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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 Don Rockey, MD, as Chair of the Department of Medicine.  Dr. Rockey comes to us from the University of Texas Southwestern, where he currently serves as Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases.  He will be joining us on September 1, 2012.

Dr. Rockey received his B.S. in Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and his M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia.  He completed an internship and residency in Categorical Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) from 1984-1988, serving as Chief Resident from 1987-1988.  Dr. Rockey then completed fellowships in Gastroenterology at UCSF from 1988-1992.  He served on the faculty at UCSF and Duke University Medical Center prior to joining the faculty at the University of Texas Southwestern in 2005.  While leading the Division of Digestive and Liver Diseases at the University of Texas Southwestern, Dr. Rockey led the development of strong clinical, educational, and both basic and clinical research programs.

A member of the American Association of Physicians and the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease and a Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association and the American College of Physicians, Dr. Rockey has also served as a member of the NIH’s Hepatobiliary Pathophysiology Study Section, as an Associate Editor for Hepatology and Liver International, and has served on a number of journal editorial boards.  Dr. Rockey has received NIH funding for many years and has an active research portfolio.  His basic science efforts are primarily directed towards the pathogenesis of wound healing, using the liver as a model system.  His clinical investigation revolves around establishing management strategies for patients with common gastrointestinal problems, in particular, in the area of gastrointestinal bleeding - the overall direction of his work is to help establish national management guidelines.  Dr. Rockey has authored over 200 publications and has given numerous invited lectures.

Dr. Rockey brings an exceptional combination of clinical, research, teaching, and administrative skills to lead the growth and development of the department.  As we welcome Dr. Rockey to MUSC, please join me in thanking Dr. Rick Silver for his excellent service as Interim Chair of the department.

As a reminder, all faculty and students are invited to attend the Medical Alumni Homecoming Weekend Oyster Roast, which is scheduled for Friday, April 20, at 7:00 p.m.  This is an opportunity to bring together our alumni, faculty, and current students in a fun and relaxed environment so that we can get to know one another even better.  Faculty may register by going to and clicking on “Alumni Bash and Oyster Roast”.  Students may buy tickets at the discounted price of $20.00 in the Dean’s Office from Monday, March 26, until April 16.  No tickets will be sold at the door, so please make sure to get tickets in advance.

Faculty are reminded of the upcoming April 16 application deadline for the next cycle of bridge funding.  Bridge funding is intended to provide interim support for individual faculty research programs when a competitive renewal or “next stage” application is not funded.  The originating grant must have received full indirect costs.  Examples of eligible grants include competing R01 and NSF renewals and new R01 resubmissions that were initiated by an R03, R21 or K award.  Examples of ineligible grants include infrastructure (e.g., core and instrumentation grants), training, foundation and VA awards, and industrial research contracts.  Tenured and non-tenured faculty members are eligible to apply; however, investigators with substantial funding from other sources or reserves are not eligible.  More information about this program and application requirements can be found at

With the Epic pilot go-live well underway, it is important for our other ambulatory clinics to focus on critical preparations which must be made prior to the full go-live on May 17.  Registration is underway at for Epic training classes.  Also, valuable feedback has been gathered from Epic pilot physicians regarding their experiences transitioning from Practice Partner to the new electronic medical record system.  Their primary recommendations to colleagues going live in May include planning and rehearsing workflows with entire clinic teams and making sure to attend personalization labs in addition to “basic training”.  Please take advantage of these physicians’ experiences and follow their recommendation to “make Epic your own”.

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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