisma Health chief academic executive officer. “We are adapting to an ever-changing and increasingly challenging healthcare environment by becoming a learning health system that adopts rapid cycle innovation processes. While research provides the mechanism for evaluating and comparing the effectiveness of existing care models, innovation allows us to develop and improve new care models.”
Dr. David Cull, Prisma Health vice president of clinical and academic integration, added, “Through this partnership, we will create, test, and implement innovative initiatives that challenge the status quo and have the potential to reduce the cost of care, improve quality, and increase access to healthcare services.”
Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and South Carolina’s largest private employer. With 30,000 team members, 18 hospitals, 2,984 beds, and 330 physician practice sites, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually.
The organization was formed in late 2017 when Greenville Health System and Palmetto Health came together, officially becoming Prisma Health in January 2019. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.
UofSC’s Office of Economic Engagement promotes innovation, building academic and industry partnerships, facilitating the commercialization of cutting-edge research, connecting new and existing businesses with university talent and resources, and fostering entrepreneurship and economic development.
Since its founding in 2013, OEE has created more than $790 million in economic impact, and has forged partnerships with IBM, Siemens, Yaskawa Motoman Robotics, and Boeing, among others.