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Etta D. Pisano, M.D.

Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

 Dear Colleagues:

COM Finance Presentation

As we continue to implement the university-wide funds flow process and as financial pressures continue to challenge our institution, I will be presenting a Town Hall meeting focused on college financial issues next 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.

Letter from Interim President Mark Sothmann

Earlier this week, Interim President Mark Sothmann sent a letter to members of the MUSC community; a copy can be found at  In the letter, Dr. Sothmann shares that his priority as Interim President will be to maintain MUSC’s current course and momentum.  He also provides an update regarding the University’s search to identify a full-time president, including the list of search committee members.  I am pleased to serve on the search committee, and share Dr. Sothmann’s confidence that we will recruit an excellent individual for this important position.

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.  CME credit will be provided for this seminar.

Women Scholars Initiative Career Development Program

The MUSC Women Scholars Initiative will be conducting a two-day intensive program focused on career development for early and mid-career women faculty.  The event will be held on campus March 10-11, 2014, and will include small-group interactive sessions on a variety of topics (e.g., Building Your Mentoring Team; Promotion & Tenure Planning; Networking and Communicating; Negotiating Skills; Marketing Oneself; Work-Life Integration).  Both national and local trainers will conduct sessions.  All early or mid-career women faculty from any track at the rank of Instructor, Assistant, or Associate are encouraged to nominate themselves to attend.  The number of slots is very limited, so participants must commit to attending the full program (March 10-11, 8:00am-5:30pm).  If you would like to attend and are able to commit to the full program, you must self-nominate no later than September 27 by contacting Jennifer Nall (  I will then decide on final attendees for this program from the College of Medicine.  If you have any additional questions about this program, please feel free to contact the co-chairs of the WSI Career Development Program, Tammy Nowling ( or Deborah Dewaay (

Remembering Drs. Jovan Milutinovic and Edward Balish

We received the sad news that two MUSC faculty members passed away last week.  Dr. Jovan Milutinovic served on our faculty as a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology, and remained involved as Professor Emeritus following his retirement from MUSC.  While I did not have the pleasure of knowing Dr. Milutinovic, I understand that he was an excellent physician, educator, and scientist.  Dr. Edward Balish served on our faculty as a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and remained involved as Professor Emeritus following his retirement from MUSC.  I did not have the pleasure of knowing Dr. Balish, but I understand that he was an excellent scientist and mentor.  We send our condolences to the families of both of these individuals.

Epic and SPARC Request Interface

MUSC will be implementing research functionality in Epic on July 1, 2014.  An interface has been built between SPARC Request and Epic to simplify and streamline the process of setting up research studies in Epic.  Utilizing the user-friendly functionality in SPARC Request, study information will be pushed from SPARC Request to Epic to create an Epic study record for associating patients to the study; create the Epic study calendar to manage study billing; and define Epic user rights to allow study staff access to Epic.  The benefits of this interface include reduction of duplicative data entry; consolidated user dashboard to manage all protocols and services; tools to support billing compliance; and enhanced patient safety.  Prior to go-live (July 2014), SCTR will assist researchers in setting up their active studies in the SPARC Request and Epic Systems.  This will be done with the use of a partially prefilled spreadsheet sent to investigators by the SPARC Request Team.  If you receive a spreadsheet, please complete the required information and return it to Caleb Hund at  This will ensure your study information is correctly entered into both systems.

Epic will allow investigators to associate their study participants with a research study in the electronic record (a requirement for compliance with the False Claims Act) and will include investigational medications in the record for the benefit of other clinicians.  This functionality increases patient safety, provider communication, and billing accuracy for research studies and third party payers.  For more information and/or to schedule a presentation/demonstration of the Epic research functionality and SPARC Request system and related interface, please contact the SCTR SUCCESS Center at 792-8300 or

SCTR Scientific Retreat on CER/PCOR

SCTR is hosting a Comparative Effectiveness Research/Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (CER/PCOR) Scientific Retreat on Tuesday, October 29, 2013, from 9:00-4:00pm, in the Bioengineering Building Auditorium.  The Keynote Speaker will be Ann Bonham, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges.  Individuals who would like to submit an abstract to be a potential speaker/present a poster should register at by Friday, September 27, 2013.  Those who would like to attend the retreat should register by Friday, October 18, 2013; registration is free but required.  The retreat agenda and additional information will be provided on the SCTR web page.  For more information, please contact Patrick Maudlin, SCTR CER Initiative Director, at, or Dayan Ranwala at

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