MUSC IBD Expert Awarded Inaugural Endowed Chair

Natalie Wilson
January 25, 2023
Jenkins Endowed Chair Dinner group photo
L-R: April Reeder, Dr. Ben Clyburn, Dr. Brenda Hoffman, Dr. Erin Forster, and Marvin Jenkins at Endowed Chair dinner.

Erin Forster, M.D., MPH, awarded Marvin Jenkins Family Endowed Chair for IBD

Thanks to a generous gift from the Marvin Jenkins family, the Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has established The Marvin Jenkins Family Endowed Chair for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

The gift will secure permanent leadership and additional clinical support needed to establish a new Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) medical home at MUSC. Mr. Jenkins was inspired to create the endowment after his own family member’s struggle to navigate care for a chronic bowel disease. This experience highlighted the importance of developing a patient-centered IBD medical home.

“We are truly grateful for Marvin’s commitment to advancing IBD research and the care of patients faced with challenging illnesses,” said Ben Clyburn, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine. “His support with prior philanthropic gifts has been instrumental in establishing a new IBD medical home at MUSC, and his continued generosity ensures that our teams can provide the highest level of coordinated care to patients across South Carolina and beyond.”

Erin Forster M.D., MPH, director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at MUSC, has been appointed the first physician to hold the Marvin Jenkins Family Endowed Chair for IBD, which recognizes her leadership and expertise in advancing IBD care and research. With this endowed chair, Dr. Forster and her team will ensure that MUSC’s patients continue to have access to the most advanced treatment options and quality care for generations to come.

Chronic diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases, have a high degree of complexity, with a multitude of diverse medical, physical, behavioral, and sometimes surgical impacts. As such, its treatment can be complicated and fragmented.

To address the specific needs of this IBD population, the MUSC Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology is instituting a new model of care for patients with IBD: the IBD medical home. The idea is to gather caregivers around the patient in the coordinated delivery of care, rather than leave the patient to navigate between caregivers in a disjointed continuum of services.
The goal of the program is to take a multidisciplinary and personalized approach to each patient to determine what works best for that individual.

The IBD medical home will bring together IBD experts from multiple specialties including gastroenterologists, advanced practice providers, a nurse navigator, a behavioral health social worker, a dietician, clinic coordinators, and medical assistants. The gastroenterologist becomes the principal care provider for this patient cohort and coordinates the total care of each patient. The IBD medical home also works with colorectal surgeons to provide early cancer detection screening, as well as access to new diagnostic and surgical techniques and clinical trials focusing on novel therapies such as stem cell therapies for perianal Crohn’s disease.

“This multi-year investment has already made a difference for the people most important to us, our patients,” said Dr. Forster. “To date, we have hired a behavioral health social worker (BHSW) who has enabled us to identify significant social and mental health issues in our IBD clients that otherwise may have gone undetected. Additionally, our newly-hired IBD nurse navigator has helped give a better understanding of the needs we can expect to encounter as the program matures, as well as how our team and workflows might be best built to achieve the highest levels of efficiency and efficacy. These insights provide us with a treasure trove of information as we continue to grow this program to best meet the needs of our IBD patients.”

“We are extremely grateful to Mr. Jenkins’ commitment and generosity in spearheading this movement to create a better patient journey for people living with inflammatory bowel disease,” said Dr. Forster.