COVID-19: MUSC Presidential Update - July 23, 2020

Dear MUSC Family,

As a community, state and nation, we are in the midst of a generational challenge. To succeed, we must work together to manage an at-risk COVID-19 life until we can move beyond this pandemic. We have the resources and tools for success at our fingertips, but it will require us to walk down this path together and with unified purpose. I am by nature an optimist – and do see some early progress. In local communities around the state, mask ordinances are having a positive impact, based on some early data trends. We’ve seen relatively stable rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations during the last week and a half across our health system. And, public awareness campaigns are underscoring the critical importance of making good choices right now to help shape the immediate future.

To continue raising awareness about how the community can slow the spread of COVID-19, the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau asked local leaders to participate in a series of public service announcements that are now airing on broadcast and cable networks throughout the Lowcountry. To view these videos, please select the links below.

Given the current situation across South Carolina, we know the absolute number of infections will continue to increase in the days ahead; however, the basis for moving forward is slowing down the growth rate of new infections at the local level – this is something within our control as a community. The decisions we make, and the decisions we encourage others to make, will be our key to success. As challenging and, at times, as frustrating as it may be, we must persevere in making the right choices ourselves and getting individuals on board with consistently wearing masks, social distancing, practicing excellent hygiene and protecting the vulnerable.

We must continue to hope and strive for more communitywide accountability in response to the threat of this virus. And yes, we must continue to prepare for the very real potential for localized or statewide emergencies in the next couple of weeks. I remain confident that no matter what comes our way, the MUSC family will continue to move our mission of education, research and patient care forward with safety at the forefront of everything we do.

A well-known quote guides us to “Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Our culture of innovation, teamwork and compassion helps us achieve our goals in the best of times, and it will help us through the times ahead – whatever they may be. I encourage you to visit regularly the MUSC Catalyst News site to find moving stories that speak to the spirit of the MUSC family, especially now. Please continue to lead from where you are and never forget the impact that positive actions and energy can have in determining the path forward. I am forever grateful for all that you have done and will continue to do.

Yours in service,

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