MUSC Trustees Welcome Three New Board Members, Discuss Opioid Epidemic, Confirm Appointment of Provost

Contact: Sheila Champlin

April 14, 2017

CHARLESTON, SC – The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and Medical University Hospital Authority (MUHA) Board of Trustees held its regular scheduled meeting, receiving status reports on areas of the organization that included its financials, development and alumni affairs, government relations, and diversity and inclusion. The MUSC-MUHA Board of Trustees serves as separate bodies to govern the university and hospital, holding two days of committee and board meetings six times a year.

Three new members participated in their first board sessions. Guy C. Castles III, M.D., was appointed to the board by Governor Henry McMaster. A graduate of the MUSC College of Medicine, the Columbia-based pediatrician also completed his residency training at MUSC. Both his father and a daughter are also MUSC alumni. Robert C. Gordon, DDS, has been an Orangeburg dentist since 1971 and has a son-in-law who trained in general surgery at MUSC. Representing the Sixth District, he is designated to complete a one-year term. Richard M. Christian, Jr., M.D., is also an alumnus from the MUSC College of Medicine. The orthopedic surgeon has practiced in Greenwood since 1991. He represents the Third District and is designated to complete a one-year term. 

Kathleen Brady, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for research, told the board that “MUSC researchers are actively addressing the state’s opioid epidemic. Opioid deaths quadrupled between 1999 and 2013 and the state of South Carolina is in the highest quartile for that tragic set of statistics.” To illustrate the problem, Brady noted that in 2015 the total number of opioid prescriptions written in South Carolina was equal to the total number of adults in the state. “Pain management has been one of the most common reasons for the over-prescription of opioids.” Research under way at MUSC has shown alternative treatments for pain management include transcranial brain stimulation, psychotherapeutic therapies, and stress resilience. MUSC scientists are also exploring therapies for detoxification, opioid withdrawal and are experts in treatment of opiate-addicted, pregnant women. “We need to explore alternative treatments for pain and educate physicians about alternative pain management strategies,” Brady said. MUSC is working with the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services to prevent and reduce the negative impacts of substance use and addictions.

In other business, the board confirmed the appointment of Lisa K. Saladin, PT, Ph.D., as executive vice president of academic affairs and provost, following a national search. In her new role, which is effective immediately, Saladin reports directly to MUSC President David J. Cole, M.D., FACS. Saladin brings more than 23 years of experience as an academic administrator to this pivotally important position.

“The provost serves as the chief academic officer for this institution, and this is a critical leadership position for the university,” Cole said. “For 26 years, Lisa has demonstrated commitment, creativity and passion as a leader and contributor to the MUSC community. We are confident she will serve our institution with the same consistently high level of energy, insight, and distinction that she has shared over the years.”

The provost is responsible for institutional vision setting, strategic planning, plus oversight and investment for education and biomedical research. Direct reports to the provost’s office include the deans of the six colleges, the director of the Hollings Cancer Center, the vice president for research, and the associate provost for educational affairs, and student life.

After engagement with a talented pool of candidates from notable institutions across the country, Saladin emerged as the top candidate to assume the provost’s responsibilities. She possesses a clear understanding of the complexity of her new role from serving as the MUSC interim provost since July 2016. She will be the second female provost in MUSC history.

Prior to serving as interim provost, Saladin was dean and professor for the College of Health Professions for five years, and interim dean and professor for the college for one year. A physical therapist by training, Saladin spent more than two decades honing a diverse skill set as a much-lauded instructor, strategically focused administrator, data-driven, nationally recognized leader, and successful collaborator, and network builder in domains that include research funding, student, and faculty recruitment, and diversity, and inclusion.

Cole expressed gratitude to the search committee and especially to its chair, Gail Stuart, Ph.D., dean of the MUSC College of Nursing, for the time, effort and due diligence performed to identify the best candidate for the provost’s position.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state's only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,200 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy – and trains more than 900 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $300 million in research funds in fiscal year 2023, leading the state overall in research funding. MUSC also leads the state in federal and National Institutes of Health funding. Learn more about our academic programs.

As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 16 hospitals (includes owned or governing interest), with approximately 2,700 beds and four additional hospital locations in development, more than 350 telehealth sites and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2023, for the ninth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health University Medical Center in Charleston the Number 1 hospital in South Carolina. Learn more about our patient services.

MUSC has a total enterprise annual operating budget of $5.9 billion. The nearly 26,000 MUSC family members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver groundbreaking education, research, and patient care.