October 29, 2020
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update

Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry
Did you know that fewer than 50 of the country's 500-plus trauma centers address mental health needs? MUSC is one of them.
Abuse often begins in the shadows. It happens in homes, away from the vigilant eyes of the community and law enforcement. And with a country in the grip of a pandemic – where people are encouraged to stay home when they can – experts are afraid those shadows might be deepening.

Local data seems to validate those fears. Since March, visits to MUSC’s trauma center have gone up by 10%. According to Tatiana Davidson, Ph.D., an associate professor in the College of Nursing and co-director of the Trauma/Telehealth Resilience and Recovery Program (TRRP) at MUSC, there has been an uptick in visits related to assaults, gunshot wounds and stabbings. Conversely, there has been a decrease in the number of patients admitted after car accidents. 

Less than 10% of the country’s 500-plus trauma centers address mental health needs – something incredibly important to patients dealing with depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder – after their life-altering experiences.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men in the United States have experienced violence from an intimate partner in their lifetimes. The same can be said for the country’s older population, one that often relies heavily on help from others for their day-to-day activities. According to the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 1 in 10 older adults – defined as 60 years and older – experience elder abuse annually in the U.S. This includes physical, sexual or psychological abuse as well as financial exploitation or neglect by caregivers. Even in the best of times, elder abuse cases are rarely detected, with only 1 in 24 identified and reported to the appropriate authorities. 

But for shadows to exist, there has to be light. And MUSC Health provides it in the form of a comprehensive array of abuse services, catering to all ages and all matters of abuse or trauma, immediately after an event as well as beyond. These services include the TRRP; the MUSC Advocacy Program (MAP); Elder/Vulnerable Adult Abuse Services, under the Clinical Forensics Program; Child Abuse Pediatrics; Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners; and the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center. These programs offer an array of treatment options, counseling, therapy and support group services.

Dr. Pat O'Neil recently presented an invited talk entitled “Multidisciplinary Management of Obesity in the Patient with Type 2 Diabetes” at the 24th Annual Diabetes Fall Symposium for Primary Health Care Professionals, a program of the Diabetes Initiative of South Carolina. Thank you for your continued contributions to the health of South Carolinians, Dr. O'Neil!
Manuscripts accepted for publication:

  • Dueweke, A. R., Wallace, M. M., Nicasio, A. V., Villalobos, B. T., Hernandez Rodriguez, J., & Stewart, R. W. (2020) Resources and recommendations for engaging children and adolescents in telemental health interventions. The Behavior Therapist, 45(5), 171-176

  • Stewart, R. W., Orengo-Aguayo, R., Young, J., Wallace, M. M, Cohen, J, Mannarino, T., & de Arellano, M. A. (2020). Feasibility and effectiveness of a telehealth service delivery model for treating childhood posttraumatic stress: A community-based, open pilot trial of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 30(2), 274-289. doi:10.1037/int0000225
Catalyst Article: Seeing a doctor without leaving home gets a lot more popular during pandemic

As the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance marks telehealth awareness week, it does so at a time when more people than ever have actually used telehealth. The SCTA is a statewide initiative created by the state legislature in 2013 to expand telehealth. MUSC, which has its own Center for Telehealth, serves as the SCTA’s headquarters.

While it’s not clear yet how many people have tried telehealth in 2020, a report from the Department of Health and Human Services noted that the number of Medicare primary visits jumped from less than 1% in February to 43.5% in April as the coronavirus forced people to stay home. 

MUSC Health psychologist Eva Serber, Ph.D., has seen advantages and drawbacks to telehealth during the pandemic. “My behavioral medicine clinic works solely with medical patients — people who are medically ill. That includes patients who come from all around South Carolina to the state’s only organ transplant center at MUSC.”

Telehealth allows them to get mental health care at home. “People sometimes have to travel anywhere from two to four hours for an appointment with us. Add sickness to it, and that makes it very difficult. Telehealth lets them stay safe in their homes and to continue to get the treatment they need.”

But there are cons, too, Serber said. “There’s a variety of barriers that are widening our health care disparities. Some patients don’t have smart phones or any device that’s capable of video. Some might have video capability but they don’t have good internet service. And some patients just don’t like the video or aren’t comfortable using technology. I have patients who are like, ‘When do I get to see you in person?’”

It’s a reminder that just having technology doesn’t ensure that it works for everyone and every situation. The pandemic has given telehealth a growth spurt with a few growing pains as well.


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
Virtual Event: Learn More About How MUSC Health’s CenterSpace is Treating Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and Trauma through its Innovative Use of Ketamine

Seminar and Q&A Featuring CenterSpace’s Dr. Robert Malcolm and Dr. Jennifer Jones

Tune in on Thursday, Oct. 29, to learn firsthand how MUSC Health is providing novel therapeutic treatment at its new CenterSpace clinic in Mt. Pleasant. CenterSpace’s Medical Director Dr. Robert Malcom and Dr. Jennifer Jones will share how MUSC is using Ketamine therapeutic treatment to effectively treat conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD and trauma. This innovative treatment allows for individuals seeking healthier and more satisfying lives to overcome these negative thoughts or painful, distressing memories. 

Dr. Malcom and Dr. Jones will present for approximately 20 minutes and then virtual attendees will be able to ask questions for the remaining 10 minutes. 

The 30-minute virtual event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 29 at noon (TODAY!). Mark your calendars!

Questions for the Q&A portion will be accepted through the Chat function during the Webex.

If you would prefer to join by phone: 1-415-655-0002; attendee code 1200566339#. 

Questions? Contact Kimberly McCollum at [email protected]

Individuals interested in learning more or wanting to schedule an appointment with the CenterSpace clinic may call 843-876-1193. www.musccenterspace.org  
Please see the calendar below for a list of diversity & inclusion offerings from the Office of Training and Intercultural Education.
Please join the MUSC Psychiatry Team in this year’s Out of the Darkness South Carolina Experience on Sunday, November 8th, 2020 from 2:00pm-3:00pm. 

While the event will not be in-person this year to allow participants to remain safe and social distance, the Charleston Area Suicide Prevention Walk, benefitting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), will be hosting a virtual experience via Zoom. Register today to join the MUSC Psychiatry Team and then login on 11/08/2020 while you walk your neighborhood to bring awareness to suicide prevention! 

The MUSC Psychiatry Team has already raised $1,035 towards our fundraising goal and is currently the #1 Fundraising Team for this year’s event. 

Questions? Please contact Meg Wallace at [email protected] 

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.
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 www.musc.edu/teams 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 www.musc.edu/teams 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].
Applications now being accepted:
“Career Development Program: Promotion & Tenure”

March 12, 2021 - Open to ALL FACULTY

Applications are now being accepted for a half-day Career Development Program (CDP) entirely focused on promotion and tenure. This program will be held virtually on Friday, March 12th, 2021 from approximately 8:30am - 1:00 pm for faculty who are planning to submit their promotion or tenure application in the next two years. The program is open to both women and men faculty in all ranks and tracks (tenure and non-tenure track) and is sponsored by ARROW (Advancement, Recruitment, and Retention of Women). Early and mid-career faculty are highly encouraged to apply.

The goal of the 2021 program is to provide faculty with personalized feedback on key elements of their drafted promotion OR tenure package. Morning sessions will include a panel discussion focused on solutions and advice for achieving promotion or tenure during COVID. Small group college-specific breakout sessions will follow, in which college-specific criteria will be discussed and attendees will receive personalized feedback on their drafted promotion or tenure materials. To participate, you will be required to submit an updated CV and drafted personal statement six weeks prior to the program for review by a faculty mentor.

If you are interested in attending this program, please complete the application (https://is.gd/cdp2021) by Monday, November 9, 2020.

Space is limited and faculty will be selected based on their CDP application. Your division director, chair, or dean must agree that you will be released from all duties to attend the program. If you have already participated in the 2019 half-day CDP promotion program, you are not eligible for the 2021 program. Attendees will be selected and notified by December 7, 2021. Please contact Rachel Simmons at [email protected] with any questions about the application or program.
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:
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. Letters of Intent are due by October 30, 2020.

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
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.