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A celebration of service

Awards honor employees who've dedicated 10, 20, 30 and 40 years to MUSC

MUSC Service Awards
MUSC University, MUSC Health and MUSC-P employees celebrating 20 years service are joined by MUSC President David Cole and Kathy Cole on Oct. 4. More than 600 employees who reached milestone anniversaries were honored this month. There were 481 10-year honorees, 138 20-year honorees, 39 30-year honorees and eight 40-year honorees. Photos by Sarah Pack
Cindy Abole| | Oct. 30, 2018

Each year, committed MUSC employees are recognized for their contributions, achievements and loyalty. At the annual MUSC Service Awards reception, employees were recognized for 10, 20, 30 or 40 years of service to the enterprise. We’ve asked some of this year’s 40- and 30-year honorees to share how they have made a difference in their jobs and what has changed or improved the environment at MUSC. Here are their comments.

I began serving MUSC in 1978 with the Department of Medicine managing grant activities. Since then, I have occupied an office in just about every building on campus, a number of which no longer exist. I’ve contributed on behalf of our students, the research community, patients and their care providers in a variety of roles over the years. I’m currently serving as a project manager with Information Solutions. In terms of growth, active building programs that have expanded our footprint on the peninsula and throughout the Lowcountry, combined with steady growth in staff, technology and affiliations have improved MUSC.
Jeffrey H. Burdick
Senior project manager

Information Solutions

Time brings on changes, in a good and positive way. I started working at MUSC March 1988 in the registration department for an outpatient clinic. At this time, the majority of the clinics were held in the clinical science building on Jonathan Lucas St. I worked in Module 8 with Dr. John Buce, Dr. Maria Buce, Dr. Williamson, Dr. Soper, and Dr. Newton to name a few.  I was trained by Mrs. Doris Hall.  We were using big ledgers to keep up with the patients' appointments and the electric stamp plate to make their name cards when they came in to keep track of all paper and lab work. I also remember when we went live on using the computer. Thirty years later, I can truly say that MUSC has come a long way in our growth and expansion over many areas. I have enjoyed every moment of this life experience working for such a great hospital. #1988MYYEARMUSCSTILLROCKS!!
Brenda Wrighton
Precertification Unit Specialist
Medical University Hospital Authority

The greatest joy of my career has been the opportunity to mentor many very bright Ph.D., M.D./Ph.D. and postdoctoral fellows. Many of these trainees have gone on to very successful careers in biomedical research in academia, government and the private sector. Our work together has given us a better understanding of how epigenetics plays an important role in both ischemic and non-ischemic heart failure. We have demonstrated that a single dose of drugs suppressing histone deacetylase activity confers both cardioprotection and long-term remodeling and functional benefits after an acute myocardial infarction. Our hope is to move our studies to a large animal preclinical model and if efficacious there to translate our findings to clinical studies. Over the last 30 years, MUSC has recruited more and more outstanding basic and clinical scientists. While the number and caliber of my colleagues has continued to increase, we have never lost the friendly and helpful collaborative environment, making MUSC a great place to participate in the discoveries that will make a difference in the care and treatment of patients here and elsewhere.

Donald R. Menick Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine/Cardiology
Director, Gazes Cardiac Research Institute
Research Health Scientist, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center


John Cooper celebrates 40 years at MUSC

MUHA’s John Cooper, left, was recognized for 40 years of service by Dr. Cole and Kathy Cole.
I have made a difference in my commitment to be supportive and actively involved in changing with MUSC policy and standards of excellence. I believe that I have been able to make a difference at MUSC through my personal adoption of MUSC excellence as my own in my life, my work ethics, customer service and communication not only with patients and their families, physicians and coworkers but also in my contacts with outside agencies and insurance carriers. My goal is excellent customer service, and I daily strive to deliver nothing less. My motto: You get out what you put in.

MUSC is able to deliver excellent medical care not only to the Lowcountry but to the entire state of South Carolina. It makes me proud and grateful to be a part of such a great and excellent company, especially when I travel across the state see billboards that says MUSC Health, because I know that even in those places MUSC excellence is making a difference. I am proud to be an MUSP employee, and my years of service here prove that. I love working here, and it does my heart good when I know and have been told by patients that their experience here at MUSC has been great and that the employees here do their best in delivering excellent customer services to them.
Debra E. Pearson-Aiken
MUSC Health North Charleston

In the past 40 years, I am proud that I’ve been able to make a positive difference in my job at MUSC. I’ve developed a uniform process to respond to regulatory surveys and a systemwide process for policy requests, reviews and approvals. I’ve also established a survey readiness group to round for regulatory compliance and provide information to departments/units. In that time, I’ve seen a great deal of change and improvement — improved technology and data systems, such as computerized patient health care records and medical staff credentialing; an improved commitment to quality and patient safety as evidenced by numerous recognitions such as Magnet, Baldridge and U.S. News & World Report; and many, many others. The current administration is more visible in the hospital and community events, and they represent the organization at all levels. There is improved employee communications and growing health care market share. So much has improved. It is really hard to outline it all.
Terri W. Ellis
Regulatory Affairs/Accreditation
Quality ICCE/Quality Management
MUSC Health

When I started working in the Infectious Diseases Division in 1991 to begin an HIV/AIDS Clinic, no one really wanted to care for this population. With the help of Dr. Robert Cantey, we made a difference in offering patients with HIV/AIDS a facility to care for them when there was no specialized care in the area at that time. That first year we saw 50 patients. Today, we follow over 1,300 patients. It’s been a joy to see these patients have a place to come for quality care and that we’ve been able to secure grant funding to continue to expand medical and support services for the past 27 years.
Valerie Assey, RN,
Division of Infectious Diseases
MUSC Health

I make a difference in my job by always being compassionate to my patients and families, helping them navigate through the complex medical system and being a strong advocate for them. Throughout my 40-year nursing career at MUSC, the following improvements stand out for me: the opening of the Children’s Hospital; the development and implementation of the clinical nurse ladder program, which was designed to recognize nurses who choose to stay at the bedside; and the expansion of MUSC services to other locations in the state including telehealth programs.
Carol Martin, BSN
Patient Access Center, MUSC Health
College of Nursing, Class of 1978

40-Year Honorees
Tariq Javed, D.M.D
Howard V. Peskin, D.D.S
Rhonda P. Richardson
Angela Taylor-Batiste
Jeffrey Harrison Burdick
John L. Cooper
Teresa W. Ellis
Carol B. Martin

30-Year Honorees
Valerie H. Assey
Alexander Awgulewitsch, Ph.D.
Barbara A. Bell
Laurence Blumenthal, M.D.
James Michael Bonner
Theresa A. Bozzelli
Deborah H. Brooks
Walter Adam Brzezinski, Jr., M.D.
Katherine H. Chessman, PharmD
Sharon W. Clair
Thomas Neil Gallien
Faye J. Leboeuf
Alice Q. Libet, Ph.D.
Linda K. McDaniel
Donald R. Menick, Ph.D.
David C. Morrisette, Ph.D.
Kathy B. Ray
Darlene Lou Shaw, Ph.D.
Kenneth J. Thomas, Ed.D.
Angela F. Ybarra
Sharon K. Zolner
Kenneth J. Bachewicz
Lavonnia Bennett
Lori S. Betfort
Mary L. Brown
Ronald H. Clark
Sally C. Crawford
Shirley Ann Dais
Michael Haschker
Paulette W. Headden
Sheila V. Jones
Vonzetta Yvette Pierre
Casaundra M. Porter
Celestine J. Rouse
Teresita A. Ruz
Kathy D. Silverio
Nancy Turner
Brenda Lee Y. Wrighton
Debra Pearson-Aiken
Cindy L. Shanks


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