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Etta D. Pisano, M.D.

Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

Dear Colleagues:

U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Earlier this week, U.S. News & World Report released their “best hospital” rankings and I am pleased to report that MUSC performed extremely well again this year.  MUSC ranked 1st in South Carolina and 1st for the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metro area, and was nationally ranked in the top 50 for Ear, Nose & Throat, Nephrology, and Rheumatology.  Ten other programs were recognized as “high-performing” – Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology, and Urology.  These are wonderful accomplishments, that speak to the excellent care and service and tireless dedication of the faculty and other clinical providers, college and hospital leadership, and other employees associated with these programs.  Please join me in congratulating all three of these groups on this wonderful recognition of their excellence.  Full scores and rankings for MUSC can be found at

Center for the Achievement of Human Potential

As I shared with you last month, I initiated an internal search for a College of Medicine clinician to serve as Director for the new Center for the Achievement of Human Potential.  The decision to establish this new center arose from the recommendations of two workgroups that had been working within the College of Medicine over the past year to develop recommendations for how we can better serve the needs of our patients with ADHD and Autism spectrum disorders, while also promoting enhanced research and educational opportunities in these areas.  While we unfortunately do not have the resources needed at this time to fund comprehensive centers focused on clinical, research, and educational objectives identified by those groups, we are beginning by forming a center to better address the clinical needs of these patient populations.  This center will be expected to develop over time into a more comprehensive center inclusive of research and educational efforts.  The Center for the Achievement of Human Potential will initially pull together the clinical services for both child and adult patients with ADHD and/or Autism spectrum disorders, with one goal being to physically co-locate as many clinical services as possible to make caring for these populations more convenient for the patients and their families.

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Michelle Macias has agreed to serve as Director of this new center, effective August 1.  Michelle is a Professor in our Department of Pediatrics, where she serves as Chief of the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics.  Please join me in congratulating Michelle on this important new leadership role.

Clinical Faculty Compensation Plan

As I communicated with College of Medicine clinical faculty via email yesterday, the college is developing a new compensation framework for our clinical faculty to be implemented beginning July 1, 2014.  A copy of that email message can be found at  All Clinical Department Chairs have been asked to discuss the proposed clinical faculty compensation plan at their next department faculty meeting.  In addition, I will be holding a special Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, July 30, at 5:00 p.m. in the Drug Discovery Building Auditorium to discuss the clinical faculty compensation plan, and will be happy to answer questions at that time.

MUSC Receives Most Wired Hospitals Award

Last week, MUSC was again recognized as one of the nation’s Most Wired Hospitals.  MUSC is one of only five hospitals/health systems in South Carolina to receive this designation, which recognizes institutions that perform well with respect to infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration.  One of the factors that contributed to this recognition is our implementation of the Epic electronic medical record.  Congratulations to all those who contributed to this recognition.

Interprofessional Collaboration Grant Opportunity Pilot Project Program

The MUSC Strategic Plan Interprofessional/Interdisciplinary Operations Team announced earlier this week the 2013 Interprofessional Collaboration Grant Opportunity Pilot Project Program.  The goal of this program is to promote the scholarship of interprofessional collaboration and practice in the areas of clinical care, education, and research.  Each application may receive up to $15,000, and multiple grants will be awarded.  The deadline for proposal submission is September 13; more information about this 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.

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