GGC Director Awarded Order of the Palmetto

01.23.24
SC Governor presenting award to Dr. Steve Skinner

Governor Henry McMaster presented SC’s highest civilian award to Steve Skinner, MD

Greenwood, SC  – Steve Skinner, MD, Director of the Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC), was presented with the Order of the Palmetto, SC’s highest civilian honor, by Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday.

Skinner, 68, a graduate of Wofford College and the Medical University of South Carolina, joined the Greenwood Genetic Center as a clinical genetics fellow in 1987. He has dedicated his medical career to serving patients and families impacted by genetic disorders, with a special interest in neurodevelopmental genetic disorders such as Rett syndrome, a condition in which he is recognized as an international expert.

In 2002, Skinner was tasked with leading GGC’s treatment initiative designed to advance not only the diagnosis of rare diseases but also to ensure that South Carolina patients have access to the most cutting-edge, innovative therapies available. This led to the creation of the SC Center for the Treatment of Genetic Disorders, a state-of-the-art facility in Greenwood that is dedicated to providing compassionate care and diagnoses for the thousands of SC families who seek help from the Center each year.

In 2011, Skinner was named Director of GGC. Since that time he has overseen many successful initiatives and partnerships, expanding the impact of GGC through telemedicine, technology advancement, research, and treatments – all while continuing to see patients and support clinical trials.

Skinner was nominated for the Order of the Palmetto by Mike Friez, PhD, Director of the Diagnostic Laboratories at GGC, on behalf of the Center’s faculty and staff and with support from the Center‘s Board of Directors, and leaders from Clemson University, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina, and Self Regional Healthcare – organizations with which Skinner has built and sustained close collaborations to benefit patients and families across South Carolina.

“Dr. Skinner is the genuine article in terms of what a physician and leader should be,” said Friez. “He is compassionate and has great empathy for his patients, as well as those that follow his leadership. He is caring, humble, and a friend to everyone. He is never one to boast or seek credit for the incredible work he has done or the accomplishments he has achieved.”

“As Director of the Greenwood Genetic Center, Dr. Skinner’s dedication to advancing medical care and maximizing resources toward improving the care of patients with genetic diseases across the state has had a profound impact,” added Matthew Logan, MD, MHCM, President & Chief Executive Officer of Self Regional Healthcare. “His dual role as an administrator and practicing clinician, seamlessly managing a substantial clinical workload while contributing to various trials and research endeavors, showcases his exceptional dedication and commitment to advancing care to all patients with genetic diseases across the state.”

Jim and Kathy Kelly of Greenwood, friends of Skinner and parents of a son who has been served by GGC, have joined Skinner on numerous medical mission trips to Honduras to serve those in need of the most basic medical care. “He has done many, many genetic studies and made numerous diagnoses for children and individuals with special needs among the people in Honduras – providing compassion, information, and in many cases, treatments that would not have been available to them otherwise,” shared the Kellys. “There is no one we know who is more deserving of The Order of the Palmetto than Dr. Skinner.”

The Order of the Palmetto was established by SC Governor John C. West in 1971 and is presented in recognition of a lifetime of extraordinary achievement, service, and contributions on a national or statewide scale. The Order of the Palmetto recognizes individuals who have selflessly given of their time, resources, and goodwill through a variety of different causes and pursuits to the benefit of their neighbors, fellow citizens, and the fabric and prosperity of South Carolina.

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