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Etta D. Pisano, M.D.

Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

Dear Colleagues:

Remembering Lauren Baldwin Baccari

On Monday, one of our fourth year medical students, Lauren Baldwin Baccari, was killed in a car accident.  This tragic accident cut short the life of a lovely young woman, and our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and classmates, and especially to her sister, Chelsey Baldwin, who is one of our third year medical students.  I would like to take this opportunity to remind our students that counseling services are available to you through Counseling and Psychological Services, should you need assistance in dealing with this tragic loss.

The family will honor Lauren’s life at a memorial service this Saturday, February 2, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Luke’s Chapel.  All are welcome to attend.  The Lauren Baccari FamTrack Fund has been established in Lauren’s honor.  This fund will support activities of the FamTrack interest group and support students interested in family medicine to foster their interests and encourage their pursuit of careers in family medicine.  Donations may be sent to the Lauren Baccari FamTrack Fund in care of the MUSC Foundation, 18 Bee Street, MSC 450, Charleston, SC, 29425 or submitted online at

The Catalyst will be including a piece on Lauren in next week’s issue, with space for brief comments or remembrances from students, faculty and staff.  Anyone wishing to share their comments should contact Cindy Abole ( by 9:00 a.m. next Tuesday, February 5.

White Coat Day

Earlier this week, we had the opportunity to participate in White Coat Day – an initiative organized by the South Carolina Hospital Association to collectively lobby legislators to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act.  MUSC was well-represented with approximately 60 of our busy clinicians traveling to Columbia on Tuesday to participate in this event.  I am very appreciative that so many of our faculty made themselves available to join us on this important trip to advocate for our patients, and am very proud of the wonderful job they did representing MUSC.

Academy of Medical Educators – New Members

The Academy of Medical Educators (AME) has recently announced the following new members-

Dr. David Bernanke (Dept. of Regenerative Medicine) – Distinguished Teaching Scholar

Dr. Angela Dempsey (Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology) – Mentored Teaching Fellow

Please join me in congratulating these individuals for their selection and in thanking them for their commitment to our educational mission.  More information about AME and the application process can be found at  The next application deadline is February 18.  Questions about AME may be directed to the AME Co-Directors, Drs. Debra Hazen-Martin, Leonie Gordon, and Paul McDermott.

Faculty Affairs Roundtables

The College of Medicine Faculty Affairs Team invites you to attend the next session in the new series of Faculty Affairs Roundtables.  This session will be presented by Drs. Leonie Gordon and Paul McDermott on the topic of the Academy of Medical Educators and will be offered twice – on February 21 at 4:30 p.m. and on February 26 at 12:00 p.m.  These sessions are intended to be highly participatory and foster lively discussion.  Please RSVP to Mary McConnell ( no later than February 15 for these sessions.

The Faculty Affairs Team welcomes input on topics of interest to be covered during future Faculty Affairs Roundtables.  Please share your thoughts on the discussion forum at  For more information about the Faculty Affairs Team and services provided, please go to

Congratulations to Dr. Paul Underwood

Earlier this month Dr. Paul Underwood, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Associate Dean for Admissions, was awarded the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award from the South Atlantic Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  Please join me in congratulating Paul on this wonderful recognition of his achievements and contributions to his field.

Congratulations to Dr. Alyssa Rheingold

This past weekend Dr. Alyssa Rheingold, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of Clinical Operations for the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, was named “Person of the Year” by Liza’s Lifeline.  Liza’s Lifeline is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting domestic violence victims, their families, and community through financial assistance, education, and social change.  Please join me in congratulating Alyssa on this recognition of the important work she has done.

SCOR Request For Pilot Project Proposals

In order to catalyze women's health-related research throughout the MUSC campus, the Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) on Sex and Gender Factors Affecting Women’s Health is pleased to announce a request for pilot project proposals focused on sex and gender-related issues in neuroscience.  The pilot program will provide short-term start-up funds (up to $15,000) to promising postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty (less than 5 years from post-doctoral training/terminal degree) to collect initial data for an RO3, R21, or R01 submission.  The project must focus on a neuroscience-related topic and explore either sex/gender differences or disorders/treatments as they uniquely relate to women.  The project can be either clinical or basic science, but consistent with the NIH Roadmap Initiative and the vision of MUSC's South Carolina Clinical and Translational Research Institute (SCTR).  Projects involving multidisciplinary teams and/or translational research efforts are especially encouraged.  Applications are due by noon on March 1, 2013.  For more information visit or contact Sarah Gainey(

Homecoming Weekend Oyster Roast

All College of Medicine faculty are invited to attend this year’s Homecoming Weekend Oyster Roast, scheduled for Friday, March 22, from 7:00-10:00 pm, at Shem Creek.  Advanced registration is required - no tickets will be sold at the door – and dress is casual.  Please register for this event at  Plenty of oysters and non-seafood items will be served.  We hope you join us for what is sure to be a fun evening.

26th Annual Charity Ball

All members of the college are invited to attend the 26th Annual Charity Ball, which is hosted by our medical students.  This year’s Charity Ball is scheduled for Saturday, February 16, from 7:00-11:00 pm at Memminger Auditorium.  Each year students from both the College of Medicine Student Council and Medical Student Alumni Council work together to make this event a success.  The proceeds from the MUSC Charity Ball and its silent auction are disbursed each year to local charities.

Music for the evening will be provided by Permanent Vacation and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served, along with a cash bar that will serve beer and wine.  Tickets for this black tie optional event are $50.00 per person.  Alumni may purchase 2 tickets for $45 each.  Tickets are now available at the College of Medicine Dean’s Office (601 Clinical Sciences Building) from Marta Rivell or Alexzandrea Brown.

Discussion Forums

As a reminder, we have created new electronic discussion platforms focusing on education, research, clinical affairs, and general information from the Dean’s Office and the College of Medicine.  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.  I look forward to hearing from you - either in person or via email.