November 19, 2020
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update

Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry
As we prepare for Thanksgiving, we must all work to ensure that we don’t contribute to the spread of COVID-19 amongst our family and friends during Thanksgiving and amongst our MUSC family when we return. If you do plan on spending the upcoming holiday with friends and family outside your current immediate household, we strongly encourage you to take the following necessary steps to make any celebration safer and reduce the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19: 

  1. Get pre- and post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 tested;
  2. Stay outside as much as possible;
  3. Socially distance at 3-6 feet at all times; 
  4. Frequent hand hygiene; 
  5. Wear masks when you cannot socially distance; and
  6. For the most vulnerable, take extra precautions such as limiting the number of people who serve food, or donning gloves while handling food.

MUSC COVID-19 Testing
An on-campus pre-Thanksgiving COVID-19 testing has been arranged for Monday, November 23rd and a post-test for Wednesday, December 2nd and Thursday, December 3rd. This high-sensitivity, nasopharyngeal swab test is available for everyone, including those who are asymptomatic. You may bring family members to this event to get tested. THERE IS NO COST for anyone. Those who have any type of insurance will be asked for insurance information and your insurance will be billed. Those without insurance will not be charged. Below are the facts related to this testing.

Testing Hours 
8:00am - 8:00pm November 23rd
9:00am - 4:00pm December 2nd and 3rd

In front of MUSC Drug Discovery Building on MUSC Campus in the large space between Drug Discovery, Bioengineering and the Colbert Library building. There will be a large registration tent set up outside.

Scheduling & Appointments
  • No appointment needed
  • Individuals will walk up to a registration tent at this location
  • The layout of the site will allow for social distancing for people waiting in line
  • Note that drive-up options will not be available at this location
  • Registration staff will be on site to facilitate the registration of all individuals
  • Individual demographic information and insurance (if applicable) will be collected
  • Please to bring a government form of ID (e.g. Driver’s License) to assist with accurate and efficient registration process -Note student/employee IDs are not sufficient

  • Individuals will receive their results via MyChart, email, text, and/or phone call
  • Instructions for registering for MyChart will be provided if individuals do not yet have a MyChart account
  • Expected turnaround time 24-36 hours

Alternative Dates and Locations
For those who will be leaving prior to Monday or who can’t make the Monday hours, you may choose to use the MUSC virtual care platform by going to the following link: You will need to create an account and start a virtual care visit. During this process, please note that your request for COVID-19 testing is for travel purposes. You will be able to book an appointment at any of the available MUSC testing sites most of which are off-campus and are drive-through. Please note that we are offering pre- and post-Thanksgiving testing at our other sites to the whole Charleston community and these sites might get booked up soon. Therefore, please book early to ensure you can get an appointment. 

Thank you for helping stop the spread of COVID-19!
Dr. Wendy Balliet's MUSC Public Radio interview on Coping & Adapting to Holiday Changes due to the Pandemic is being broadcast statewide on SC Public Radio this week. The interview will air today at 4:44 pm during the All Things Considered show and will also be available 24/7 as a podcast on the SC Public Radio website.
MUSC ARROW (Advancement, Recruitment, and Retention of Women [formerly The Women Scholars Initiative]) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2020 Advancement of Women Award. The purpose of the award is to recognize the MUSC faculty member who best demonstrates excellence in his/her commitment to the advancement and promotion of women faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina. The recipient is selected based on a review and scoring of nominations conducted by members of the ARROW Awards Selection Committee.

This year, the committee scores resulted in a tie for the award. As a result, Dr. Kevin Gray, Assistant Provost for Research Advancement and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences' Addiction Sciences Division and Dr. Sudie Back, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Staff Psychologist at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center were identified as co-recipients.

A reception in recognition of their exemplary efforts and to celebrate their award will be held once in-person gatherings are safe and feasible.
Holiday Season and COVID-19
Clinical Psychologist

Family gatherings sharing food and fellowship, warm and special feelings, and performing cherished traditions: While the specifics of everyone’s holidays are different, autumn and winter tend to be times that bring us together with loved ones. These celebrations – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Halloween, Día de los Muertos, Navratri, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year’s – often involve gatherings and many people travel to be with loved ones during these times.

This year, during COVID-19, navigating the holiday season might look a little bit different, as holiday celebrations may necessarily need to be limited in some ways due to the increased risk of COVID-19. First, here is some guidance on holiday celebrations from the Centers for Disease control and how to safely celebrate:

For anyone who is requesting promotion or tenure effective January 1, 2022, all promotion and tenure requests must be received in the Chair’s office no later than February 4, 2021, in the form of complete packets accompanied by a letter of recommendation from your Division Director. Packets with checklists, requests for materials, and forms specific for regular and modified faculty have been developed to make the submission process more straightforward. Packets are available on the College of Medicine’s website. Follow this link:

Promotion to Associate Professor or Professor requires a minimum of four letters of recommendation, addressed to the Departmental Chair. Individuals selected to write the minimum four letters should be non-MUSC faculty in the candidate’s field at the academic rank of professor or its equivalent stature. At least two of these individuals should not be associated with the candidate by having been past mentors/teachers/students/trainees. We ask that you provide 4-6 names of individuals that we can contact to solicit letters of recommendation.  

The letter of recommendation from your Division Director must follow appendix 2 in the COM APT guidelines. Division Director letters should include the following paragraphs: introductory, education, research if applicable, scholarly publications, clinical practice if applicable, administration, and other activities and accomplishments. 

If you have any questions, please contact Kristen Mulholland at [email protected]

Researcher: Mark George, M.D.
PRO Number: pro00101270

The purpose of the research is to test out a new form of treatment where we stimulate a nerve in your ear. This is called transcutaneous (through the skin) auricular (ear) vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS) which means that you will receive stimulation through the ear. The taVNS device looks like an ear bud you would use with your smart phone or computer. We are investigating whether or not taVNS can treat neurologic symptoms of COVID-19 which are termed NEUROCOVID. Some symptoms you may experience are new onset anxiety, depression, vertigo, loss of smell, headaches, fatigue, irritability, etc. This study is entirely online and all assessments will be completed virtually.

Recruitment Contact
Sarah Huffman
Effective November 2, 2020, federal rules will require the immediate release of patient health information to MyChart as outlined below.

To be compliant with the updated regulations, we are required to allow patients immediate electronic access to their medical information, within the confines of state and federal regulation, such as HIPAA. This applies to both Ambulatory and Inpatient patient information.

The goal of the regulation is to allow patients the right of access to their chart while supporting patient privacy and security. The list of required data elements to be shared with patients will increase over time. The current list of required information to be shared is here.

Please see the calendar below for a list of diversity & inclusion offerings from the Office of Training and Intercultural Education.

Psychiatry Administration

ICCE Chief (UNIV, Full-Time): The Chief of the Mental Health Integrated Center for Clinical Excellence reports to the Chief Physician Executive of MUSC Health and works in close collaboration with other MUSC Health leaders including the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer. As Vice Chair, this position also reports to the Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The ICCE Chief is expected to provide at least 75 percent administrative time in the role devoted to strategic leadership and administrative activities.

Addiction Sciences Division

Open Rank/Assistant Professor (UNIV, Full-Time): The successful applicant for this position will have either an MD or a PhD degree and will be expected to have an established and independent research program that will interface with the multidisciplinary NIAAA P50 Charleston Alcohol Research Center at MUSC. 

Open Rank/Professor (UNIV, Full-Time): The successful applicant for this position will have either an MD or a PhD degree and will be expected to have an established and independent research program that will interface with the multidisciplinary NIAAA P50 Charleston Alcohol Research Center at MUSC.

Psychiatry Hospitalist Division

Open Rank - Psychiatry (UNIV, Full-Time): Candidate must be a psychiatrist with the ability to hold an unrestricted license to practice in South Carolina. The candidate must be board-eligible or board-certified if having completed residency training greater than five years ago. Candidate will be a member of the Psychiatry Hospitalist Division and provide inpatient care on a general adult psychiatry unit and provide coverage across other inpatient areas as needed. Candidate will provide care as a Consult Liaison, and have research coverage. *Note: This position is coded under an ECT identifier through Human Resources; however, it is not ECT for doctors. This position is for the Psychiatry Hospitalist Division.
TriNetX is a user-friendly platform that researchers can utilize to query de-identified data from MUSC’s Electronic Health Records (EHR). The TriNetX platform is available to MUSC research teams to support enhanced research feasibility assessments, create a cohort of patients for research data sets, protocol development, and the creation of participant lists for recruitment. More information can be found on SCTR’s website at You can also download a pdf copy of MUSC TriNetX Basic Guide by clicking here and the Data Guide by clicking here.

Faculty members have access to this platform; however staff members must be sponsored by a faculty member. The i2b2 Sponsorship Form can be found on the Biomedical Informatics Center (BMIC) website at

Individuals may contact Elizabeth Szwast or Amanda Cameron to request access to the July TriNetX recorded training session. Currently, there are no scheduled live TriNetX training sessions for November or December. 

Should you have any questions, please contact Romeka Washington at [email protected].
All MUHA and MUSCP employees as well as clinical providers (physicians, residents, fellows, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, etc.) are required to have flu shots or have completed the declination by December 14. Please remember that, if you receive your flu shot outside of the MUSC system, you will need to upload documentation to the system. For additional information on where to receive the shot or upload documentation, please see the link below.

This is an important reminder to the research community of the requirements to follow the latest University Directives for MUSC Faculty, Staff and Students for Staying Safe (some information updated as of 9/16). To clarify, these directives supersede recommendations issued to research teams in May 2020 for the incremental reactivation of research, including wearing masks indoors even when social distancing is possible. These requirements can be reviewed via the link above. We also urge you to review MUSC’s Academic Plans for Fall 2020.
Please join Microsoft Learning Consultant Andrea on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. and again at 4 p.m. to learn how to use Microsoft Teams. Click the link here to join. 

Can’t join at that time? All the materials and recordings will be available to access any time after the session if you are unable to attend. 

Please visit for additional self-help information.  
Among its myriad impacts, COVID-19, compelled organizations worldwide, our enterprise included, to pivot almost entirely to remote meetings and events. As a result, MUSC senior leadership asked Information Solutions (IS) to recommend a meetings and events solution for the entire enterprise. After thorough evaluation, including surveys and interviews with stakeholders, IS recommended that MUSC adopt Microsoft Teams as the single enterprise platform for remote business connectivity. The MUSC senior leadership team concurred with the IS recommendation, noting that Microsoft Teams will simplify the remote meeting experience, reduce the complexity of using multiple systems and focus our supportive resources.

Over the next few months, multiple enhancements will be made to MS Teams, including call-in functionality that will make it our premier solution for meetings and events. IS professionals will work with MUSC team members to increase your comfort level with MS Teams as it replaces Skype and WebEx as the enterprise solution in December. More information and education will follow. Please visit to get started. 

Currently, MS Teams is available on your computer, tablet or smartphone. IS will roll out the new enhancements to you automatically as they become available.

Anyone who needs assistance with meetings or other requirements, please feel free to reach out to [email protected].
SCTR and the College of Medicine announce an RFA for the COM Clinician Scientist K12 program, which provides mentored, protected research experiences to enhance the development and retention of early career physician scientist investigators. The goal of the program is to increase clinical and translational research capacity through the training of junior faculty to help drive research independence. This funding opportunity is open to junior faculty in the College of Medicine who hold an MD, DO, or MD/PhD (or foreign equivalent) and requires 40% full-time professional effort.

Application Deadline: November 30, 2020 @ 5:00 PM

Funding opportunity announcement:

A call for applications for the SCORE Career Enhancement Core Scholar Program has been issued. Interested junior faculty members should submit their application no later than 5:00 PM on Friday, December 4th. Interested candidates who plan on applying should provide a Letter of Intent no later than Monday, November 2nd. Please direct this and any questions regarding this career development award or the application process to Amanda Wagner, at [email protected].

The full RFA including an application link can be found at:
2020-2021 GRAND ROUNDS
The following resource provides MUSC Health lab and testing options pertaining to COVID-19. Included on this page is information regarding drive-thru and “pop-up” mobile COVID testing locations, antibody or serology tests, drive-in lab and nurse visits, and original/classic lab testing.

In addition to updates provided by MUSC Enterprise, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences will also provide updates through our employee intranet, The Horseshoe. Updates will be provided regularly as new information becomes available. For your convenience, direct links are provided below.


Given the COVID-19 pandemic and until further notice, all volunteers and observers are barred from participation in departmental and MH-ICCE based activities. If there are circumstances wherein this policy causes a significant and critical issue, it should be brought to my attention for consideration of a written waiver (on an individual basis) of this policy. Thank you.

Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Professor and Chair
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Due to the activity of COVID-19 within the hospital and community, all employees, residents, fellows and students within all MUSC entities are directed to begin daily self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms. This applies regardless of whether you have been working remotely on a full-time or intermittent basis. You need to continue daily self-monitoring, even if symptoms are not present.

NAMI Connection and NAMI Family Support Offered Online 

Social distancing does not mean that you have to go through difficult times alone. NAMI is here to help! We are offering NAMI Family Support and NAMI Connection online. 
NAMI Connection Support is offered every Monday at 6PM until further notice.

NAMI Family Support Group is offered the 2nd and 4th Thursdays
of the month at 6PM until further notice.

By clicking HERE you can sign up to receive the meeting login information or you can email us at [email protected] or call/text 843-284-3091. 
If you would like to submit content to include in next week's
Chair Update, please submit to Dr. Jamie Fisher
by 12:00 pm on Monday. Thank you.