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Message from the Dean


Etta D. Pisano, M.D.

Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Donna Johnson, MD, as Chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  She will be assuming this role on July 1, 2012.  Dr. Johnson received her B.S. in Biology from Furman University and her M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1987.  She completed an internship and residency in Reproductive Medicine at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) from 1987-1991, serving as Chief Resident from 1990-1991.  Following a one-year appointment as Assistant Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Inland East Medical Group in San Diego, CA, Dr. Johnson returned to UCSD to complete a Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship from 1992-1994 and an American Gynecological and Obstetrical Society Foundation Fellowship from 1994-1996.  Dr. Johnson was recruited to MUSC in 1996 as an Assistant Professor of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2000, and was promoted to Full Professor with tenure in 2008.  She served as the Residency Director for the department from 2000-2006, and has served as the Division Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine since 2005.

A fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Johnson also serves as a member of the Perinatal Research Society, the Society of Gynecology Investigation, and the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine and as a Member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Task Force on Hypertension and Pregnancy.  Dr. Johnson’s research portfolio has included funding from the NIH, industry, and foundations, including a recent gift from the Duke Endowment to examine telemedicine and high risk pregnancies.  During her tenure at MUSC, Dr. Johnson has received recognition for her excellence in teaching, to include the Health Sciences Foundation Teaching Excellence Award, the Faculty Excellence Award for Clinical Science Faculty, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Medical Student Teaching Award, and the Golden Apple Award.

Dr. Johnson brings an excellent combination of clinical, research, teaching, and administrative skills to lead the growth and development of the department.  As we welcome Dr. Johnson to her new role, please join me in thanking Dr. Peter Van Dorsten for his many years of excellent service as Chair of the department.

Two candidates will be interviewing for leadership positions next week.  Dr. Ronnie Horner, candidate for the position of Founding Chair, Department of Public Health Sciences, will be giving a seminar next Tuesday, May 29, 4:00 p.m., in 100 Basic Science Building on the topic of “Clinical Work Intensity: What It Is, What We Know About It, and Why It Matters”.  Dr. Horner is currently Professor of Internal Medicine and Neurology at the University of Cincinnati and Senior Health Scientist at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center.  Dr. Iris Lindberg, candidate for the position of Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, will be giving a seminar next Wednesday, May 30, 10:00 a.m. in 402 Basic Science Building on the topic of “Neuropeptide synthesis and the novel secretory chaperone 7B2”.  Dr. Lindberg is currently Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Member of the Greenbaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  All members of the college are invited to attend these seminars.

Congratulations to our MUSC ambulatory clinics who now have a week of the new Epic electronic medical record under their belts.  As expected, this implementation has proven to be a complicated project requiring immense collaboration, teamwork, dedication and patience.  Although there are many challenges and frustrations associated with the initial phase of the go-live, the Epic Project Management Team reports the positive attitudes by those adopting the new system have been overwhelming, and that substantial progress is being made in resolving Epic system issues in this first week.  As of yesterday, approximately 2,500 Epic help desk tickets have been logged by command center staff, and 90% of those have been resolved.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the clinics who have worked so hard to implement Epic and are paving the way for enterprise-wide adoption, to the pilot clinics who served as valuable resources to their colleagues, and to Epic support staff in clinics and the command center working to solve problems as quickly as possible.

The College of Medicine and MUSC Physicians have engaged Morehead Associates, a national survey research firm, to conduct an employee (both faculty and staff) satisfaction survey.  This is separate from the physician/clinician satisfaction survey recently conducted by the Medical Center.  For several years the College of Medicine and MUSC Physicians have conducted an annual survey of staff employees to gauge employee satisfaction.  While providing valuable information regarding staff satisfaction, previous efforts did not include faculty perceptions.  Our faculty and staff are our most valuable resource, and employee satisfaction is vital to our continued success.  This survey is a great opportunity to share your perceptions across a variety of key areas that affect your satisfaction, and will help us work to improve our workplace.  The survey will be administered online beginning May 29.  Each individual will receive an email directly from Morehead Associates containing a link to the survey and a personalized PIN number.  All survey data will be kept on a Morehead Associates server and individual survey responses will not be accessible by anyone at MUSC or MUSC Physicians.  If you have any questions or concerns about the survey process, please contact Frances Glanville (College of Medicine) or Andrea Swartz (MUSC Physicians) for assistance.

The Provost’s Office is currently accepting nominations for the 2012 MUSC Foundation Developing Scholars Award.  The purpose of this award is to recognize and reward junior faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to the research mission of MUSC.  Nominations are due June 4; more information and nomination instructions can be found at

As always, I look forward to hearing from you via email or when I attend your departmental meetings.

With warm regards,




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