A President's Perspective – July 2023

Dear MUSC family,

Sometimes, amid all we must accomplish together in the day to day, the myriad and important individual agendas, the ebb and flow of arrivals and departures within the enterprise and the ever-evolving needs of those we serve, it’s all too easy to lose sight of who we are as an organization – our core. I wanted to take a moment to remind you of what it means to become OneMUSC and why it’s so important for our future as an enterprise.

Belonging. Diversity. Unity. Becoming OneMUSC means everyone who is a part of MUSC in any capacity or comes into contact with the organization feels like they are welcome. It allows us to forge deeper connections with our colleagues and seek a new level of understanding that helps us to advance our mission. It means acting respectfully and responsibly as individuals and strengthening our sense of place, purpose and accountability.

Teamwork. Engagement. Optimism. Purpose. Becoming OneMUSC means pushing past internal siloes or barriers that limit our pathway to progress and innovation, fully integrating our missions of academic health sciences education, research and patient care. It means seeking out novel or unlikely collaborations that take ideas to new places and creating bonds that push past geographical distances or separation. It ultimately means that as an organization, we can achieve a singular culture that supports and elevates each other.

These are the concepts, along with innovation, impact, influence, that lead to a OneMUSC culture.

Several months ago, leadership teams at MUSC began work on an initiative to capitalize on the transformational opportunity we have set before us at this moment-– to meet our full potential through our One MUSC strategic plan. You’ll be hearing more about this initiative in the coming weeks and how we are going to use it to get to the next level as an enterprise.

Why? Because we can only achieve our best when we work together and leverage the many strengths that exist within our organization. Without a OneMUSC culture, we will always be less than our full potential and will miss our opportunities to achieve our shared strategic intent.

How do we do it? Innovation is the fuel. And as a part of OneMUSC, we embrace a culture of innovation at all levels in our organization. It is how, together, we change the future and create the transformation that we all want to see and be a part of in health care. Impact is where the rubber meets the road, and when backed by our synergy and positive energy, it’s how we make significant differences and achieve remarkable outcomes. Influence is derived from the respect and position we have created by being impactful innovators, enabling us to “be at the table,” and do even more to change things for the better.

The future we desire for our patients, students and ourselves demands that we boldly pursue these ideas as we continue to shift paradigms across health care delivery, research and education. It’s how we ensure next-level excellence at MUSC and, equally, ensure that every single individual, no matter the role or responsibilities, has the ongoing opportunity to make a positive impact, every day.

Yours in service,

David J. Cole, M.D., FACS
MUSC President

Values in Action

REMINDER … Please consider nominating someone in your area this calendar year for the President’s Values in Action Awards. Winners will receive a $1,000 bonus, a brick with their names by the Values in Action monument in front of the Drug Discovery Building, a gift bag, a recognition memento and a certificate. This program honors the outstanding people who go above and beyond in personifying MUSC’s five values: Collaboration, Compassion, Innovation, Integrity, and Respect.

Spotlight on Research – Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Science

“To be recognized by Governor McMaster speaks volumes, not only about the types of research being done within our walls but about the caliber of the scientific investigators at MUSC,” said Lori L. McMahon, Ph.D., vice president of Research. “To have two awardees this year is a true honor and is a reflection of the breadth of the research being conducted here.”
Read more

Spotlight on Education – One person’s trash is another person’s … art?

Who knew medical waste could be turned into something so cool? Take a few minutes to read about how third-year College of Medicine student Emily Scircle found inspiration in the least likely of places.
Read more

In Case You Missed It


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Psychedelic-assisted Therapies: The resurgence of research into psychedelic-based treatments is poised to benefit many people who face mental health challenges, but how do they feel about it?
Alzheimer’s Drug: Now that the FDA has fully approved Leqembi for early Alzheimer’s patients, MUSC Health prepares to get it to qualified patients ASAP.


Quitting for Good: If a first try at quitting smoking doesn't work, should the same method be tried again? Or a new method? Hollings researchers are seeking answers.
Tobacco Treatment: Smoking cessation counselors at Hollings focus on the positive changes their clients are making, providing nurturing support and evidence-based strategies.
Period Poverty: Trio of pediatric residents use prestigious grant to get period products into hands of girls and women who can't afford them.


hEDS Interns: A new summer intern program empowers young researchers by getting them in the lab to actually help to fight their own disease.
Outpatient Stem Cell: MUSC Hollings Cancer Center researchers find that autologous stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma is usually safe as outpatient procedure.
Heads Up: The Charleston Police Department, MUSC Health, CARTA and the College of Charleston have teamed up on a common-sense approach to pedestrian safety.