MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update | February 11, 2021
February 11, 2021
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update
Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry

Overture West Ashley is a 55+ apartment community for active adults, located off Savannah Hwy on Coburg Rd, just down the road from the Coburg Cow. Overture has introduced a fresh perspective on 55+ living for the Charleston area. By offering a maintenance-free lifestyle, residents experience newfound freedom and the ability to craft each day as they see fit.


Not only is Overture West Ashley’s goal to provide a healthy, well-balanced life for those over the age of 55, but to connect their residents to the larger Charleston community. By partnering with MUSC, Overture West Ashley’s goal is to touch the community on a broader scale. Given the effect of the pandemic on the senior community, Overture understands the importance of showing all groups love and support during this difficult time, especially those that are also at-risk.


That’s why the Overture community decided to participate in MUSC’s Valentine’s Day Card Event this year. The residents at Overture West Ashley are participating in a card making class before sending the cards off to the patients at MUSC. Mary Kate Malinowski, one of the sales consultants at Overture West Ashley, is spearheading the event with support from the community’s dedicated lifestyle coordinator, Madison Reid.


For more information on Overture West Ashley, you can visit their website at or give them a call at 843-647-7635.

Please consider sending a Valentine’s Day card to our patients! Cards are distributed throughout the hospital. Only your first name will be included on the card. If you have any questions, please contact Jessica at


Also, please consider donating $1 to our Friends of Mental Health fund. For every $5 we can do things like buy a bus pass for a patient, a teddy bear for a patient, or pill organizers for the elderly. We thank you for your support!


The President's Values in Action awards recognize five deserving employees who demonstrate MUSC's five values: compassion, respect, innovation, collaboration and integrity. As an institution and as individuals, our commitment to these values has never been more important as we navigate our way through a global pandemic.

Dr. Michael Sweat was presented with one of two inaugural Values in Action Impact awards. Dr. Raymond DuBois, dean of the College of Medicine, wrote Sweat's nomination letter. 
Concerning Sweat, DuBois wrote, “Through his leadership in MUSC’s COVID-19 Epidemiology Intelligence Project, Dr. Sweat and his outstanding team of collaborators have provided frequent and reliable updates to MUSC leaders and employees, government and business leaders, as well as members of the general public, regarding COVID-19 trends and impacts to our community. These efforts have helped to ensure that we are facing this challenge with the most reliable verified information to help informed decisions that we are making within our organization and to also help decisions made by others around our state. We are so very grateful to him and his team for their dedication to this important work.”
“It has been an incredible year. Thank you, Drs. Cole and DuBois. I feel we’re at a precipice with the COVID-19 vaccines. We have a lot of hard work to go, and I look forward to continuing with that. It’s what I’ve trained for and has been an amazing opportunity for me and my team,” said Sweat.
Dr. Patrick O'Neil was recently featured on Bobbi Conner's Health Focus podcast regarding the transition to telehealth/virtual approaches to help individuals with weight management during the pandemic. The segment and can be accessed here.
All employees should have received an email from Press Ganey with a link for our annual MUSC Employee Engagement Survey. The survey will be open through Feb. 22. I would like to remind you that the survey is completely confidential and an important measure of what we’re doing well and where we can improve. We are aware that the pandemic has had an effect on nearly everything in our work environment in the last year. As you answer, I encourage you to offer input that is reflective of the overall environment at MUSC and in your work area. 

All survey data will be kept on a Press Ganey server and will not be accessible by anyone at MUSC, MUSCP, or MUHA.  Press Ganey must receive all responses by 5:00 pm, Monday, February 22, 2021.


For technical or password assistance, feel free to contact the Press Ganey Help Desk at or 1-800-849-2292 option 1.


If you have questions regarding the survey, please contact: Frances Glanville at

Individuals needing to contact the MUSC COVID Vaccine Call Center can utilize the information below:
Beginning February 1, 2021, the annual mandatory online lessons for all employees/care team members in MyQuest were assigned. MyQuest reminder emails and this notification are the only confirmations you will receive pertaining your mandatory assignments.
  • Starting in 2021, a new Diversity mandatory was added for all MUSC employees.
  • This is the second year employees/care team members/contractors can provide feedback via a REDcap survey at the end of each mandatory. MUSC subject experts review all feedback to improve each mandatory to ensure an optimal learning experience.
2021 MUSC General Mandatories (Enterprise-wide)
  • Crime Prevention and Jeanne Clery Act Training
  • Code of Conduct and HIPAA
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment
  • Information Security
  • Active Shooter
  • OSHA Review
  • Tuberculosis (Charleston only)
  • Conflict of Interest training (hourly employees only)
2021 MUSC Health Mandatory Training (Charleston, Florence, Lancaster Divisions)
  • MUSC Health General Compliance (+ Billing)
  • Culture of Safety
  • Emergency Management Campus Security
  • Infection Control for All Employees
  • Stroke and Heart Early Recognition
  • Meeting the Unique Needs of Patients
  • Workplace Violence
  • MR Safety for Healthcare Workers
  • Interest training (hourly employees only)
2021 Medical Staff Office - MSO Mandatories
  • Adult Inpatient Diabetes
  • Pediatric Inpatient Diabetes
  • Pediatric Inpatient Anticoagulation Safety
  • Health Information Services
  • Transfusion Medicine
  • Patient Safety Initiative
  • Sleep and Fatigue/Clinical
  • Adult Impatient Anticoagulation Safety
NEW Diversity Mandatory
  • As a part of MUSC's ongoing commitment to leading and learning in the domains of equity and inclusion, you will notice a new 4-hour Diversity Equity and Inclusion DEI mandatory for all MUSC employees. When we join in the learning about one another as we become OneMUSC. Three types of offerings include: virtual curriculum, face to face &/or “professional development option of choice” approved by your leader.
2021 Annual Clinical Education (MUSC Health Clinical Care Teams Only)
  • Varies depending on your clinical role
2021 Conflict of Interest Training (Hourly Care Team Members only)
  • Hourly employees are now excluded from the annual COI disclosure process. To ensure they continue to receive conflict of interest policy training, a COI module has been developed.
  • Salaried employees of the MUSC enterprise receive annual COI training every April, in combination with their annual COI disclosure form; training modules precede the mandatory disclosure.

All of the annual mandatory training modules must be completed no later than June 30, 2021. Employees who fail to complete annual mandatory training requirements will be subject to disciplinary actions. If you have any questions, please email the MyQuest Administrators at




The use of the powerful opiate drug, FENTANYL is on the rise, accounting for a large share of overdose deaths in SC, and the greater US.


Previously, urine drug testing at MUSC could not detect Fentanyl use. The Clinical Neurobiology Laboratory has recently completed an extensive validation of a qualitative (positive vs negative) urine test for the presence of Fentanyl which can be used to distinguish this drug from other commonly used/abused opiates such as oxycodone, buprenorphine and morphine. This test should aid clinicians in the evaluation of patients in multiple clinical settings, especially when illicit drug use is suspected.


Simply order: “Fentanyl, Urine, Qual (IOP LAB)” or “LAB9066”

2020-2021 GRAND ROUNDS

Addiction Sciences Division


Assistant Professor/Psychologist (UNIV, Full-Time): This position is for a clinical psychologist who will be working as a faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Outpatient Clinic of the Addiction Sciences Division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, providing individual and group therapy to individuals with addiction-related and other psychiatric illnesses and their families. 


Open Rank/Assistant Professor (UNIV, Full-Time): The successful applicant for this position will have either an MD or a PhD degree and will be expected to have an established and independent research program that will interface with the multidisciplinary NIAAA P50 Charleston Alcohol Research Center at MUSC. 


Open Rank/Professor (UNIV, Full-Time): The successful applicant for this position will have either an MD or a PhD degree and will be expected to have an established and independent research program that will interface with the multidisciplinary NIAAA P50 Charleston Alcohol Research Center at MUSC.


Psychiatry Hospitalist Division


Open Rank - Psychiatry (UNIV, Full-Time): Candidate must be a psychiatrist with the ability to hold an unrestricted license to practice in South Carolina. The candidate must be board-eligible or board-certified if having completed residency training greater than five years ago. Candidate will be a member of the Psychiatry Hospitalist Division and provide inpatient care on a general adult psychiatry unit and provide coverage across other inpatient areas as needed. Candidate will provide care as a Consult Liaison, and have research coverage. *Note: This position is coded under an ECT identifier through Human Resources; however, it is not ECT for doctors. This position is for the Psychiatry Hospitalist Division.

February 19, 2021 | 8:00 am | Virtual

Resilience is the process of adapting in the face of adversity. Strengthening coping strategies to bolster resilience can help improve quality of daily life, enhance competence in managing life stressors, and prevent the development of long-term health complications. This workshop will provide an overview of stress and resilience as well as offer several practical approaches to coping and fostering compassion for oneself.


Education Credits Available

The South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology will approve 6.0 Category A Credit(s).


The South Carolina Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapists and Psycho-Educational Specialists will approve 6.0 hours of continuing education credit(s). Permanent sponsorship approval # 97.


The Medical University of South Carolina’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Office of Continuing Education approves this live activity for a maximum of 6.0 APA CE credit(s). Psychologists should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Who Should Attend

This conference is designed for professionals who support and provide coping and resilience strategies. We invite mental health providers (MSWs, LMFTs, LPCs, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurses, APP) as well as mental health students (residents, grad students, interns, postdocs, nursing students) to register to attend.

Registration rates available for APA credit, general continuing education credits, and a student/trainees. The 2021 Fostering Resiliency After Adversity Workshop will be hosted virtually. All log-in details will be provided after registration is completed.



Tenelle O. Jones LMFT, LAC, Human Service Coordinator, National Crime Victims’ Research & Treatment Center, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina


Melissa E. Milanak, PhD, Clinic Coordinator, Sleep & Anxiety Treatment & Research Program (SATRP), Associate Professor, Education & Training Program, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina


Alyssa Rheingold, PhD, Vice Chair of Research, Associate Director of Administration and Director of Clinical Operations at the NCVC and Co-Director of the Sleep and Anxiety Treatment and Research Program, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina



Questions? Email the CECAR Team or call 843-792-0175 with any questions you may have about the Resiliency Workshop

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science's

Executive Committee for Research and Research Administration (ECRRA) Announcement:


Special Issue Call for Papers: Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health


COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on mental health across the world, both because of the direct effects of the virus on various facets of brain and immune function, as well as the effects of economic, social and life style disruption. Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science (BP:GOS) plans a special issue devoted to understanding both the direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19 on mental health across the world, with a particular focus on prospective biological predictors and outcomes that may mediate or moderate the relationship of COVID-19’s influence on mental health, as well as studies of the mechanisms by which COVID-19 infection or associated impacts contribute to new onset mental health challenges or exacerbate pre-existing conditions. Treatment studies that link directly to COVID-19 are also welcome. The Journal is interested in empirical work or reviews focused on populations across the lifespan, as well as directly relevant animal work.


We invite submission for March 1, 2021, with a goal of publishing the special issue in August 2021. All submissions will be peer reviewed. Authors should indicate that the submission is intended for the special issue. For questions, contact the editorial office at


Program for Researchers Affected by Pandemic


COVID-19 Voucher Program

The College of Medicine, Hollings Cancer Center, and South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute (SCTR) are pleased to offer a new funding opportunity open to all MUSC tenured and tenure track faculty members whose research has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding of up to $2,000 is available to help investigators gather preliminary data for inclusion in a grant proposal by covering the cost of supplies and/or core and laboratory services; pay for publication costs; or develop a translational focus to their research. Vouchers cannot be used to fund computer purchases, PI or staff salary, or travel. These funds will be distributed through SCTR. A total of $200,000 is available to support these awards.


Who is eligible?

To be eligible to receive a voucher an individual must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member and serve as PI on an active research grant. A faculty member can receive only one COVID voucher.



To apply for a voucher, select the COVID-19 Voucher Program in SPARCRequest. Awards will be made on a rolling basis until all funds are expended.


The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines have started arriving at  MUSC Health. The vaccine is not mandatory, but it is highly encouraged. The COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force will be posting updates on the COVID-19 Vaccine intranet site, including information about the vaccine safety and efficacy, so our care team members can make an informed decision.



The following resource provides MUSC Health lab and testing options pertaining to COVID-19. Included on this page is information regarding drive-thru and “pop-up” mobile COVID testing locations, antibody or serology tests, drive-in lab and nurse visits, and original/classic lab testing.


MUSC Health Lab & Testing Options



Due to the activity of COVID-19 within the hospital and community, all employees, residents, fellows and students within all MUSC entities are directed to begin daily self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms. This applies regardless of whether you have been working remotely on a full-time or intermittent basis. You need to continue daily self-monitoring, even if symptoms are not present.


As a reminder, the MUSC travel ban is still in effect. The policy on this ban can be found here. This ban is in effect until further notice and includes all MUSC-sponsored travel in all forms of transportation (planes, trains, automobiles, boats/ships, etc.). 

Given the COVID-19 pandemic and until further notice, all volunteers and observers are barred from participation in departmental and MH-ICCE based activities. If there are circumstances wherein this policy causes a significant and critical issue, it should be brought to my attention for consideration of a written waiver (on an individual basis) of this policy.


In addition to updates provided by MUSC Enterprise, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences will also provide updates through our employee intranet, The Horseshoe. Updates will be provided regularly as new information becomes available. For your convenience, direct links are provided below.



Testing a Wearable Telemedicine-controllable

taVNS Device for NeuroCovid Recovery and Rehab


Researcher: Mark George, M.D.

PRO Number: pro00101270


The purpose of the research is to test out a new form of treatment where we stimulate a nerve in your ear. This is called transcutaneous (through the skin) auricular (ear) vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) which means that you will receive stimulation through the ear. The taVNS device looks like an ear bud you would use with your smart phone or computer. We are investigating whether or not taVNS can treat neurologic symptoms of COVID-19 which are termed NEUROCOVID. Some symptoms you may experience are new onset anxiety, depression, vertigo, loss of smell, headaches, fatigue, irritability, etc. This study is entirely online and all assessments will be completed virtually.


Recruitment Contact

Sarah Huffman



Please see the calendar below for a list of diversity & inclusion offerings from the Office of Training and Intercultural Education.

If you would like to submit content to include in next week's Chair Update, please submit to Dr. Jamie Fisher by 12:00 pm on Monday. Thank you.
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