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Message from the Dean




Dear Colleagues:

Core Facilities in the College of Medicine

The continued growth of research across the College of Medicine requires access to cutting edge core technologies and expertise that cannot normally be maintained by a single laboratory or within a single department.  The College of Medicine defines a research core as an institutionally supported, centralized facility that provides scientific investigators from multiple departments access to technologies, services and expert consultations.  To ensure that our faculty members continue to have access to essential core facilities, the Infrastructure Committee, under the leadership of Dr. Steven Rosenzweig, periodically reviews existing core facilities.  The Infrastructure Committee also welcomes the submission of proposals for new core concepts.  Proposals will be reviewed by the committee to determine if the College of Medicine should provide financial support to develop this core.  This process has three steps – an initial written report that describes the proposed core, its users and operations; presentation by the core director to the Infrastructure Committee; and a recommendation by the Committee to the Dean of the College of Medicine.  Those interested in submitting a proposal or needing additional information should contact Mary McConnell (

Task Force on Employee Engagement and Work-Life Integration

Our faculty and staff, like all of those working in academic healthcare, are facing new, unprecedented challenges – with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the reduction in state funding due to the recession of 2008, and with student tuition capped due to unsustainable levels of student debt.  MUSC leadership has responded with lots of initiatives to cut costs and grow revenues, but it is indeed a challenging time!  Nonetheless, there are likely things we can do as an organization to support our employees – both faculty and staff.  We all spend many hours working on behalf of the institution’s missions, and it is our goal that all members of our workforce feel supported and valued.  In an effort to more clearly identify issues affecting our workforce, and develop strategies to make improvements where opportunities exist, we are launching a Task Force on Employee Engagement and Work-Life Integration which will suggest new strategies for the College of Medicine and MUSC Physicians to employ to help our faculty and staff feel more engaged at work and more supported in their work-life challenges.

Dr. Carol Feghali Bostwick, Professor in the Department of Medicine and Director of the College of Medicine Center for ARROWS (Advancement, Recruitment and Retention of Women in Science) has agreed to serve as Chair of this initiative.  We are seeking volunteers – faculty and staff, men and women – to serve on this task force.  Those interested in serving should submit a brief paragraph expressing their interest to Jennifer Nall ( by July 25.

The task force will be charged with suggesting strategies for improving employee engagement and work-life integration by the end of this calendar year.  We will then review and analyze those suggestions, create a business case for them, and develop a timeline for those strategies we decide to implement by July 2015, with some efforts commencing as early as next summer.

While this task force will be focused on our faculty and staff, it is important to note that we are also committed to ensuring our students are supported.  During the preclinical years, the educational program limits the number of contact hours per week to a maximum of 23-27 hours.  Additionally, students are given at least one afternoon off per week to attend to personal issues.  During the clinical years, there is a work-hour policy which sets limits on the number of hours that students should be in the clinical setting, thus allowing time for them to deal with personal issues.  So even though our students aren’t included in this task force’s charge, rest assured their work-life integration issues are being addressed through other means.

It is our hope that this initiative will result in some meaningful improvements for our faculty and staff.

MUSC College of Medicine Recognized at NIH Diversity Workshop

Earlier this week, I had the honor of presenting at the NIH Program Leadership Committee’s Diversity Workshop.  I was invited to speak about the progress made within the MUSC College of Medicine over the past decade with respect to student and faculty diversity, which has been a result of the concerted efforts by many individuals across the college over a sustained period of time.  Dr. Deborah Deas, of course, receives a great deal of the credit for having spearheaded diversity initiatives over many years.  We should all take a great deal of pride in the recognition of MUSC College of Medicine’s diversity efforts by this NIH Committee.

Hollings Cancer Center

As I shared with you last week, the three candidates for the Hollings Cancer Center Interim Director position are Dr. Anthony Alberg, Dr. Michael Lilly, and Dr. Ken Tew.  We would like to provide an opportunity for feedback from interested faculty and Hollings Cancer Center staff with respect to the Interim Director candidates.  You may do so by sending me an email or by scheduling a brief meeting with me to share your thoughts in person.  I have set aside the following dates/times for brief individual meetings – July 15, 5:00-6:00 p.m. and July 21, 4:00-6:00 p.m.  Please contact my assistant, Anita Harrell, to schedule a 10-minute block during one of these times if you’d like to meet with me about this topic.  It is our intent to name an Interim Director by early August.

A reception celebrating Dr. Andrew Kraft’s leadership of the Hollings Cancer Center over the past decade, and the renewal of NCI designation for Hollings, will be held on August 21, 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the Hollings Cancer Center Reed Pavilion.  Member of the college are invited to attend this event.

College of Medicine Participants Selected for MUSC Presidential Scholars Program

Nine College of Medicine students have been selected as MUSC Presidential Scholars for 2014-2015.  The Scholars Program explores complex social, political and human issues of broad interest to health care professionals and biomedical researchers in a format that maximizes student participation and interaction, and students work in interprofessional teams on a student-selected and designed project.  The College of Medicine students selected are Lance Braye, Kimberly Fender, Jameaka Hamilton, Thomas Larrew, Amartha Ogburu-Ogbonnaya, Rachel Reynolds, Juliana Sobczyk, Margo Toney, and Brittany Watson.  Dr. Keri Holmes-Maybank from our Department of Medicine has been selected as an MUSC Presidential Faculty Scholar for 2014-2015.  Please join me in congratulating these individuals on their selection for this honor.

CARES Clinic Seeks Physician Volunteers

The CARES Clinic, a student-run free medical clinic in Mt. Pleasant, is looking for additional physician volunteers.  CARES is a primary care setting for uninsured members of the community, operating Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout the year.  CARES relies heavily on the generous support of physician volunteers who serve as the teaching force for healthcare student volunteers.  All fully-licensed physicians at MUSC - from 2nd year residents to full professors - are eligible to volunteer.  Those interested in participating should contact the CARES Physician Coordinator at  Information about the CARES Clinic can be found at

Congratulations to Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele

Dr. Bruce Ovbiagele was recently named to the 11th Class of Liberty Fellows.  The Liberty Fellows program recruits diverse leaders, providing them with a forum to reflect on what makes a just society, deepening their knowledge and perspectives and enhancing their capacity to solve the problems facing leaders in South Carolina.  Please join me in congratulating Dr. Ovbiagele on his selection for this program.

Town Hall Meetings

As a reminder, I will elaborate on our collective accomplishments over the past year and on our plans for the future in my annual State of the College address, which will be held on Monday, September 8, at 4:00 p.m., in 110 Drug Discovery Building.  As we continue to implement the university-wide funds flow process and as financial pressures continue to challenge our institution, I will also be presenting a Town Hall meeting focused on college financial issues – this will be held on Monday, September 15, at 4:00 p.m., in 110 Drug Discovery Building.  I hope all members of the college who are interested will plan to attend these meetings.  In addition, we will be holding quarterly Town Hall meetings going forward as an opportunity to discuss topics of interest – these will be open to all members of the college and dates will be announced through my weekly emails as they are confirmed.  As always, I look forward to hearing your input and feedback.

Discussion Forums

As a reminder, we have electronic discussion platforms focusing on various aspects of our mission.  These forums are intended to serve several purposes.  First, they are another way for my office to share important information with faculty, staff, and students.  Second, they are meant to encourage discussion about issues within the college and to empower everyone within the college to voice their opinions.  These “discussion forums” are intended to be not only channels for messages to be sent out, but channels for YOUR ideas, comments and questions to be heard by college leadership.  Your voice matters and we are pleased there is a new way for it to be heard.  You can access these forums by using the following links and your net ID and password:

As always....

Let's work together to meet our strategic planning goal - to be in the Top 25 among academic medical centers for reputation, quality, service, efficiency and financial performance by 2015 – and to continue excellence in our research and education missions.  I look forward to hearing from you - either in person or via email.






Etta D. Pisano, MD

Vice President for Medical Affairs

Dean, College of Medicine





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