October 15, 2020
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update

Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry
Did you know the WISE (Women in the South-East) Telehealth Network in rural Charleston County has received funding from the South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare to improve women's health?
The WISE (Women in the South-East) Telehealth Network has been chosen to receive funding from the South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare to increase access to high value, quality healthcare in rural areas. The Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) System is one of five organizations statewide receiving funding to support library systems as hubs to improve community health. 

“We are proud to work with local libraries and their partners,” Dr. Kevin Bennett, Director of the Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare, said. “Our primary goal is to help improve rural residents’ access to quality healthcare. Relying on solutions proposed by those in the community will only further that goal.”

The mission of the WISE Telehealth Network is to improve women’s health and well-being by providing preventive care through telehealth at local libraries in the rural lowcountry. Funding for WISE will impact rural areas in Charleston County by connecting women to healthcare resources in maternal care, infectious disease, and mental health. CCPL will increase healthcare access and address health disparities through direct provision and referral, offering care management, and connecting women to available community and social services. This project is made possible through a partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), and the College of Charleston.

“We are so thrilled to be working together with these three organizations so that we can make an impact to women in rural parts of Charleston County,” said Deputy Director of Innovation Natalie Hauff. “CCPL works hard to break down barriers in order to provide accessibility to information and resources, so this collaboration aligns perfectly with our mission.”

“In our research, women in the rural lowcountry described the local public library as an ideal location for a telehealth initiative. WISE will connect women in rural Charleston County to vital services through telehealth appointments with MUSC physicians and low-cost referrals to DHEC for in-person services,” said principal investigator and project lead, Dr. Beth Sundstrom, Associate Professor and Director of the Women’s Health Research Team at the College of Charleston. 

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, women have disproportionately had to assume responsibilities for childcare and drop out of the work force. Our goal is offer opportunities for women to interact with providers without having to arrange childcare for a clinic visit,” said MUSC OBGYN, Dr. Gweneth Lazenby. “This initiative will offer women-centered care that will increase access to healthcare, early intervention services, continuity of care, and availability of resources through telehealth.”
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.
Manuscript accepted for publication: Danielson, C. K., Hahn, A., M., Bountress, K. E., Adams, Z. W., Calhoun, C., Amstadter, A. B.,  & Thomas, S. (In Press). Associations of Subjective and Objective Stress Responses with Interpersonal Trauma, PTSD, Stress-Induced Drinking, and Drinking to Cope in Young Adults. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors

The goal of this study was to understand how interpersonal trauma, posttraumatic stress, acute stress response, and drinking to cope converge to predict stress-induced drinking, a risk factor for alcohol use disorder. It will be presented virtually during the International Society for Traumatic Stress' (ISTSS) 36th Annual Meeting on November 13th.
Dr. Rochelle Hanson recently gave a presentation for the College of Charleston Retirement Club entitled:
How Can We Make it Through the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Dealing with Uncertainty.

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.


Addiction Sciences Division

Program Assistant (UNIV, Full-Time): The candidate will serve as the primary assistant on a federally-funded randomized controlled trial among U.S. military Veterans with PTSD and alcohol use disorder. The candidate will assist the study team in the recruitment of research participants, weekly appointment reminders, the collection of psychological research data, preparing weekly reports, maintaining research supplies, data entry and organizational tasks for studies being conducted in the Department of Psychiatry/Addiction Sciences Division, and performing other duties as assigned. The candidate will work on research studies which focus on the study of and development of interventions for PTSD and Addiction.

Program Coordinator I (UNIV, Full-Time): The candidate will provide technical and professional research services in the Addiction Sciences Division of MUSC. This position is for an employee who is capable of performing the full range of professional duties in their assigned program area. The applicant will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day aspects of a federally-funded randomized controlled trial among U.S. military Veterans with PTSD and alcohol use disorder. The applicant will assist with all aspects of the trial, including participant recruitment, clinical interviews, data collection and management, data quality control, dissemination of findings, and performing other duties as assigned.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

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 College of Medicine Enhancement of Team Science (COMETS) Program, implemented with the goal of helping to expand federally funded research programs for active mid-career and senior investigators by supporting a newly established research team, is accepting Letters of Intent for the 2020-2021 application cycle. 

Teams consisting of two faculty members in the same or different departments may self-nominate or be nominated by their department chair(s). Funding in the amount of $150,000/year for two years will be provided. The expected outcome from the selected team is the submission of two competitive NIH R01 proposals (or equivalent), one from each PI, in two years.

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].
2020-2021 GRAND ROUNDS
This Friday!
October 16, 2020
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.