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Etta D. Pisano, M.D.

Vice President for Medical Affairs
Dean, College of Medicine

 Dear Colleagues:

Thanksgiving Message

I hope that each of you will have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving with friends and family.  This week’s “What’s the Buzz” video is my thank you to each of you for the meaningful work you do here every day, as well as a chance for me to reflect on the things within the College of Medicine and MUSC for which I am personally grateful throughout the year.  You can view the video message at

2013 Golden Apple Awards Ceremony

I’d like to recognize and congratulate this year’s Golden Apple Award winners, who were recognized by our students for their excellence.  The winners were Dr. Michael Caplan (Year One Education), Dr. Donna Kern (Year One Administrator), Inda Johnson (Year One Administrator), Dr. John Hildebrandt (Year Two Educator), Sandy Nelson (Year Two Administrator), Dr. Sam Rimawi (Clinical Years Educator), Dr. Brent Jewett (Clinical Years Housestaff), Dr. Krista Wagoner (Clinical Years Housestaff), Ruth Fortini (Clinical Years Administrator), and Sara Frampton (Clinical Years Administrator).  Additionally, Drs. Debra Hazen-Martin and Donna Kern received special appreciation gifts as a thank you for their commitment to medical education.  When you next see these honorees, please join me in offering your congratulations for their exemplary service to our students.

Congratulations to our Students

I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the MUSC students who were recognized at the 2013 Perry Halushka Research Day.  A full list of those winners can be found at  Please join me in congratulating these students on their accomplishments.

Video Primer on MUSC Primary Care

Beginning January 1, 2014, many MUSC employees currently under the State Health Care Plan will be transitioning to the new MUSC Health Plan.  A comprehensive FAQ website has been developed to answer many of your questions about the plan and its benefits and requirements, as well as provide plan comparison charts.  The site can be viewed at  The MUSC Health Plan emphasizes the benefits of our Patient Centered Medical Home model and requires participants to select an MUSC Primary Care Physician.  President for MUSCP Primary Care, Dr. Howard Evert, has prepared a “What’s the Buzz” video focusing on MUSC Primary Care locations, access and which doctors are considered primary care physicians.  He also addresses the expanded network of pediatric practices which will become part of the MUSC-approved network.  Please take a few minutes to watch this very informative video at

Faculty Affairs Roundtables

The College of Medicine Faculty Affairs Team invites faculty to attend the next session in the series of Faculty Affairs Roundtables.  I will be presenting on the topic of ‘Finding a Balanced Life – Work, Family, and Community”, which will be offered on December 9 at 3:30 p.m. in 601 Clinical Sciences Building.  Interested faculty are encouraged to participate in this event; please RSVP to Mary McConnell ( for this session.  For more information about the Faculty Affairs Team and services provided, please go to

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 December 16.  Applications may be emailed to Mary McConnell at  Faculty with questions about this program should contact Senior Associate Dean for Research Craig Crosson.

Resident Focus Groups

In an effort to enhance communications with house staff, the medical center will host 1-hour resident focus groups in early December, with meals provided, to explore effective ways to communicate with residents.  These focus groups are open to all residents.  If you are interested in participating, or would like to nominate a resident you feel can actively represent their peers, please contact Kerry Burke at

MUSC Trident United Way Campaign

The MUSC Trident United Way Campaign is still 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 were 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

Applications Being Accepted for K12 Training Program

Applications are now being accepted for the NCI-funded K12 Paul Calabresi Clinical & Translational Oncology Training Program.  The goal of the program is to train successful, patient-oriented, clinical- and laboratory-based investigators who can work effectively in a collaborative, translational research setting.  Each trainee participant will be provided salary support and an expert mentoring team along with the resources to complete tailored course work, clinical and laboratory research rotations and projects.  These Scholars will bridge the knowledge derived from both the laboratory and clinic and apply that knowledge directly to establishing new, effective cancer interventions.  The application deadline is December 31, 2013; to apply, please visit

Discussion Forums

As a reminder, we have 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 – and to continue excellence in our research and education missions.  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