Couple's Generosity to Help Heal Hearts

John Nash

July 14, 2008

Couple's Generosity to Help Heal Hearts

Seinsheimers underwrite outpatient cardiovascular center

CHARLESTON -- Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, and the number one cause of death in South Carolina. As part of an effort to help South Carolinians improve their cardiac health, an outpatient clinic will open this fall on the first floor of the Ashley River Tower at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), thanks to substantial underwriting by Charlestonians Wally and Bev Seinsheimer.

The Seinsheimer Cardiovascular Health Program (SCHP) will offer comprehensive cardiovascular exams, nutrition assessments, counseling, rehabilitation, weight management, and exercise. The outpatient nature of the program will provide patients with one-stop access to a full range of cardiovascular services.

There are only a few other clinics in the U.S. that offer comprehensive care in preventative cardiology, according to Michael Gold, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Medical University's Division of Cardiology. Through the SCHP, special attention will be given to gender differences in the diagnosis and management of cardiovascular disease, the early detection of subclinical atherosclerosis and the effects of diabetes on heart health.

Wally Seinsheimer, who serves on the MUSC Foundation board of directors, said he and Bev looked at escalating health care costs and decided that creating a clinic would help people avoid catastrophic illness. "That's why we focused on preventive care: to make people's lives longer and more enjoyable, to save the health care system from increased costs, and to avoid overloading the health care system," he said.

The Seinsheimers have committed $1 million to the program. The initial start-up costs and the first few years of operation have been funded until the program is self-sufficient. The program is scheduled to open in September 2008.

Wally and Bev Seinsheimer describe themselves as ardent supporters of the Medical University and express excitement at the prospect of seeing the clinic in operation. "It will be the first of its kind, certainly in our region and maybe the country. It will be a real feather in the cap of a department that's trying to say to the world that it's one of the best America has to offer," Wally said. "We're fortunate that one of the best institutions in the country is right here in our community."

The Seinsheimers made their gift as a commitment to the Medical University's "Partnership of Promise" campaign, a campus-wide capital campaign that seeks to raise $300 million in private gifts. The university launched the public phase of the campaign May 1 and so far has received more than $224 million for scholarships, endowed chairs, new programs and facilities.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.6 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit or