December 31, 2020
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update
Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry

The mission of the STAR Yarden Program is to use horticultural therapy to learn and practice appropriate socialization and wellness techniques for children and adolescents in the MUSC STAR Children’s Day Treatment Program. Horticultural Therapy is the use of plant and plant materials as a measurable treatment in a therapeutic setting to reach specific cognitive, social, physical and emotional goals. The Children’s Day Treatment Program provides intensive, comprehensive intervention to children and adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral difficulties using a day treatment model. The STAR Yarden Program was created by Dr. Kirk Meekins and Carmen Ketron with MUSC Urban Farm.


The STAR Yarden is located at the North Charleston STAR Children’s Day Treatment Program location on 1/4 acre of fenced in area surrounded by grand oak trees. Young children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 spend one day a week interacting with the natural world and the gardens on the property, learning about the importance of people-plant relationships and working with plants in a way that can translate into important health and wellness skills such as coping, anger management, and socialization.


The MUSC YES Grant and the MUSC Urban Farm are the primary funding sources for the program’s operational budget throughout the year; providing funds for seeds, plants, and soil. With their generous support, we have been able to build more growing beds and provide exciting interactive growing activities for each student in the program, such as making seed balls, terrariums, and generally beautifying both indoors and outdoors of the facility. The YES Grant and MUSC Urban Farm also provide support for our interactive art and music area in the garden space, allowing us to build a percussion wall and chalkboard wall spaces for artistic expression. While classes are once a week, the space is used every day to promote a healthier lifestyle and provide a sense of well-being that is important to changing what’s possible in our patients' lives.

Dr. Rochelle Hanson's MUSC Public Radio interview on Strategies to Manage Stress as the Pandemic Continues will be broadcast statewide on some of SC Public Radio's most popular shows. The segment will air today at 4:44 pm during the All Things Considered broadcast and will also be available 24/7 as a podcast on the SC Public Radio website.
Dr. David Schultz has created the web site to assist patients in accessing their provider's waiting room. This site is a great resource for patients who may not receive or remember their provider's doxy link. The goal of this site is to reduce the frequency of calls to scheduling and support staff requesting this information, and to further ensure that appointments are not missed. Thank you to Dr. Schultz for his diligent work on this project and his dedication to our patients!

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

The Hollings Cancer Center (HCC) Fellowship Program is currently accepting applications for its Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellowship and Graduate Fellowship Programs. Applications for both fellowship levels are due by midnight, Friday, January 15, 2021. Awardees will begin their fellowships July 1, 2021. This program focuses on training the next generation of exceptional cancer scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina.


HCC Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellowship awards provide up to two years of stipend support for postdoctoral fellows and one year of support for clinical fellows. 


HCC Graduate Fellowship awards will provide up to two years of stipend and tuition assistance.  


For more information or to apply:


Testing a Wearable Telemedicine-controllable

taVNS Device for NeuroCovid Recovery and Rehab


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.


Women's Reproductive and Behavioral Health Division


Social Worker LISW-CP (MUSCP, Full-Time): The Department of Psychiatry is seeking a candidate to fill their Social Worker position within their Mental Health Division. The candidate will work collaboratively within an integrated behavioral health program and provide evidence-based psychotherapies to pregnant and postpartum women with mental health and substance use disorders.

2020-2021 GRAND ROUNDS

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


Register for an upcoming TriNetX training:


Basic Functionality Training
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 | 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. | Register 
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. | Register

Data Analytics Training
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 | 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Register  
Friday, December 18, 2020 | 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. | Register
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Register 
Thursday, January 28, 2021 | 8:00 - 9:00 a.m. | Register


Individuals may contact Elizabeth Szwast or Amanda Cameron to request access to the July TriNetX recorded training session. 


Should you have any questions, please contact Romeka Washington at

As MUSC nears the end of our WebEx contract we are excited to see the organization enthusiastically adopting Teams! However, there are still a number of MUSC team members utilizing WebEx accounts, and meetings are still taking place in the platform. To prepare for the contract end date of December 15, all WebEx meetings and recorded content must be moved off of WebEx no later than 5 pm this Friday, December 11. 


If you have an extenuating circumstance that prohibits you from doing this, please contact the IS Help Desk at 843-792-9700 no later than Friday, December 11, at 5 pm to submit an exception request. Requests will be reviewed by the WebEx Decommissioning Steering body to determine if an extension of access can be made into next week. Otherwise, user accounts will begin being removed starting this Friday, December 11, at 5 pm. 


Thank you for your proactive transition to our exciting new virtual meeting platform.


Information Solutions


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 links 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.

The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines will start arriving to MUSC Health within the next few weeks. Per the CDC and DHEC, the Phase 1a group to be vaccinated will be health care workers who have direct patient contact, and long-term care residents. We anticipate this first phase 1a will continue through the end of December. For our MUSC Health care team members who qualify for the vaccine, we are quickly establishing a process to schedule an appointment for the vaccine at one of our primary care sites.


The vaccine is not mandatory, but it is highly encouraged. The COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force will be posting updates on the COVID-19 Vaccine intranet site, including information about the vaccine safety and efficacy, so our care team members can make an informed decision.



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.


MUSC Health Lab & Testing Options



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.



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

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 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.
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