A message from MUSC’s President on COVID-19

March 23, 2020
Dr. Cole, MUSC President
MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS

Dear alumni, supporters, volunteers, and other members of our extended MUSC family,

Not a day goes by that I’m not thinking about all of those in South Carolina and beyond who have already been affected by the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; those dealing directly with the challenges of illness and exposure, or those suffering economic, educational, and social disruptions that have turned their lives upside down. I know it’s been a stressful, confusing time with all of the rapidly changing information provided to you and available on the internet. In times like these, I think we have a choice: We can either become immobilized by our temporary state of isolation and uncertainty, or we can become empowered by our stronger, shared sense of community, purpose and intention. 

As part of this update, you’ll learn or perhaps hear more detail about what you already know related to COVID-19 and the Medical University’s response to it. For more than a month, our entire team has been working around the clock, day and night, on the front lines and behind the scenes, at our patients’ bedsides, in our labs, in the community, and even at home, to minimize this pandemic’s impact and to do everything we can to help bring it to a timely end. 

You are likely aware of some of our current initiatives, including the development of a virtual screening and drive-through specimen collection service model, and critically, pushing for valid in-house testing capabilities for our patients and communities. We were the first in the nation to deploy an integrated virtual screening and remote specimen collection capability. I have been inspired and invigorated by the team’s commitment, resourcefulness, and spirit of innovation. Our goal remains to minimize the exposure and transmission of this virus, and so to mitigate the risk to our communities. It takes a team to be able to perform on the run at this level, and I need to commend the many talented and resourceful individuals who continue to make this happen. I feel confident that as you learn more, you will feel the same.

I also am so grateful for your continued support of the Medical University and our mission. Your service, leadership, and generosity have empowered us to prepare for and respond to challenges such as this. You have made us stronger. And because of that, our entire state is stronger. Thank you.

Many of you have asked how you can help. First, I encourage you to support those organizations within your own communities that will be providing much-needed comfort, relief, and services required in the days ahead. As this moves forward, I am sure that the list and magnitude of needs will change. We have created a fund to support our response efforts at MUSC. If you wish, you can make a donation to this fund. At this point in time, we are focusing our efforts and resources on prevention and preparation. Soon, we will turn our focus to taking care of patients and families impacted by this disease. These efforts take time and money to accomplish – any support you can provide will be put to good use enabling ground level impact.

Until this crisis passes, I urge you to remain calm and mindful of the important things you can do to minimize your family’s risk: self-monitoring, hand washing, and social distancing. Make smart decisions, and access MUSC and the CDC’s websites at any time for updated information.

Working together, with all of us doing our part to #FlattentheCurveSC, I believe that we can minimize the impact of the virus on our communities, state, and nation.

Yours in service,

David J. Cole, M.D., FACS
@MUSCPres on Twitter