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Etta D. Pisano, M.D.

Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

 Dear Colleagues:

State of the College Address and COM Finance Presentation

Many thanks to everyone who attended my State of the College Address earlier this week.  I very much enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on all of our collective accomplishments over the past year and to discuss some of the numerous ongoing activities.  For those who were unable to attend, the slides from my talk can be found at

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 23, at 4:00 p.m. in the Drug Discovery Building Auditorium.  I hope all members of the college who are interested will plan to attend this meeting.  As always, I look forward to hearing your input and feedback.

NSF Grant to Support Women in Science

Earlier this week, I received the wonderful news that we have been successful in obtaining funding from the NSF through their ADVANCE grant program, which is focused on increasing the participation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers.  The project, for which I serve as PI, is entitled “Development and Implementation of ARROWS (Advancement, Recruitment and Retention of Women in Science)” and has received funding for four years.  It will be implemented under the direction of several talented faculty in the College of Medicine, including Drs. Ashli Sheidow (Psychiatry), Tamara Nowling (Medicine), Cristina Lopez (Psychiatry), and Rosalie Crouch (Ophthalmology).  We look forward to implementing new initiatives under ARROWS in support of our faculty.

Remembering Dr. J. Richard Sosnowski

We have received the sad news that long-time MUSC faculty member, Dr. John Richard Sosnowski, passed away late last night.  Dr. Sosnowski graduated from MUSC in 1945 and served on our faculty as a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, holding numerous leadership roles within the College of Medicine, including service as Vice Dean, during his tenure.  While I did not have the pleasure of working with Dr. Sosnowski, I understand that he was an excellent clinician, educator, and administrator, and a beloved figure on campus and within the community.  Dr. Sosnowski had a profound impact on MUSC and all those who knew him and will be greatly missed.

“What’s the Buzz”

As you know, we’ve implemented a new communication initiative within the College of Medicine.  “What’s the Buzz?” will consist of short videos addressing some of the most talked about issues within or affecting the College.  The idea is to provide you with information in a transparent and easily accessible way, and to do so “face-to-face”.  These video segments will be shared through my weekly emails and will be posted on the College of Medicine website at  This week’s video is on the topic of the COM Academic Space Committee.

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.

SPARC Request: An Enterprise-wide Research Solution

SPARC Request, developed by MUSC’s S.C. Clinical & Translational Research Institute (SCTR) in collaboration with the Biomedical Informatics Center, has been expanded to include all research services and resources across the MUSC enterprise, creating a MUSC “One Stop Shop” research management portal.  The portal facilitates development of research proposals and marketing of MUSC’s robust research support services, and catalyzes collaborations with the community and other institutions.  SPARC Request provides an electronic solution to locate, price, and request research services and resources, facilitating streamlined and accurate research proposal development, budgeting, implementation, and study conduct.  SPARC Request also supports billing compliance and Medicare coverage analysis, sharing of study documents and communications between investigators and service providers, and tracking and invoicing of services provided for research studies.

The latest version of SPARC Request contains many new features developed from feedback provided by the MUSC research community, and has the capacity to interface with other MUSC systems to realize operational efficiencies.  A SPARC Request and Epic interface is under development that will reduce duplicative data entry, enhance patient safety, and support billing compliance.  To list your research services and resources and/or to schedule a presentation or demonstration of the SPARC Request system, please contact the SCTR SUCCESS Center at 792-8300 or

MUSC Trident United Way Campaign

The MUSC Trident United Way Campaign is officially underway – the goal for this year’s campaign is $150,000.  The Trident United Way provides support to numerous non-profit organizations in the area, including the MUSC Foundation.  Gifts can be made by payroll deduction, check, or credit card – pledge forms and brochures will be sent through campus mail to all employees, and employees can also make a gift online by going to  For more information about the campaign, please contact Whitney McLuen at 792-1973 or

Guest Speaker – Dr. Melva “Cookie” Newsom

I’m pleased to announce an upcoming seminar by Dr. Melva “Cookie” Newsom on “Acknowledging difference, seeking common ground: Avoiding cultural discontinuities between patient and doctor”.  I was first introduced to Dr. Newsom when we worked together at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she held the role of Director of Diversity Education and Assessment.  Her seminar will be held on Monday, September 30, 4:00 p.m., in 110 Drug Discovery Building.  All members of the MUSC community are invited to attend this presentation.

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.



Etta D. Pisano, MD

Vice President for Medical Affairs

Dean, College of Medicine