September 17, 2020
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update

Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry
Did you know that some children with autism are facing
severe disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic?
A new survey of 8,000 families affected by autism shows that many families are struggling at times during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 60% reported severe disruptions in services and therapies. The problem was worse for children under the age of five.

The survey was done through SPARK, an autism research project that’s looking for more families to take part. SPARK stands for Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge. It’s collecting medical and genetic information to increase our understanding of autism and give information and resources to families. Along the way, it conducts surveys such as the recent one on the impact of COVID-19.

Laura Carpenter, Ph.D., a pediatrics professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, is leading MUSC’s part of the multiyear SPARK study. She said other key findings of the COVID autism survey include the fact that the families actually like having medical appointments online, and some were surprised to see how well online learning went as well. 

“Not having the stress of the social part of school and being able to focus on the academic part was nice for certain families. It was nice to hear it’s not all bad news,” Carpenter said. “I’ve been really concerned about these families, especially the ones whose children had pretty significant special education needs.” She encouraged families to make at-home routines as similar to pre-COVID times as possible.

Washington, DC, August 1, 2020 — The International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) is pleased to announce the release of the 11th edition of Present Knowledge in Nutrition, the latest update of a major nutrition reference source that will be useful to dieticians, librarians, medical nutritionists and others in the nutrition field. The updates in the new edition advance the textbook beyond its 65-year history into the explosion of exciting new methodologies and understandings of the role of diet and nutrition in human health and well-being.  

The 11th edition of Present Knowledge in Nutrition now appears in two companion volumes: Volume 1: Basic Nutrition and Metabolism; and Volume 2: Clinical and Applied Topics in Nutrition. The new two-volume format enables readers to quickly find relevant materials and makes the printed copies more portable. Volume 1 includes chapters that provide the latest scientific research on requirements for specific nutrients and genomics. Volume 2 provides the most recent information on life-stage nutrition, obesity, physical activity and eating behavior; dietary guidance and nutrition surveillance; as well as major topics in nutrition and disease processes and medical nutrition therapy.

Lead editor, Bernadette Marriott, Ph.D., Professor and Nutrition Research Center Director Emerita in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology within the Department of Medicine and Professor in the Military Sciences Division within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, said that the two volume release “provides clearly defined sources for the latest information on nutrition, diet and health that is useful to a wide array of researchers and practitioners.”

Available in both print and digital formats from Elsevier, Present Knowledge in Nutrition can be purchased from Elsevier’s website. Purchasing information, as well as more information about the two volumes and their contents, can be found here:
We have two new hires in the Business and Administration Office joining us in the next few weeks. We are very excited to have them on board and get up and running to work with all our amazing Psychiatry faculty and staff!
Michelle Forster will join us September 28th after spending nearly 10 years at MUSC in a variety of roles, most recently the lead clinical trials grants administrator in the Department of Medicine. During that time, she also served as the manager of the IDEA program which is a grants-training program designed for MUSC staff. She gained a wide range of grants experience managing a portfolio of over 250 clinical trials as well as four multi-centers. In addition to clinical trials, she has also managed basic science awards as well departmental accounts during her time in medicine. Michelle received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from the University of South Carolina and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Citadel. When she’s not at work, Michelle enjoys spending time with her husband Ryan, two children (Michael – age 4, Shelby – age 1) and dog Bailey. A native of Charleston, Michelle enjoys boating (when she can find the time) as well as cheering on her Gamecocks. Michelle will serve as the Division Administrator for Weight Management Center, Military Sciences, Mental Health Disparities, Tobacco, Training and Brain/Women’s Health. 
David Jablonowski will be joining our team October 12th. He has 7 years of healthcare administration experience, most recently working for UPMC as a Director of Operations for 4 years in their primary care service line. In this role he was responsible for the development and operation of a multispecialty outpatient center including oversight of 6 primary care practices, with 60+ staff and providers. He also had additional responsibilities collaborating with physician and administrative leaders working on strategic and innovative projects. David earned his bachelor’s degree in Health Policy and Administration from Penn State University and his Master’s in Health Administration degree from MUSC in 2015. He is looking forward to relocating back to the Charleston area with his wife. Outside of work he enjoys doing anything outdoors in nature and loves to explore new places trying new coffee shops, restaurants, and breweries. He looks forward to working with everyone and being part of the MUSC Psychiatry team. David will serve as the Division Administrator for Child and Adolescent, Bio-behavioral Medicine, Sleep and SATRP, General Psych, and Forensics (including General Clinic and Community Clinic)

We welcome them both to our team!

Rebekah Shinta, MHA
Vice Chair of Finance and Administration
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Medical University of South Carolina
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.
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. 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.
Effective June 30, the President's Council approved a one-time extension to the Faculty Annual Leave cutback date which was to take place July 1, 2020. Due to the COVID impacts to travel and the inability to take time off in recent months, the cutback date was extended so faculty members would have an opportunity to use accrued annual leave for an additional 90 days. The Faculty Annual Leave cutback date was extended to October 1, 2020. Based on this October 1 faculty cut back extension, any unused annual leave in excess of 360 hours (45 days) will be automatically reduced to the maximum allowed on October 1, 2020, excluding the July, August and September 2020, accruals. 

Note that the accruals for July, August and September 2020, will remain in place, so that faculty members have an opportunity to use this accrued leave, along with other accruals in the coming months, through the end of the fiscal year, by June 30, 2021.

We encourage faculty to review the annual leave balances on file before the automatic reduction occurs. Leave balances can be viewed directly using MyRecords, found on the Horseshoe under the Employee Corner,

Effective June 1, 2019, Faculty members became eligible to donate annual leave to the Catastrophic Leave Program per HRM Policy 48: Catastrophic LeaveDue to the extension, Annual leave donations must be submitted by September 15 completing the Leave Donation FormDepartment Business Administrators must ensure the donated leave is recorded in the payroll system prior to the October cutbacks. 

Please note sick leave balances for Faculty members are not affected at this time as sick leave cutbacks occur on a calendar year basis (January 1 – December 31). 

If you have questions concerning annual leave cutbacks or accruals, please contact Monique Robinson at [email protected] or 843-792-7225.
MUSC’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences is home to the Women’s Reproductive Behavioral Health (WRBH) Division. The overarching mission of this division is to improve the lives of women, children, and families by increasing the identification and amelioration of maternal mental health and substance use disorders. The WRBH division provides direct clinical services to pregnant and postpartum women, educational training opportunities for clinicians and clinical researchers, and conducts clinical research that aims to improve the identification and treatment of peripartum mental health and substance use disorders.  
To learn more about the WRBH division’s clinical services, educational opportunities and/or clinical research studies go to:
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
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
  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.
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. 
UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, executive leadership has extended
the completion date for mandatory training modules to September 30, 2020.

Starting January 17, 2020, MUSC will begin assigning the annual mandatory online lessons in MyQuest. New this year, will be the opportunity to provide feedback via survey for each lesson. This will be the only official announcement regarding mandatory assignments from the University. Reminder emails will be sent to employees by MyQuest beginning in April. Listed below is the breakdown of the mandatory assignments:
2020 MUSC
General Mandatories

  • Crime Prevention and Jeanne Clery Act Training

  • Code of Conduct and HIPAA

  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

  • Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment

  • Information Security

  • Active Shooter

  • OSHA Review

  • Tuberculosis (Charleston only)
2020 MUSC Health
Mandatory Training
(Chas., Florence, & Lancaster)

  • MUSC Health General Compliance (includes Billing)

  • Culture of Safety

  • Emergency Management Campus Security

  • Infection Control for Healthcare Workers

  • Stroke and Heart Early Recognition

  • Meeting the Unique Needs of Patients

  • Workplace Violence

  • MR Safety for Healthcare Workers
2020 Annual Clinical Education (MUSC Health Clinical Care Teams Only)
  • Varies depending on your clinical role
2020 MSO Mandatories (Credentialed Providers Only)
  • To be assigned dependent upon Medical Executive Committee approval.
2020 Conflict of Interest Training (Hourly Care Team Members and University Staff Only)
  • Hourly employees are excluded from the annual COI disclosure process. To ensure they continue to receive conflict of interest policy training, a COI module has been developed and assigned to those employees in MyQuest.
  • Salaried employees of the MUSC enterprise receive annual COI training every April, in combination with their annual COI disclosure form; training modules precede the mandatory disclosure.
Overview of Research at MUSC (Research Role-Based Only)
Leadership Diversity Requirement
  • Designated leaders are responsible for completing a minimum of 4 hours of Diversity and Inclusion training by June 30, 2020. Education is available in the MyQuest Diversity catalog.
All the annual mandatory training modules must be completed no later than June 30, 2020 September 30, 2020. University employees who fail to complete annual mandatory training requirements will be subject to disciplinary action. If you have any questions, please email the MyQuest Administrators at [email protected].
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.