Trademark Attorney in Charleston, SC

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At Sausser Summers, PC, our goal is to make the trademark registration process as straightforward and cost-effective as possible, so that you can focus on growing your business while we take the necessary steps to protect what you have worked so hard to build.

Unlike other law firms, Sausser Summers, PC provides flat fee trademark services at an affordable price. Our goal is to eliminate the uncertainty that comes with hourly work, so you know exactly how much your total expenses will be at the outset of our relationship.

With a BBB A+ rating, we are consistently ranked as one of the top trademark law firms in the U.S. We aim to provide you with the same five-star service that you would receive from large firms, with a modern twist at a rate that won’t break the bank.

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How Sausser Summers, PC Flat Fee Trademark Service Works

Our flat fee trademark process is simple, streamlined, and consists of three steps:

Our three-step process lets you:

Trademark Services at a Glance

Whether you need help maintaining your current trademark or require assistance canceling an abandoned mark, Sausser Summers, PC is here to help. Here are just a few of the trademark services that we provide to clients:

Comprehensive Trademark Search

For many entrepreneurs, this is the first and most crucial step to take when it’s time to safeguard your business and intellectual property. Your trademark attorney in Charleston will conduct a thorough search of the USPTO Federal Trademark Database and each U.S state’s trademark database. We will also perform a trademark domain name search and a trademark common law search on your behalf. We will follow up with a 30-minute phone call, where we will discuss the results of our trademark search and send you a drafted legal opinion letter.

U.S. Trademark Filing

Once your trademark lawyer in Charleston has completed a comprehensive trademark search, the next step is to file a trademark application. We will submit your application within 1-3 business days and keep you updated on its USPTO status throughout the registration process.

U.S Trademark Office Actions – These actions are essentially initial rejections of your trademark by the USPTO. Applicants have six months in which to respond to this rejection. For a flat fee, your trademark lawyer from Sausser Summers, PC will compose

U.S Trademark Renewal

If you already own a trademark, Sausser Summers, PC will renew your registered trademark so that it remains current. Extended protection varies depending on how long you have held your trademark. We encourage you to visit our U.S Trademark Renewal page to find out which renewal service best fits your current situation.

U.S. Trademark Cease & Desist

Whether you have been accused of infringing on someone’s trademark and received a cease and desist letter or have found an infringer on your own mark, it is imperative that you respond. If you have received a letter and do not respond, you might be sued. If you find an infringer and do not demand that they stop, you may lose your trademark rights. To discuss the best course of action for your situation, we recommend you contact Sausser Summers, PC, for a risk-free consultation at no additional cost. Once you speak directly to one of our attorneys, we will send your cease and desist letter or respond to the one you have received for an affordable flat fee.

Statement of Use

If you plan on using your mark in commerce, you must file a Statement of Use to notify the USPTO. This filing must take place six months after you receive your Notice of Allowance. For an affordable flat-rate fee, your trademark attorney in Charleston will make any requisite filings on your behalf. Before you decide on a course of action, we encourage you to contact our office at (843) 654-0078 to speak with one of our attorneys. This consultation will help us get a better understanding of your situation and is always free and confidential.

U.S. Trademark Filing of Name and Logo

I Have a Word Mark & Logo!

*USPTO filing fee of $250 for one international class is included, as mentioned above. Additional fees will apply if multiple classes. If you have any questions about the total cost please contact us prior to submitting this form.

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Latest News in Charleston, SC

Charleston boosts downtown cleanup with Glutton street vacuum

Downtown Charleston has a new ally in street cleaning. The Glutton.The hand-held device looks similar to a leaf blower but sucks material in rather than pushing it away. The Charleston Environmental Services Department started deploying the Glutton in July up and down King Street and on Market Street near the historic Charleston City Market.Right now, the department has one of the $27,000 pieces of equipment, but city leaders hope to add a second to the Environmental Service’s fleet by the end of the year. It has served a...

Downtown Charleston has a new ally in street cleaning. The Glutton.

The hand-held device looks similar to a leaf blower but sucks material in rather than pushing it away. The Charleston Environmental Services Department started deploying the Glutton in July up and down King Street and on Market Street near the historic Charleston City Market.

Right now, the department has one of the $27,000 pieces of equipment, but city leaders hope to add a second to the Environmental Service’s fleet by the end of the year. It has served as a force multiplier while the department has had trouble filling vacant positions, said Environmental Services Director Matt Alltop.

Previously, the department aimed to have four custodians walking King Street and parts of Market Street with brooms and dustpans. But the city hasn’t been able to fully staff those positions. Now, the Glutton allows one custodian to do the work of multiple people. It can also get to harder-to-reach areas of the street. The trash is collected alongside the glutton in a 240-liter, wheeled trash can, and the machine has an odor neutralizer to fight garbage fumes.

“It’s been a huge help for us on King Street,” Alltop said.

The city’s custodians now run the Glutton daily from around 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Despite the resemblance, Gluttons are significantly quieter and more environmentally friendly than gas-powered leaf blowers. When charged overnight between shifts, the machines are able to maintain their battery life for up to 10 hours.

The Gluttons, which were invented in Belgium, are gaining popularity in Europe but are still hard to find in the United States. Gluttons have been sold in 70 countries and are often see in European airports, according to a city news release.

When a supplier began selling them in North Carolina, Alltop said he was eager to jump on the opportunity to buy one for the city. After doing a test run of the machine following the St. Patrick’s Day parade, the city put in its first order.

“It did an amazing job,” he said of the parade cleanup.

Alltop said he hopes to eventually have a fleet of three Gluttons. He would assign two to King street and one to Market Street.

“Our goal would be to put them on both sides of King and go back and forth all day,” he said.

Street cleaning on King Street has been a significant topic of discussion during the approval process for the King Street Business Improvement District. The district, approved by City Council earlier this year, places a fee on all commercial businesses to target beautification efforts on the street.

“We are delighted that they have invested in this equipment. Anything that is going to increase the cleanliness and presentation of King Street the better off we all are,” said Chris Price, Charleston Downtown Alliance Chairman and a key architect of the BID.

A group of business owners led the effort to establish the BID to improve the aesthetics and fund events on the popular retail and nightlife destination.

Air Force veteran’s nonprofit ‘rescues’ uneaten food and delivers it to local charities

Air Force veteran Chuck Smiley has a mentor helping guide him through his next venture.His daughter Catherine.Catherine Smiley is the chief operating officer at Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, a New York City-based nonprofit that redistributes leftover food to feed those struggling with food insecurity.After finishing an eight-year career at Boeing that was preceded by 32 years of service, Smiley decided he would bring the vision of Rescuin...

Air Force veteran Chuck Smiley has a mentor helping guide him through his next venture.

His daughter Catherine.

Catherine Smiley is the chief operating officer at Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, a New York City-based nonprofit that redistributes leftover food to feed those struggling with food insecurity.

After finishing an eight-year career at Boeing that was preceded by 32 years of service, Smiley decided he would bring the vision of Rescuing Leftover Cuisine to Charleston, where approximately 600,000 tons of food waste are produced each year.

Cuisine Rescue was established as a nonprofit in March. Its first cuisine rescue took place April 9.

“She’s my business mentor. That’s where we kind of got the idea from,” Smiley said. “We thought we’d try it here in Charleston.”

New York City is one of many metropolises making a push to decrease the amount of food ending up in landfills.

California and New Jersey have laws that aim to limit food waste, and Vermont in 2020 banned the disposal of food waste in the trash or landfills.

Overseas, France in 2016 banned grocery stores from throwing away unsold food that could be given away, while Spain has made tackling food waste a priority with new legislation.

Elsewhere in the for-profit space, Bloomberg reports that tech startups across Asia are turning food earmarked for the landfill into discounted meals that can be purchased through mobile phone apps.

Cuisine Rescue could provide Charleston with an example of how to effectively utilize leftovers.

At each rescue, Smiley and a network of volunteers gather leftover prepared food from restaurants and caterers and deliver it to local nonprofit kitchens and shelters.

The nonprofit’s 22nd “rescue” took place Aug. 9 when volunteers brought leftover food from the Charleston RiverDogs’ Segra Club to Star Gospel Mission in just 12 minutes, well under the nonprofit’s guarantee of getting the food from door to door in one hour or less.

Food safety is the reason for the swift deliveries. From pickup to drop-off, food must remain below the temperature “danger zone” of 41 degrees.

Ready-to-eat food made in a kitchen can be stored for seven days if kept below that temperature and should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than one hour.

To make this possible, RiverDogs vice president of food and beverage Josh Shea simply stored the food in an on-site cooler overnight. Smiley and his team then choreographed the pickup in advance so there was no delay.

“They have been very flexible and awesome to partner with,” Shea said. “I would recommend (for) anyone looking to make a difference with some extra food.”

If it sounds like there are a lot of moving parts, it’s actually quite simple, Smiley said. And Rescuing Leftover Cuisine has provided proof of concept — the nonprofit has rescued more than 8 million pounds of food and provided nearly 7 million meals to those in need.

“The logistics are simple,” Smiley said. “We pick it up and we deliver it within the hour. That’s our promise.”

While the deliveries themselves have been smooth sailing, finding food donors has not. Some restaurants and caterers have said they don’t have enough leftover food to warrant a pickup (Cuisine Rescue does not have a minimum requirement.), while others are worried about the lack of control they have over their food once it exits the event or building.

For those concerned about liability, Smiley points to the federal and state “Good Samaritan” laws that provide legal protections to food donors.

“It makes them feel a lot more comfortable that they’re doing the right thing and that they’re protected for doing the right thing,” Smiley said.

The RiverDogs were Cuisine Rescue’s first donor and have been a big supporter since, contributing 91 pounds of leftover food over the course of 11 rescues. Every RiverDogs’ donation has gone to Star Gospel Mission, where a resident chef uses the food to feed men facing homelessness.

Cuisine Rescue receives regular donations from Blondies Bagels & Cafe on Daniel Island, and the nonprofit has also rescued from two catered events. The PINK House Neighborhood Resource Center and Neighbors Together are among the beneficiaries from these rescues.

The movement to limit food waste and utilize leftovers is upon us, and Cuisine Rescue wants to help Charleston restaurants and caterers get started. While the nonprofit’s footprint is still quite small, Smiley believes it could make a big impact.

“I think what will give us success is just momentum,” he said. “Once it kicks in, I think it’s going to kick in in a big way.”

For this to happen, Cuisine Rescue needs more donors.

Those interested in becoming Cuisine Rescue donors or volunteering for the organization can visit cuisinerescue.org.

MUSC’s 6th annual Inclusion to Innovation Summit to feature three national DEI powerhouses

“There has never been a more urgent time to provide individuals and organizations with the access to resources and conversations about best practices in the ‘field’ – to effectively engage in critical conversations and develop strategic intentions related to the intersection of inclusion and innovation. MUSC’s sixth annual summit is designed to do just that,” said chief equity officer Willette Burnham-Williams, Ph.D. “Attendees will learn with and from one another as they hear from national leaders w...

“There has never been a more urgent time to provide individuals and organizations with the access to resources and conversations about best practices in the ‘field’ – to effectively engage in critical conversations and develop strategic intentions related to the intersection of inclusion and innovation. MUSC’s sixth annual summit is designed to do just that,” said chief equity officer Willette Burnham-Williams, Ph.D. “Attendees will learn with and from one another as they hear from national leaders who share inclusive and innovative strategies – our opportunities and challenges before us – in a safe and engaging format where authentic conversations are encouraged.”

The summit will also feature interactive breakout sessions and is free to MUSC students. Topics range from building and strengthening the network of DEI leadership both internally and externally to leveraging data analytics to lead diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.

MUSC most recently was named a recipient of the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. For the fifth year in a row, MUSC was among the HEED award recipients as well as being named a Diversity Champion, which ranks in the top tier of HEED Award recipients.

Interested parties in the summit may register here.

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About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,000 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy – and trains more than 850 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $327.6 million in research funds in fiscal year 2021, leading the state overall in research funding. MUSC also leads the state in federal and National Institutes of Health funding, with more than $220 million. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.

As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital locations in development; more than 350 telehealth sites, with connectivity to patients’ homes; and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2022, for the eighth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets totaling $4.4 billion. The nearly 25,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver and support groundbreaking education, research, and patient care.

SBJ Unpacks: Charleston, S.C., ranks No. 1 in minor league markets

Tonight in Unpacks: For the first time, a southern U.S. city leads SBJ's ranking of the top minor league markets. SBJ's David Broughton looks at how Charleston, S.C., made its way to the top.You’re reading the Lite version of SBJ Unpacks. Subscribe to SBJ All Access for the full version of this newsletter, plus daily email alerts, executi...

Tonight in Unpacks: For the first time, a southern U.S. city leads SBJ's ranking of the top minor league markets. SBJ's David Broughton looks at how Charleston, S.C., made its way to the top.

You’re reading the Lite version of SBJ Unpacks. Subscribe to SBJ All Access for the full version of this newsletter, plus daily email alerts, executive transactions, virtual SBJ Event access and dozens of other subscriber-only benefits. Here are the stories you’re missing in tonight’s full newsletter:

In today's Morning Buzzcast, SBJ's David Albright examines Las Vegas getting its first team championship, how NFL Sunday Ticket had another bad week and the NWSL setting a new attendance record.

MiLB, USL Championship, ECHL serve as anchors for Charleston sports scene

Charleston, S.C., is the first Southern market to top SBJ’s minor league markets ranking, fueled by the nation’s oldest pro soccer team (the Charleston Battery of the USL Championship), a hockey team that is about to drop the puck on its 30th season (the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays) and a 43-year-old baseball team (the Charleston RiverDogs of Minor League Baseball) that spends every day proving to the city that “Fun is Good.”

Over the nine times that SBJ has fielded this story, Fort Wayne, Ind., is the market that has appeared in the top 10 the most (eight times), followed by Hershey-Harrisburg, Pa., with seven appearances. Charleston during that time has appeared in the top 10 five times, getting as high as No. 3 in 2019 (Grand Rapids-Comstock Park, Mich., topped the chart that year).

SBJ's first ranking of the nation’s minor league markets came in 2005 and then every other year through 2019. The study that was scheduled for 2021 was bumped to this year due to the impact of the pandemic. There were 195 markets examined for the study, which included 320 teams across 34 leagues (including one defunct baseball league, a shuttered indoor football league and the Appalachian League, which converted from a pro to an amateur league during the study period).

SBJ's David Broughton in this week's cover story looks at how "The Holy City" made its way to the top of the rankings.

Also read this week:

‘Significant work to be done’: SC Dept. of Education releases college, career assessments

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina’s Department of Education says the state’s schools showed progress in making sure students are prepared for college and careers, but acknowledged more still needs to be done.The state released results for Ready to Work and End-of-Course Examination Program assessment tests taken for high school courses in the 2021-2022 school year.“Preparing students to meet college- and career- readiness standards must not just be an aspiration in our state. It’s a responsibility...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina’s Department of Education says the state’s schools showed progress in making sure students are prepared for college and careers, but acknowledged more still needs to be done.

The state released results for Ready to Work and End-of-Course Examination Program assessment tests taken for high school courses in the 2021-2022 school year.

“Preparing students to meet college- and career- readiness standards must not just be an aspiration in our state. It’s a responsibility that all of us must play a role in, as we pursue meaningful solutions,” Education Superintendent Molly Spearman said. “This is just one measure of student performance that we will use to guide the work ahead. We will build on the progress and look forward to exploring and pursuing meaningful actions that will make an impact on student achievement.”

The End-of-Course Examination Program provides tests in high school core courses and for courses taken in middle school for high school credit. The program tests the following subject areas: Algebra 1; English 2; US History and the Constitution; and Biology 1.

SubjectNumber Tested in 2019Number Tested in 2021Number Tested in 2022Mean Score 2019Mean Score 2021Mean Score 2022
Algebra 161,27852,61064,93468.3465.8468.12
Biology 157,52151,52960,33168.7665.2766.14
English 159,365328N/A73.4954.58N/A
English 2N/A49,71159,698N/A76.5476.52
U.S. History/Constitution52,21145,25353,11369.0364.5965.07

The mean score for Algebra increased from 65.84 in 2021 to 68.12 in 2022, nearly returning to the pre-pandemic mean scores of 68.34. Biology and U.S. History mean scores also increased in 2022 but were lower than in 2019, while English 2 mean scores were nearly identical at 76.54 in 2021 and 76.52 in 2022.

“We acknowledge the growth and improvement shown in the results as compared to 2021, but we also recognize that there is significant work to be done,” Spearman said.

Program data by subject showed mixed results. While the number of students scoring F decreased in all subjects but U.S. History, the percentage of F scores remains significant in Algebra (34.01%), Biology (42.52%) and U.S. History and the Constitution (43.55%). Nearly 16% of students taking the English 2 EOCEP exam scored F.

The Ready to Work program is a career-readiness assessment that was administered to all 11th-grade students for the first time in the spring of 2018 to determine student achievement in three key subjects: Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information. It also includes the Essential Soft Skills assessment that provides information about a student’s skills in areas such as problem-solving, goal setting, decision-making, and self-direction. These skills play a vital role in workplace success.

Of the 6,616 students tested in 2021-2022, 62.2 percent earned certificates.

R2W provides a customized credential that shows a student’s ability to perform complex tasks and their qualifications for a broad range of jobs. There are four certificate levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. To earn a Bronze certificate, the student must score a minimum of 3 on all assessments (Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information). For Silver a minimum of 4 is required, for Gold a minimum of 5 is required, and for Platinum a minimum of 6 is required.

SubjectTotal Students TestedNo CertificateReceived CertificateBronze CertificateSilver CertificateGold CertificatePlatinum Certificate
Certificate6,61737.8%62.2%27.7%29.8%4.4%0.4%

The SCDE did not administer statewide WorkKeys assessment examinations last year, but they were administered at the district level.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Behre: In North Charleston, a dramatic bridge to the future

The notion of a particular location being a “postcard place” or providing a “postcard moment” might one day outlive the actual use of postcards themselves: The phrases convey a sense that somewhere is so beautiful or special or interesting that people will want to take note.To be frank, there aren’t many such places in North Charleston, but the city just added a very nice one.Its new pedestrian bridge, which is expected to open soon, runs from Riverfront Park across Noisette Creek to a future redev...

The notion of a particular location being a “postcard place” or providing a “postcard moment” might one day outlive the actual use of postcards themselves: The phrases convey a sense that somewhere is so beautiful or special or interesting that people will want to take note.

To be frank, there aren’t many such places in North Charleston, but the city just added a very nice one.

Its new pedestrian bridge, which is expected to open soon, runs from Riverfront Park across Noisette Creek to a future redevelopment site. The structure is playful, interesting and inviting. And before it even opened it already made Architectural Digest’s list of the 11 Most Beautiful Elevated Walkways Through Nature — in the entire world.

Indeed, the bridge’s meandering curved path might strike some as illogical, even wasteful since a straight line would have been faster, more economical. But the curves are a sign that the bridge wasn’t built simply to get people from one place to another; it was constructed to be a place in and of itself, a place people want to get to. The curves on the bridge echo those of Noisette Creek and the walking paths in Riverfront Park while also increasing views of the marsh and creek to the west and the Cooper River farther to the east.

The twin arches that begin on the creek’s south side and then splay across the bridge as they run northward might generate more curiosity. Ray Anderson, the mayor’s assistant for development and a Clemson University architecture graduate, notes he had hoped for a bridge along the lines of Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava’s works. But Anderson jokes he couldn’t afford Calatrava.

Instead, a team with Thomas & Hutton, including landscape architect Steve Dudash, structural engineers Jen Hayes, Joe Cook and Dan Martin pursued a design using the arches as dramatic supports — just like those found in many Calatrava designs, including his famous Alamillo Bridge in Seville, Spain, which is supported by cables held by a single, leaning pylon.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, creating a design in which the arches played a structural role would have cost much more, so the cables went but the arches stayed. And that’s a good thing because if this bridge becomes iconic — and that’s likely a judgment to be rendered in time, not by a single person today — it’s the arches that will make it so.

The arches were made of iron and steel from Augusta, and they were assembled from massive pieces that weighed more than 20 tons at the base to almost 10 tons at the top. They include LED lights that will illuminate them at night — and also can decorate them with seasonal colors on St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July, Christmas and other holidays.

The lack of cables only enhances the views, and the cables would not have been seen in the distance anyway. Perhaps one of the arches’ main roles will be announcing the bridge’s presence and serving as a point of reference for those approaching it on foot or on a bike, not unlike the way distant glimpses of the Ravenel Bridge provide a point of reference for those driving around Charleston in a car. (Keeping the arches added about $1 million to the bridge’s $9 million price tag.)

The bridge still has plenty of support, albeit conventionally, from pilings. While it may only be used by pedestrians and cyclists, its design and width are sufficient to support a firetruck or ambulance, should one need to cross it in an emergency, Anderson says.

Although it’s largely a bridge to nowhere at this point, it will be useful soon as a way to expand parking near Riverfront Park — and it’s a necessary first step in the city’s ambitious plans for redeveloping the series of unattractive warehouses between Avenue B and the river.

That’s a multiyear effort that eventually could create another postcard: North Charleston’s best urban neighborhood on the water.

For now, the bridge is more destination than connection. But it ultimately holds the promise of linking the current city to a better one.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

Omicron-specific booster should be available soon

On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized an Omicron-specific booster, marking the first redesign of coronavirus vaccines since they were rolled out nearly two years ago. The Omicron variant has been the dominate strain since early this year, with the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants being especially transmissible.It is anticipated t...

On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized an Omicron-specific booster, marking the first redesign of coronavirus vaccines since they were rolled out nearly two years ago. The Omicron variant has been the dominate strain since early this year, with the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants being especially transmissible.

It is anticipated that on Friday, Sept. 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will sign off on the authorization. After that, it’s all systems go.

“Once it’s given the OK, we’ll put in an order, and it should ship pretty quickly. The entire process should take about a week, meaning we should have it available to anyone who wants it the week of Sept. 12, maybe sooner,” said Danielle Scheurer, M.D., MUSC Health System chief quality officer.

The new booster comes at a point in the pandemic when approximately 90,000 infections and 475 deaths are being recorded daily in this country. Though hospitalizations have become much rarer, COVID-19 is still the third leading cause of death in the United States.

Though this targeted booster should help to slow the spread of the virus, Scheurer is skeptical that it will fly off the shelves.

“My guess is the uptake will be low. So many people have gotten COVID at this point, and many just aren’t getting that sick. I think people are just over it. I hate to say it, but I think a lot of folks are going, ‘I’ll just take my chances,’” she said.

But Scheurer cautioned that people who are at higher risk, such as older Americans or those with preexisting health conditions, should seriously consider getting this booster. And for those who aren’t in the higher-risk category, one motivator to get this booster might be to avoid getting long COVID, when virus-related symptoms can linger indefinitely beyond an infection.

As for the science behind the new booster, Scheurer said it was synthesized in the same way the first vaccine was, only it’s bivalent, meaning the encoded messenger RNA targets two spike proteins, instead of one: the original virus and Omicron and its known subvariants. Additionally, the dosage for this one is a little lower.

“I think it’s important that people know that this is intended to act as a booster, not a stand-alone vaccine,” she said. “Meaning that for people who haven’t been vaccinated, the course of action is to get your original two doses and then this.”

Two boosters will be available: one by Pfizer BioNTech, for use in people age 12 and up, and the other by Moderna, targeted to those 18 years and up. MUSC expects to receive the Pfizer booster.

Though MUSC is in the process of decommissioning all of its stand-alone vaccine sites, the new booster will be offered at the MUSC Health Pharmacy at Rutledge Tower as well as by most, if not all, MUSC Health affiliated primary care physician sites.

Though things seem to be trending in the right direction in this country, Scheurer still remains vigilant.

“Given the volume of people who have gotten Omicron, I’m kind of surprised we haven’t had another rapidly evolving variant,” she said. “I think we’ve been pretty lucky. But then again, this might just be the new normal – a world where we coexist with COVID and life goes on.”

MUSC Health breaks ground on Sea Islands Medical Pavilion

The more than 20,000 square foot facility will be located at 1884 Seabrook Island Road, near Bohicket Marina. The Sea Islands community is expected to undergo significant population growth over the next few years, especially those residents 65 and older. The Sea Islands are also geographically isolated, situated more than 20 miles from the nearest hospital. The area also accommodates a large seasonal population of tourists, many of whom have trouble navigating local health care services.“It can take up to 45 minutes to get to th...

The more than 20,000 square foot facility will be located at 1884 Seabrook Island Road, near Bohicket Marina. The Sea Islands community is expected to undergo significant population growth over the next few years, especially those residents 65 and older. The Sea Islands are also geographically isolated, situated more than 20 miles from the nearest hospital. The area also accommodates a large seasonal population of tourists, many of whom have trouble navigating local health care services.

“It can take up to 45 minutes to get to the nearest hospital from the Sea Islands. That’s too long for an emergency situation such as a stroke, where every minute counts. As the state’s only comprehensive academic health system, we are committed to delivering the best possible care, closest to home,” said David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC president. “This new medical pavilion will provide rapid access to outstanding care for the entire Sea Islands community.”

As part of the MUSC Health system’s overarching strategy, the MUSC Health Charleston Division has worked to provide better community access and local care in the greater Tri-County region, as well as coastal communities to the north and south of Charleston. This enables better capacity at the flagship facilities, which offer specialized and complex care downtown while enhancing overall accessibility and continuity of care for patients and families, especially in underserved communities. Since 2019, four new multispecialty ambulatory care platforms have opened in West Ashley, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant.

In addition to 24/7 emergency care, the facility will offer two trauma rooms, a rooftop helicopter pad, and a medical office building that will provide primary and specialty care, including imaging and lab services, cardiology and physical therapy. A telemedicine network will connect the entire facility to some of the nation’s top providers at MUSC Health in downtown Charleston. The Town of Kiawah Island donated $1 million to create a healing, restful green space and garden adjacent to the new facility.

“Accessibility to the wonderful health system and hospitals we have here has been a concern, so it was exciting to hear about this project,” said Town of Kiawah Mayor John Labriola. “My hat’s off to the MUSC Board of Trustees and the institution’s leadership, because getting a certificate of need is not easy… personally, I look forward to the ribbon cutting and seeing our garden that will be named for the Town of Kiawah.”

The project was made possible in part by Kiawah Partners, which was acquired by South Street Partners in 2013, who donated 6 acres of land to the Medical University Hospital Authority (MUSC Health), valued at $4.85 million.

"This project was initiated to meet the huge need for medical services on Kiawah Island, Seabrook, and Johns Island. With no convenient emergency healthcare options currently available, we have been working for seven-plus years to figure out a way to bring accessible healthcare to the Sea Islands,” said Chris Randolph, South Street Partners. “Thanks to MUSC, we will soon have a world-class medical facility that provides so much more than what we had originally envisioned. We couldn’t be more pleased to have been able to donate the land for this project and feel very grateful to partner with such an excellent health care system.”

Of the estimated $30 million needed to fund the project, MUSC is committed to raising $17 million in private support. To date, it has received more than $9.5 million in confirmed gifts, with many coming from local residents.

“Private support is critical to the long-term success of the MUSC Health Sea Islands Medical Pavilion because of the many financial challenges that come with operating a medical facility in this community,” said Kate Azizi, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “One challenge is the low population density of the Sea Islands. While this is an aging population that needs timely access to medical care – there aren’t enough people living in these communities full time to sustain our operations. Philanthropic support helps fill those gaps, allowing us to deliver the best care possible where and when it’s needed.”

Donors Chris and DeeDee Gibson are giving $2 million to the project. In recognition of their generosity, the physical therapy space will be named in their honor. “My family has been coming to Kiawah for close to 40 years,” Chris Gibson said. “When my wife DeeDee and I built a home here, she had one request: that there was a hospital nearby in case of an emergency. All these years later, we are excited to contribute to the new MUSC Health Sea Islands Medical Pavilion and to help make these vital medical services available to our neighbors on Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns islands.”

“The construction of a full-fledged medical facility with emergency services is a dream come true for all Johns, Kiawah and Seabrook Islands,” said local resident Pam Harrington, who donated $2 million and will name the emergency department after the Harrington family. “As our population continues to grow and more folks are retiring to our area, the demand for medical services grows with it! Being a Kiawah/Cassique resident for many years, the addition of a medical pavilion fills a real need that has existed over several decades. Prior to my 40-plus years in real estate on the islands I was a practicing ICU nurse. This medical center is near and dear to my heart! As a thank you and show of appreciation to all who have been so supportive of my success, here, on the Sea Islands, it seems befitting to take this opportunity to give back in a meaningful way.”

Construction is expected to conclude in late 2023.

Quote bank:

Seabrook Mayor John Gregg – “It is indeed my pleasure to welcome MUSC to Seabrook Island, as our local community will be well served by the capabilities of this facility and the practitioners who will staff it. We look forward to having better availability of care, ranging from emergency room treatment, to advanced diagnostics for the ailments, bumps, pains, scrapes, stings, and strains that come with having an active and diverse population.”

MUSC Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Charles Schulze – “On behalf of the board, I want to acknowledge, commend, and deeply, deeply thank you for your dedication hard work and the public private collaboration that is taking place to get us to where we are today. As an air force veteran of the Vietnam war, I know the importance and necessity of teamwork. When you have a complex mission ahead of you in those situations, your unity as a team is your biggest strength… And it didn't matter where you live, where you were from or what your background was in our military. You learned that persistence, perseverance, collaboration, and expertise are critical to the success of a mission. And it's been no different in this case. When the board began to discuss the feasibility of this project, we knew it wasn't going to happen without teamwork and vision. Not only from everybody at MUSC, but also from the community here in the sea islands.”

MUSC Health System CEO and Executive Vice President of Health Affairs Dr. Pat Cawley – “What makes this project challenging is that it doesn’t fit into normal health constructs. We spent a lot of time with the community, trying to gauge what was needed and it was clear that there was tremendous community support for this project and it was the engagement with the concept of neighbors caring for neighbors and the work of the community to reach out to state officials and regulators that helped make this project a reality. MUSC Health is proud to be a part of this community and its health care provider of choice, and we are humbled by the level of support we are receiving to bring this shared vision to reality.”

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,000 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy – and trains more than 850 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $327.6 million in research funds in fiscal year 2021, leading the state overall in research funding. MUSC also leads the state in federal and National Institutes of Health funding, with more than $220 million. For information on academic programs, visit web.musc.edu

As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital locations in development; more than 350 telehealth sites, with connectivity to patients’ homes; and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2022, for the eighth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets totaling $5.1 billion. The nearly 25,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver and support groundbreaking education, research, and patient care.

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