At Clemson, research isn’t limited to the classroom.

The University’s growing partnership with a regional health care system is perhaps the best example of this truth, promising medical discoveries and care improvements that will make a meaningful impact in the doctor’s office, the operating room and beyond.

Meet Clemson faculty member Windsor Westbrook Sherrill who wears many hats in this partnership: professor of public health sciences; associate vice president for health research at Clemson; and chief science officer at Greenville Health System (GHS).

“We’re partnering to transform care,” Sherrill explains of the effort. “That means researchers and clinicians are working together to improve health delivery for the community and the people we serve, as well as addressing issues of cost, access and quality.”

Health education and research initiatives aren’t that uncommon across the country. But the extent of Clemson’s collaboration with Greenville Health System is truly unique. With programs in nursing, public health, bioengineering and industrial engineering collaborating on both research and education, Clemson’s influence is significant. Faculty members from all of Clemson’s colleges are connected to the effort, and that number is only growing.

Clemson brings to the table a host of research capabilities, while GHS offers students and researchers the clinical opportunities they need to put their ideas into action and ultimately secure jobs in health-related fields. As a result, both groups become more competitive for external funding for health-related research.

One of the newest and most notable aspects of Clemson’s collaboration with GHS is the recently announced Embedded Scholars Program. This past summer, the first group of postdoctoral fellows began their work alongside GHS physicians and Clemson health research faculty.

Together, they look for ways to improve patient care and reduce health care costs. That might mean analysis of emergency response protocols in cardiac arrest patients who are brought to the hospital by EMS responders. Researchers document inefficiencies, duplicated efforts or opportunities to streamline treatment. Working together, researchers and doctors, can create a plan for health care systems — processes that can save time, money and even lives.

Embedded scholars also are focusing on obstetrics care, geriatrics, surgical processes and health information systems, promising innovative ideas and possible medical solutions in many areas and for the benefit of patients and communities.

“Our combined impact in health research and education exceeds what we can do as individual institutions. Clemson’s health research is informed by a health delivery system focused on patient-centered care, quality improvement and service innovation,” Sherrill says. “Research capacity at GHS is enhanced by partnering with Clemson faculty. By working together, we can do more.”

Determined to transform health care — Head On