October 08, 2020
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update

Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry
The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 will go from interim final rule to final rule without change on 10/30/20. This Act was enacted in October 2008 to regulate online internet prescriptions as well as the prescription of controlled substances via telepsychiatry (per APA website). The Act requires providers to have at least one in-person or face-to-face visit prior to prescribing controlled substances as well as an in-person exam at least once every 24 months.
However, there are a few exceptions to the Act:

The current public health emergency (PHE) currently qualifies as an exception.  
Another exception includes prescribing controlled substances while a patient is physically located in a hospital or clinic (and the provider is off-site).  
While these are both thought to be legitimate and recognized exceptions (please see excerpt below of policy as it pertains to our pandemic public health emergency), our faculty and department-based prescribers are still advised to review the Ryan Haight Act as well as South Carolina State Law regarding the prescription of controlled substances. Providers must comply with both. 

You can find more information on this policy at https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/coronavirus.html#TELE  

Below is an excerpt as it pertains to the PHE. 

While a prescription for a controlled substance issued by means of the Internet (including telemedicine) must generally be predicated on an in-person medical evaluation (21 U.S.C. 829(e)), the Controlled Substances Act contains certain exceptions to this requirement. One such exception occurs when the Secretary of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency under 42 U.S.C. 247d (section 319 of the Public Health Service Act), as set forth in 21 U.S.C. 802(54)(D). Secretary Azar declared such a public health emergency with regard to COVID-19 on January 31, 2020 (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2020/01/31/secretary-azar-declares-public-health-emergency-us-2019-novel-coronavirus.html). On March 16, 2020, the Secretary, with the concurrence of the Acting DEA Administrator, designated that the telemedicine allowance under section 802(54)(D) applies to all schedule II-V controlled substances in all areas of the United States. Accordingly, as of March 16, 2020, and continuing for as long as the Secretary’s designation of a public health emergency remains in effect, DEA-registered practitioners in all areas of the United States may issue prescriptions for all schedule II-V controlled substances to patients for whom they have not conducted an in-person medical evaluation, provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • The prescription is issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of his/her professional practice;
  • The telemedicine communication is conducted using an audio-visual, real-time, two-way interactive communication system; and 
  • The practitioner is acting in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws.

The APA Website also has a very short video detailing the Ryan Haight Act Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act as well as bullet points at the following site:

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences will make every effort to inform the faculty regarding any future changes made in this regard, including any announcements by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as it applies to the Ryan Haight Act; however, all clinical faculty members and department-based providers are responsible for keeping up-to-date on the requirements of the Ryan Haight Act and South Carolina State Law(s) regarding the prescription of controlled substances.
Connie Guille, M.D. was senior author on a recent publication in the American Journal of Psychiatry titled, Well-Being, Burnout, and Depression Among North American Psychiatrists: The State of Our Profession. Dr. Guille was also interviewed by the journal for an accompanying podcast.
During her time on the inpatient unit, one of our third year medical students, Mahvash Husain, was taken aback by the amount of writing on the walls of the inpatient unit. Patients have created some colorful drawings which brighten the rooms but have also left some disturbing images and phrases. Mahvash contacted Carlisle Hiott, the community outreach coordinator for the Student Psychiatry Interest Group at MUSC. Together, they organized a group of medical students who came in on a Saturday to clean the walls of the unit. The students involved were Morgan Ball, Lindsay Haselden, Courtney Wiley, Sam Mathews, Elis Siddin, Pooja Malhotra, Maya Eid, Carlisle, and Mahvash. This is a great improvement for the unit and the patients that it serves!
Frampton Gwynette, M.D. is a featured CME through the South Carolina Medical Association. Join Dr. Gwynette on Friday, October 9 at 12:00 PM as he provides an update on the latest findings on Autism Spectrum Disorder. 


  1. Identify the major symptoms comprising Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
  2. Discuss current Autism prevalence and its trend.
  3. List 6 ASD risk factors.
  4. Outline a basic initial evaluation and work-up for patients with ASD.

Accreditation Statement: The South Carolina Medical Association (SCMA) designates this Live Activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Click here for more information and to register.
Ray Anton, M.D.'s high impact research publication nomination, Efficacy of Gabapentin for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder in Patients with Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms - A Randomized Clinical Trial, has been selected by Dean DuBois to be honored by the College of Medicine. This achievement will be showcased in the near future with more details to follow. Congratulations, Dr. Anton!
Congratulations to Jennifer Dahne, Ph.D. who received the I am an MUSC Innovator award for securing a Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer Award (STTR) from the National Institute of Mental Health and utilizing it to expand upon work in developing and preliminarily clinically evaluating Moodivate for evidence-based psychological depression treatment. The September cohort of award recipients were nominated by fellow leaders from across the enterprise. Thank you for your great work, Dr. Dahne!
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s (AACAP) Training and Education Committee (of which MUSC faculty member Lee Lewis, M.D. is the chair) organized and developed the lecture, Difficult Conversations of Racism and Social Inequities in Child Psychiatry Training, as part of a Summer Lecture Series for AACAP on COVID related Health Disparities. Please check out the linked lecture and consider viewing the entire series!

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.

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Division

Social Worker (MUSCP, Full-Time): This position is for a licensed independent social worker (LISW-CP) who will be working in a team environment in the Outpatient Clinic of the Child and Adolescent Division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Services at the Medical University of South Carolina. Specific responsibilities include interviewing clients and or families; developing and discussing proposed treatment plans with the client and detailing the recommendations and the reasoning for them; monitoring and documenting the progress of clients, and making service treatment plan adjustments as necessary.

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.

Advanced Practice Provider (APP - NP/PA) (MUSCP, Part-Time): Part-time (20 hours per week) APRN/PA working in the Emergency Department in a collaborative role with the ED providers to assist in the triage and management of psychiatric patients who present to the MUSC ED, under the supervision/collaboration of a psychiatrist. Will work as part of a multidisciplinary team and work with a team of ED based psychiatrists as part of the Mental Health ICCE, within the Department of Psychiatry. Currently eligible or licensed as an Advanced Practice Nurse in the state of SC or Licensed (or certification eligible) as a Physician Assistant by the National Board of Medical Examiners or the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Requires certification in Basic Life Support.

Mental Health Disparities and Diversity Program

Program Coordinator I (UNIV, Part-Time): This Program Coordinator provides coordination services for the Tele-mental health Outreach Program (TOP) to include assessment of referrals and assignment of, monitoring of data, completion of progress reports, consultation with schools and other sites regarding telehealth equipment, and other administrative duties.

Sleep and Anxiety Treatment and Research Program

Human Services Coordinator II (Resiliency Program Clinician) (UNIV, Full-Time): This Human Services Coordinator II will provide evidence-based resiliency building skills and curricula for health care providers across the Medical University of South Carolina. This position will serve as coordinator and clinical provider within the COVID-19 Resiliency Program in the Sleep and Anxiety Treatment and Research Program (SATRP). Evidence based interventions including psychological first aid, skills for psychological recovery, cognitive behavioral interventions for anxiety and sleep will be provided during individual sessions as well as in group formats and workshops. Assisting health care providers in assessment of and implementing communication skills and fostering group cohesion to strengthen support and resilience will be core components of responsibilities. Individual counseling sessions will also be provided within the SATRP clinic. This position includes conducting early intervention and longer-term counseling via in person and virtual platforms. Interdisciplinary team collaboration is essential.
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.
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:
The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is pleased to announce that it will begin accepting applications for the Fall cycle of the Chair’s Research Development Fund Pilot Grant Program (CRDF) from junior faculty members (i.e. assistant professors or below in rank) or trainees within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The CRDF provides funding for pilot research grants to collect preliminary data designed to enhance the viability and success of independent external funding in the future. The CRDF will support several awards each year to be determined by available financial resources. Most awards will be in the $5,000 – 10,000 range. Applications must be submitted to Romeka Washington ([email protected]) by 5:00 PM on November 1, 2020. Please see link for further details. Any inquiries should be directed to Dr. Alyssa Rheingold at [email protected].
A call for nominations is underway for the MUSC Advancement, Recruitment, and Retention of Women (ARROW) Award for Advancement of Women Faculty. 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.

A nomination form is attached and the deadline for submissions is 5:00 pm, Friday, October 9, 2020. Note that nominations will require a mentoring table (attached) to be considered. Please contact the ARROW program coordinator, Rachel Simmons at [email protected] if you have any questions.

2020-2021 GRAND ROUNDS
Dear Friends,

Every day brings a new challenge but also a ray of hope. This year’s NAMIWalks event is definitely both: an experiment in solidarity during a pandemic and an example of what true commitment to the cause can accomplish. Either way, thanks to you, we see bright things ahead for the NAMI programs and services you make possible.

The first challenge: How does someone participate in a virtual walk? Where do you begin? How do you get started on preparing for NAMIWalks Your Way Charleston: A Virtual Event on October 10? What’s training even look like? And where do you get your gear — whatever it is?

No need to fret. If you’ve walked with us before, you get ready for NAMIWalks the way you always have, minus the emphasis on the huffing and puffing perhaps. If you’re new to NAMIWalks, it’s easier and more fun than ever. Follow these sure-fire steps, including the three steps below.

  1. Register – If you previously registered for our 2020 walk, you are already registered for NAMIWalks Your Way: A Virtual Event on October 10. If you have not registered, go to www.namiwalks.org/charleston
  2. Self-Donate – In times of uncertainty and flux, mental health services are needed more than ever. The best way to show your support is to make a self-donation on your fundraising page. People who self-donate raise 8x more than those who don’t!
  3. Decide What to Do – Will you track 3,500 steps, the equivalent of a 5K? Will you hula-hoop until you reach your fundraising goal? Will you sip and paint with your friends on Zoom? The only limit of NAMIWalks Your Way is the reach of your imagination and the breadth of your compassion.

We encourage participants to take photos and video and share their activities on social media—use the hashtags #NotAlone and #MentalHealthForAll—as a way to stay connected.

Together in the difficult times — and because of them — we can and will prevail.

If you have questions or ideas, reach out to us at (843) 467-5224 or [email protected]

Warm regards,

Kelly Troyer

P.S. On October 10, we will be joined by multiple NAMIWalks sites across the country in a day of solidarity and awareness. The day itself will be called A National Day of Hope. We are grateful that you and other NAMIWalks supporters will be a part of it.
WebEx Information

Meeting number (access code): 120 226 2525
Meeting password: mT2BqenKW78
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.