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Message from the Dean




Dear Colleagues:

Faculty and Staff Breakfast Meetings

After the start of the academic year, we will be resuming breakfast meetings open to all faculty and staff in the college who would like to meet with me about topics of interest.  This was a practice I instituted during my first year as dean and continued during the 2012-2013 academic year until the demand waned.  Since some time has passed, I’m hoping that there will be renewed interest in these meetings.  Faculty and staff who are interested in attending a breakfast meeting with me should contact Anita Harrell ( to get on the schedule.

Adult and Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Programs Recognized for Excellence

The adult and pediatric bone marrow transplant program was recently recognized for their excellence with designation as a Blue Distinction Center+ for Transplant by BlueCross BlueShield.  This award is given to those who demonstrate a commitment to quality care and better overall outcomes for transplant patients.  MUSC is the only facility in the U.S. that achieved the Blue Distinction Center+ designation for both adult and pediatric bone marrow transplant.  Please join me in congratulating all those who contributed to this wonderful achievement.

College of Medicine Staff Management Development Program

The College of Medicine is implementing a management development program for our staff, with the goal of training and better preparing our current administrators and potential leaders.  We heard from College of Medicine staff in the employee engagement survey conducted this spring that many feel there are not sufficient career development opportunities currently provided at MUSC.  This new program will provide an orientation to the MUSC enterprise (approximately 70% of the program) as well as some soft skill training (approximately 30% of program).   A class of approximately 20 individuals will be selected to participate in this new program, which will require attendance at two-hour sessions two-to-three times per month over the course of the academic year.  More information about this program, including application details and a list of meeting topics, can be found at  Interested staff members are encouraged to apply for this program.  Applications are due August 8, and the course will begin September 4.

Medical Student Teaching Opportunities

There are several opportunities for clinical faculty to serve as teachers in the following themes for the upcoming academic year.  Both of these courses are wonderful opportunities to engage students in the preclinical years and help them build a strong foundation.  Your department would receive funding for your participation through the College of Medicine funds flow structure.  Please email the course directors as soon as possible if you are available to teach in either of these courses.

Fundamentals of Patient Care Small Group Preceptor in Year 1 (Late August – May annually) - In year 1 the focus of small group learning is patient communication and behavioral medicine.  Students practice interviewing standardized patients and receive feedback from faculty and peers.  The interview topics are aligned with the basic and clinical science content of each system block (i.e., “patient with trouble concentrating” in the Cognition and Control block).  Students also practice basic physical assessment and diagnosis skills in small group. Each small group of 8-9 students meets from 1:00-3:00 pm on the same day of the week throughout the year.  Preceptors are needed for Thursday or Friday afternoons, for a commitment of approximately 22 sessions per year (credit: 54 hours/faculty member annually).  The course director is Dr. Alyssa Rheingold (

Fundamentals of Patient Care Ethics Small Group Preceptor (September – May) - Students and faculty facilitators engage in case-based ethical reasoning discussions related to the specific clinical case for the block (Year 2) and related to real patient scenarios shared by clinical students (Year 3 and 4).  Preceptors are needed on one consistent day throughout the year, either Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, from 12:00-3:00 p.m., for a total commitment of 6 sessions per year or 3 sessions per semester (credit: 18 hours/faculty member annually).  The course director is Dr. Tom Brouette (

S.C. Research Center for Recovery from Stroke Pilot Project Program

The S.C. Research Center for Recovery from Stroke (SCRCRS) Pilot Project Program aims to attract junior and senior investigators into the field of stroke recovery research, promote utilization of scientific cores, develop new collaborations and mentoring relationships, and stimulate new programmatic activities to build long-term sustainability of the center.  Pilot projects must aim to (1) address an important question in basic, translational and/or clinical research that impacts recovery from stroke, (2) generate critical preliminary data to support submission of a competitive extramural grant application that will directly utilize one or more of the program’s cores, or (3) develop or acquire a new method or technology that will directly enhance, advance or replace one or more functions or services within a designated SCRCRS core.  Letters of intent are due August 1.  More information on this pilot project program can be found at

Faculty Bridge Funding Program

A primary goal of the College of Medicine is to support and strengthen research capabilities of our faculty.  One mechanism utilized to facilitate this goal is our Bridge Funding Program.  The purpose of this program is to support investigators with established clinical or basic research programs during periods when a competitive renewal was not funded.  Program details and the application format are available at  The application deadline for the current cycle is August 15.  Applications may be emailed to Mary McConnell at  Faculty with questions about this program should contact Senior Associate Dean for Research Craig Crosson.

“What’s the Buzz?” – 7 Ashley River Tower Project

In this edition of the “What’s the Buzz?” video series, we’re pleased to provide an update on the 7 Ashley River Tower project.  Over the last year, we have begun preparing to transform what has been administrative space on 7 ART into patient rooms, providing our hospital with 40 additional inpatient beds.  In order to relocate the offices currently located on 7 ART, a number of lab and office moves have taken place; a majority of the offices currently located on 7 ART are being moved to the Thurmond-Gazes building.  I am pleased to report that the renovations to the Thurmond-Gazes building are on schedule.  The hospital’s renovation of 7 ART is expected to begin in January 2015, with completion scheduled for August 2015.  We appreciate all of the teamwork and flexibility it has taken to make the transformation of 7 ART possible, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those faculty and staff who have been affected by these moves for their assistance and participation in the process.  The video is available at

“What’s the Buzz?” consists of short videos addressing some of the most talked about issues within or affecting the College.  If you’d like to have issues of interest or concern addressed in this forum, you can send an email to, drop a note in the comment box in the lobby of 601 Clinical Sciences Building, post a question to one of our COM discussion forums, or send me an email directly.  All topics are welcome.  I hope you will find these videos an easy way to stay informed and have issues addressed in a convenient and timely way.

Physician Payment Sunshine Act – Open Payments System Registration Began on July 14

Last month, we shared with you an update provided by the MUSC Conflict of Interest Office regarding the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.  Physicians and teaching hospitals can now begin registering in the Open Payments system; although registration is voluntary, it becomes a mandatory process if physicians want the opportunity to review and dispute data submitted by manufacturers and group purchasing organizations prior to public posting on September 30, 2014.  In order to review or dispute data submitted by industry for the 2013 reporting period, physicians must be registered and have reviewed any data reported about them on or before August 27, 2014.  More information on this topic can be found at  For more information about Open Payments, please visit

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:



Etta D. Pisano, MD

Vice President for Medical Affairs

Dean, College of Medicine


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