A President's Perspective- November/December 2022

Dear MUSC family,

Like many of you, family, service and community are at the forefront of my thoughts as we close out another calendar year. To paraphrase an old saying, the days may be long, but the years are short. Our time, both professional and personal, is finite, which means we must support each other, value our time and maximize our opportunities as we continue to move forward into 2023.

What might that look like? From a personal perspective, I think it means taking more time to do those things that recharge our batteries – for me, that is wife/family/kids, working on my latest project in the garage, riding my bike, dealing with crazy dogs – that help us to reconnect to our purpose and feed our overall health and wellness.

A leader and therapist in the MUSC Resiliency Program, Tenelle Jones talks about finding harmony when it comes to the work-life continuum, as opposed to finding balance, which is always transient. I encourage you to think about this concept and how you can use it to meet your needs. It’s incredibly important that we all do what we can to take time for ourselves and support each other because we can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves first.

As always, my gratitude for all that you do is boundless, and I hope that you will accept my sincerest wishes for a restful and peaceful 2022 winter holiday season and your happiest new year yet.

Yours in service,
David J. Cole, M.D., FACS
MUSC President

Innovation in Action

MUSC achieved ACGME accreditation for a new Sponsoring Institution – MUSC Regional Network – which allows for new graduate medical education residency programs to move forward in new locations throughout the MUSC Health system and with our clinical affiliates.

The ACGME accreditation is a necessary step to moving forward with an overarching strategy to improve the physician pipeline throughout the state by establishing new residencies. The effort has received early support and enthusiasm from The Darla Moore Foundation, which awarded MUSC $1.5 million in support of primary care GME programs, and the Pee Dee Medical and Health Sciences Education Consortium , which also approved $1.5 million in support of primary care GME.

The first of its kind in South Carolina, this is a significant endeavor and process to start a brand new GME program at a facility that’s never had one before, and the only way to enable the federal dollars needed for an ongoing and sustainable program is to go big with what we envision. It’s been years of work to get this public-private partnership off the ground, and the MUSC team and Florence community have been working hard to plan creatively to ensure that this training program brings providers who will work to meet the specific health care needs of that community. I predict that this will be a model that others will emulate because it can serve as a springboard to create tangible and positive impact for the community.

Congratulations, Dr. Terry Steyer!

After a national search process, the MUSC Board of Trustees voted to approve Terrence E. “Terry” Steyer, M.D., MUSC Department of Family Medicine chair, as the new dean and vice president of Medical Affairs for the College of Medicine. Steyer has served as interim dean of the college since April.

During Dr. Steyer’s interim service as dean, he demonstrated that beyond the capability, experience and skill necessary to perform this role, he also connects really well with students and faculty members. His outstanding job as interim dean showed our board and leadership team that not only can he keep the college moving forward, he can help it thrive in new ways.

Given where we are at this moment, this appointment is a generational opportunity to move the academic institution forward – he will be an active, engaged and strong leadership voice within the health system, as a representative for the College of Medicine and our clinical faculty, and I anticipate that he will further build and lead our research and academic enterprise to next-level stature. I have high confidence in Terry and am very excited to have him in this permanent role.

Giving with Purpose

I am excited to share that MUSC raised more than $632,316 on Giving Tuesday this year! Every dollar supports our mission of providing world-class education, research and patient care.

Of the more than 500 gifts the MUSC Foundation received on Giving Tuesday, approximately 47% were $10,000 or less, and 34% were $1,000 or less.

If you contributed, I want to thank you personally for going above and beyond. Many of the gifts we received were offered in appreciation for the great work MUSC employees do every day.

This is just a small sampling of comments from Giving Tuesday donors:
“Credit given to Katya Lackey, a wonderful art therapist."
“Want to thank all the teams that helped bring my granddaughter into this world a year ago, and the pediatric cardiologists that continue with her care. Thank you!"
“We’re grateful to MUSC for dedicating a research lab to our daughter’s illness."
“Run, Phil the Pill, run!!”

That last one is for College of Pharmacy Dean Philip Hall, Pharm.D. He committed to running the Reindeer Run as his college’s “mascot,” Phil the Pill, if the college met its $5,000 match. They met it, and the run was this past weekend, so, hopefully, Phil ran.

From Kathy

I’m a huge fan of MUSC’s ongoing participation in the Salvation Army Angel Tree program and, of course, the parade! Dave and I always look forward to adopting an angel, and it’s so much fun to gather with so many MUSC family members, patients and community members to do our part to ensure that children across the Lowcountry receive some things they want and need around the holidays. Did you know that every year, MUSC supports more than half of all of the angels in the program?! What a wonderful way to show the community that we care at this time of year.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank Bear, one of our cherished volunteer pet therapists, for his years of service. He was such a GOOD BOY and will be missed by so many at MUSC-Charleston.

From a recent MUSC social media post about Bear:
“A Bernese Mountain Dog, Bear volunteered at MUSC for several years, clocking in an incredible 900+ hours – all of which were spent bringing comfort, calm and smiles to our patients, patient families and care team members.

Earlier this year, Bear was diagnosed with degenerative myopathy, but that didn’t stop him. With the help of what became his signature red wagon, he continued to grace our hospital halls, even gaining the nickname The Love Sponge.

Our hearts go out to his amazing owner, Kyle Kelly, who treated his best friend in his last days to sunsets, the MUSC Angel Tree Toy Parade a week ago, a tomahawk steak from Hall’s Chophouse, Annie’s Hot Doughnuts and friends – lots and lots of friends.”

“A life well lived is the most exquisite work of art” - Erwin Raphael McManus


SC Pediatric Burn Center: MUSC and Shriners team up to elevate burn care and research at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital.

High-Flying Visitor: Santa took an unusual form of transportation to the roof of the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, but the real magic happened when he met kids inside.

Calm boxes: Dr. Joy Lauerer is helping homeless kids better deal with emotions by using something she calls “calm boxes,” which contain a range of multi-sensory toys.

Angel Tree Parade: Crowd turns out to watch and cheer as MUSC holds its first Angel Tree Parade since the pandemic hit.

Noninvasive Heart Check: MUSC helps test noninvasive approach to testing for coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart problem.

COVID-19 toolkit: As the virus has evolved and evidence has accumulated, the COVID-19 toolkit for adults has changed. Learn which tools current research shows are effective.

Service Awards: MUSC honors employees who have reached milestones in their service.

Long COVID Research: Kids at MUSC Children’s Health play important role in helping scientists figure out effects of long COVID.

Wish Granted: Make-A-Wish South Carolina granted its 4,000th wish during an event at the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital.

Antibiotics Affect Bone: Long-term use of antibiotics, such as minocycline, may have unintended, long-lasting effects on healthy bone maturation.

Remote MRI: How remote scanning assistance is bringing health care to rural areas of South Carolina.

Expanding Screenings: Lung cancer doesn't show signs when it's small and most treatable. That's why Hollings encourages screening for lung cancer instead of waiting for symptoms.

Honoring Veterans: “Military veterans bring a sense of humility and respect to the table, and they always bring a high energy and a willingness to hustle and get the job done.”

LOWVELO22: Everything came together to make LOWVELO22, raising funds for cancer research at Hollings, a resounding success.

Columnoscopy: Writer Bryce Donovan goes under anesthesia to give a first-hand account of what it's like getting a colonoscopy.