MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update | March 18, 2021
March 18, 2021
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update
Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry
Researchers Sound the Alarm on Disparities in Lung Cancer Screenings

When MUSC Hollings Cancer Center researcher Marvella Ford, Ph.D., and colleague Nestor F. Esnaola, M.D., a senior leader at Houston Methodist Hospital, began a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that aimed to increase surgery rates among Black Americans with early-stage lung cancer, they were shocked to uncover how difficult it was to find 200 patients who were eligible to enroll.


Despite expanding recruitment locations from just five cancer center sites in South Carolina and Georgia to community-based cancer centers across the U.S., most Black patients who were diagnosed with lung cancer at the study sites had already progressed to stage 3 or 4 disease.


For Ford and Esnaola, the finding was a stark reminder of the disparities that exist when it comes to lung cancer screening and treatment.


“It took us over six years and 22 sites across the country from Delaware to Nevada to reach our accrual goal, and that made us take a long, hard look,” said Ford, associate director of Population Sciences and Cancer Disparities at Hollings.


“We had a number of study participants who were enrolled simply because of incidental findings. They broke their leg and went to the hospital, or they thought they had the flu and had a chest X-ray, which ended up finding lung cancer. These findings highlight the need for a national lung cancer screening program so we can reach the medically underserved and communities of color that are most at risk of developing lung cancer.”


Lung cancer incidence and mortality rates in the U.S. vary by race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and sex. Causing more deaths each year than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined, lung cancer has a particularly low five-year survival rate, partially because about 75% of patients are diagnosed with late-stage disease, when the possibility of a cure is less likely.


Evidence has shown that lung cancer screening in individuals at high risk due to their age and smoking history can result in as much as a 24% decrease in mortality. Current screening guidelines, however, don’t consider racial, ethnic, socioeconomic or sex-based differences in smoking behaviors and lung cancer risk, leaving those who are most vulnerable without equitable access to screening, said Ford.


At Hollings, Ford and Esnaola are analyzing data from their study that examined whether assigning a patient navigator to Black Americans with lung cancer could help address the transportation, social and financial barriers that may prevent some of these patients from receiving much-needed surgical treatment. Ford also leads a range of community outreach efforts aimed at understanding and reducing the cancer burden among the state’s most vulnerable populations.


Additionally, Hollings offers a comprehensive Lung Cancer Screening Program that merges screening services with a robust tobacco treatment program, offering providers an opportunity to have a conversation with high-risk patients about the dangers of smoking and to link them with specialized counselors.

Dr. Brittany Bryant was awarded the prestigious Learning for Early Careers in Addiction & Diversity (LEAD) Fellowship. She is one of only three scholars in the country selected for this program! 
LEAD is a 3 year program run by the National Institute of Drug Abuse through the University of California San Francisco (UCSF; R25 DA035163). The program provides mentorship, professional development courses, and financial support for Dr. Bryant to run her own pilot project, which will be used as pilot data to secure R-level NIH funding. Dr. Bryant’s project is focused on increasing access to integrated substance use and mental health treatment for justice-involved youth.
During her faculty appointment as a visiting scholar at UCSF, Dr. Bryant will also receive training in cultural adaptations of substance use interventions to support her future research endeavors of culturally adapting and developing substance use interventions and prevention programs for children of color. Congratulations to Dr. Bryant on this huge accomplishment! 

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences recognizes


Benjamin E. Saunders, Ph.D.


for his thirty-six years of distinguished service, lifetime contributions to child traumatic stress research, and international leadership in improving mental health access for child trauma victims.


Thank you for your hard work and dedication, Dr. Saunders!

2020-2021 GRAND ROUNDS

The MUSC College of Medicine Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development Team invites you to join in an upcoming Faculty Development Roundtable. Programming includes a variety of topics for educators, researchers, and clinicians.  


March 18 @12:00-1:00 | Self-Care: It’s Not Just a Theory with Tenelle Jones, LMFT, LAC, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, COVID-10 Resiliency Clinic


Learning Objectives:

  • Teach participants how to assess, address, and transform their own personal stress, anxiety and burnout.
  • Guide participants in exercises that will allow them to reconnect to their work in meaningful ways.
  • Learning how to assess your immediate self-care needs
  • Learn a broad range of concrete and practical self-care techniques and skills to use in the moment of need.
  • Guide participants in setting goals and committed action to promote a well-balanced & harmonious life, that allows them to care for self, while caring for others.

Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only)

+1 843-410-6177,890961597#   United States, Charleston

Phone Conference ID: 890 961 597#

Find a local number | Reset PIN

Learn More | Meeting options

CME Activity Code ID: 2356460


April 1 @12:00-1:00 | I am not judgmental I just have excellent evaluation skills: Learn the new MedHub System for Evaluations! with Michelle Friesinger, MA, CHES, Assistant Dean of Assessment, Evaluation, and Quality Improvement; Research Instructor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the challenges and priorities of an evaluation system
  • Understand basic concepts in creating impactful evaluation questions
  • Reflect on the characteristics of the new evaluation management system

Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only)

+1 843-410-6177,686073396#   United States, Charleston

Phone Conference ID: 686 073 396#

Find a local number | Reset PIN

CME Activity Code ID: 2356468


MUSC ARROW (Advancement, Recruitment, and Retention of Women) will host a workshop, “What Lies Beneath: Recognizing & Responding to Identity Harassment in Academic Medicine,” Friday, April 16, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.  In this seminar, presenters and participants will consider the common “myth-understandings” about gender/sexual identity harassment—what it is, what it is not—and harassment’s relationship with workplace incivility.


Topics covered will include contemporary research on identity harassment and incivility, examples of these phenomena in academic medical settings, and strategies (individual and institutional) for addressing these workplace challenges. Attendees will learn to recognize some common forms of gender/sexual harassment that “lie beneath” the surface in workplace settings and possible strategies for responding when they happen.

Presented by: Stephanie A. Goodwin, Ph.D., President of Incluxion Works; Research Faculty, Department of Psychology Wright State University; Visiting Associate Professor, Psychology, Stevens Institute of Technology, Former Program Director for NSF multi-institutional ADVANCE program


The 45-minute virtual presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.


Note: This event is presented as a “Zoom Meeting” and not a webinar. Attendees are encouraged to share their cameras during Q&A.


Open to all men & women, trainees, faculty & staff


Full attendance in this workshop counts for 1 hour towards the required 4 hrs. of Diversity & Inclusion training for ALL MUSC employees by June 30, 2021.


Contact Rachel Simmons at with any questions.


Applications for the ARROW 2021 John R. Raymond Mentoring Fellowship are currently being accepted. The Fellowship is intended to provide financial support for a full-time female faculty member to initiate a relationship with a mentor who is an expert in her chosen field. The female faculty’s field of interest may be in research, clinical practice, or education/teaching.  The fellowship is administered by MUSC ARROW with support from the Office of the Provost.


Information and the application can be found here and are also available on the ARROW Awards website. Please submit all application materials by 5:00 PM, April 23, 2021, to


If you have questions, please contact Dr. Gayenell Magwood (, Chair of the Award Advisory Committee or Rachel Simmons (, ARROW Program Coordinator.


The fellowship recipient will be announced no later than May 28, 2021. If possible, a reception for the recipient will be scheduled during June 2021. Specific date, time and location to be determined.

Beginning February 1, 2021, the annual mandatory online lessons for all employees/care team members in MyQuest were assigned. MyQuest reminder emails and this notification are the only confirmations you will receive pertaining your mandatory assignments.
  • Starting in 2021, a new Diversity mandatory was added for all MUSC employees.
  • This is the second year employees/care team members/contractors can provide feedback via a REDcap survey at the end of each mandatory. MUSC subject experts review all feedback to improve each mandatory to ensure an optimal learning experience.
2021 MUSC General Mandatories (Enterprise-wide)
  • 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)
  • Conflict of Interest training (hourly employees only)
2021 MUSC Health Mandatory Training (Charleston, Florence, Lancaster Divisions)
  • MUSC Health General Compliance (+ Billing)
  • Culture of Safety
  • Emergency Management Campus Security
  • Infection Control for All Employees
  • Stroke and Heart Early Recognition
  • Meeting the Unique Needs of Patients
  • Workplace Violence
  • MR Safety for Healthcare Workers
  • Interest training (hourly employees only)
2021 Medical Staff Office - MSO Mandatories
  • Adult Inpatient Diabetes
  • Pediatric Inpatient Diabetes
  • Pediatric Inpatient Anticoagulation Safety
  • Health Information Services
  • Transfusion Medicine
  • Patient Safety Initiative
  • Sleep and Fatigue/Clinical
  • Adult Impatient Anticoagulation Safety
NEW Diversity Mandatory
  • As a part of MUSC's ongoing commitment to leading and learning in the domains of equity and inclusion, you will notice a new 4-hour Diversity Equity and Inclusion DEI mandatory for all MUSC employees. When we join in the learning about one another as we become OneMUSC. Three types of offerings include: virtual curriculum, face to face &/or “professional development option of choice” approved by your leader.
2021 Annual Clinical Education (MUSC Health Clinical Care Teams Only)
  • Varies depending on your clinical role
2021 Conflict of Interest Training (Hourly Care Team Members only)
  • Hourly employees are now excluded from the annual COI disclosure process. To ensure they continue to receive conflict of interest policy training, a COI module has been developed.
  • 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.

All of the annual mandatory training modules must be completed no later than June 30, 2021. Employees who fail to complete annual mandatory training requirements will be subject to disciplinary actions. If you have any questions, please email the MyQuest Administrators at




The use of the powerful opiate drug, FENTANYL is on the rise, accounting for a large share of overdose deaths in SC, and the greater US.


Previously, urine drug testing at MUSC could not detect Fentanyl use. The Clinical Neurobiology Laboratory has recently completed an extensive validation of a qualitative (positive vs negative) urine test for the presence of Fentanyl which can be used to distinguish this drug from other commonly used/abused opiates such as oxycodone, buprenorphine and morphine. This test should aid clinicians in the evaluation of patients in multiple clinical settings, especially when illicit drug use is suspected.


Simply order: “Fentanyl, Urine, Qual (IOP LAB)” or “LAB9066”


Nominations are now underway for all MUSC faculty to recognize their peers who have made outstanding contributions to the university through teaching or research initiatives. Nominations for the following awards are being sought:

  • Distinguished Faculty Service Award
  • Outstanding Clinician Award
  • Population Health Award
  • Developing Scholar Award (Research)
  • The Peggy Schachte Research Mentor Award

Any regular, full-time faculty member who holds an academic rank of instructor or higher in a college or department at MUSC and has not been the recipient of the award within the previous three years is eligible for nomination. The specific nomination procedures for each award are located on the Provost’s website.


The deadline for nominations is March 31. If you have any questions, Juli Wilt at or 843-792-0945.


Addiction Sciences Division


Assistant Professor/Psychologist (UNIV, Full-Time): This position is for a clinical psychologist who will be working as a faculty member at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Outpatient Clinic of the Addiction Sciences Division of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, providing individual and group therapy to individuals with addiction-related and other psychiatric illnesses and their families. 


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.


Program for Researchers Affected by Pandemic


COVID-19 Voucher Program

The College of Medicine, Hollings Cancer Center, and South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute (SCTR) are pleased to offer a new funding opportunity open to all MUSC tenured and tenure track faculty members whose research has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding of up to $2,000 is available to help investigators gather preliminary data for inclusion in a grant proposal by covering the cost of supplies and/or core and laboratory services; pay for publication costs; or develop a translational focus to their research. Vouchers cannot be used to fund computer purchases, PI or staff salary, or travel. These funds will be distributed through SCTR. A total of $200,000 is available to support these awards.


Who is eligible?

To be eligible to receive a voucher an individual must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member and serve as PI on an active research grant. A faculty member can receive only one COVID voucher.



To apply for a voucher, select the COVID-19 Voucher Program in SPARCRequest. Awards will be made on a rolling basis until all funds are expended.

Individuals needing to contact the MUSC COVID Vaccine Call Center can utilize the information below:

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.


As a reminder, the MUSC travel ban is still in effect. The policy on this ban can be found here. This ban is in effect until further notice and includes all MUSC-sponsored travel in all forms of transportation (planes, trains, automobiles, boats/ships, etc.). 

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.


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.



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


Please see the calendar below for a list of diversity & inclusion offerings from the Office of Training and Intercultural Education.

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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