MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update | August 12, 2021
August 12, 2021
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update
Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry
Resiliency Program Started to Ease COVID Stress Expands

Cindy Miller loves her job. “I am a certified wound, ostomy and continence nurse. Being able to work with people to help them become independent and learn skills to improve their quality of life is incredibly rewarding.”


But she did not love the toll it started to take on her last year.“Since December of 2019, the patient census for our team went up 70% and our staffing went down by 30%,” she said. 


“I’m not really sure why our census exploded, other than sometimes with the pandemic, patients put off care. And so by the time they came into the hospital, they required more care, they had more issues.”


Meanwhile, her team lost a critical member, leading to a long job search. “There are very few certified wound, ostomy and continence nurses nationwide, so filling a position in our department is pretty difficult. And then we lost a second team member.”


Everyone felt the stress. “Our ability to communicate well with each other decreased, I think in general,” Miller said. “It also affected my sleep. I couldn’t shut off my mind off at the end of the day, thinking about all the things that still needed to get done.”


So when she heard about MUSC Health’s Resiliency Program at a meeting, she was in. “As soon as they started talking about it, I immediately said, ‘Our team needs that now.’”


The Resiliency Program was created to help doctors, nurses and other employees cope with COVID stress. It’s proved so successful that it will continue after the pandemic, helping people with all kinds of stress.


Alyssa Rheingold, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Medical University of South Carolina, started the program in collaboration with several colleagues. 


“Initially, it was all just volunteers within our department, faculty members and trainees volunteering their time to offer support to individuals or groups. After a few months, we were able to solidify some funding to hire a full-time clinician, recognizing that this needs to be ongoing and long term,” Rheingold said.

Congratulations to Dr. Austin Hahn on the renewal of his Loan Repayment Award (Clinical) through the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)! NIH Loan Repayment Programs are a key component of our Nation’s efforts to attract health professionals to careers in biomedical or biobehavioral research. 
Dr. Carla Kmett Danielson was awarded one of only 18 SAMHSA Family Tree grants across the US/US Territories (and the only one in the state of SC) for, " Comprehensive Treatment, Early Intervention, and Education for Substance Use and Co-Occurring Trauma-Related Mental Health Problems for Adolescents and Families in the Charleston Tri-Country Area".
This large, 5-year grant will provide much needed resources for expansion of treatment services for adolescents in the community experiencing substance use problems and co-occurring trauma-related mental health problems.

NCVC/Psychiatry faculty members Carla Kmett Danielson, Ph.D., Rosaura Orengo-Aguayo, Ph.D., and Meg Wallace, LISW-CP were invited speakers for the national summit: Child Trauma and COVID-19: An NCTSN Summit Supporting the Long Term Recovery of our Nation's Children and Families, which took place on July 27-28, 2021. 

Faculty Publications:


Banks, D. E., Hahn, A. M., Goodrum, N. M., Bernard, D. L., Adams, Z. W., McCart, M. R., Chapman, J., Sheidow, A. J., de Arellano, M. A., & Danielson, C. K. (In Press). Sexual risk behavior among adolescents seeking treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder: Exploring psychosocial & symptom correlates.  Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma


Kane, J.C., Sharma, A., Murray, L.K., .... Danielson, C.K., Chipungu, J., Simenda, F., & Vinikoor, M.J. (In Press). Efficacy of the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA) for unhealthy alcohol use among adults with HIV in Zambia: Results from a pilot randomized controlled trial.  AIDS and Behavior. 

Do you know an employee who has gone the extra mile recently? Nominate them for the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences' MVP Award! This award will be given quarterly to an employee nominated by their peers for going above and beyond in the workplace. For more information or to nominate an employee, please visit our Employee Recognition Page on the Horseshoe.

Update: August 4, 2021


In alignment with the CDC and SC DHEC guidance to control viral spread as quickly as possible, MUSC is STRONGLY ENCOURAGING every university staff, faculty, and student (vaccinated and unvaccinated) to wear masks when indoors in the company of other people. We owe it to ourselves and to our community to take these precautionary measures very seriously. Please note that mask-wearing will continue to be mandatory in our health care facilities and on-campus public
transportation. Please continue to be safe and stay apprised of the MUSC University Directives.


Given the Centers for Disease Control’s latest recommendations on universal indoor masking in high risk areas, MUSC Health has updated its Mask Guidance to match these guidelines. MUSC Health care team members are once again required to wear masks in all indoor settings across facilities in both clinical and non-clinical spaces regardless of COVID-19 immunity status. University employees should also be mindful of this guidance when entering clinical buildings/settings.


A reminder that if you have any symptoms, even if mild, you must stay away from work/school and get tested for COVID. Common symptoms of the Delta variant are sore throat and runny nose, so don’t mistake this for the flu or a cold. You must get tested.


For anyone who is requesting promotion effective July 1, 2022, all promotion requests must be received in the Chair’s Office no later than August 12, 2021 (TODAY) 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


A primary goal of the College of Medicine is to support and strengthen research capabilities of its’ faculty. One mechanism utilized to facilitate this goal is the College of Medicine’s Bridge Funding program. The purpose of this program is to support investigators with established clinical or basic research programs during periods when a competitive renewal was not funded and help them reopen funding.


Program details and the application are posted on the College of Medicine’s website under Research.


Applications are accepted three times per year and the deadline for the current cycle is August 16, 2021. Please email your application to Mary McConnell.


Join the MUSC Psychiatry Team at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Charleston Area Walk! This year’s department goal is 25 participants and $5,000 (that’s $200 fundraising each!).


Date: 10/24/2021
Location: Riverfront Park 
Registration: 1:00 pm
Event Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


To register for fundraising and participation:

Questions? Email Meg Wallace at

MUSC Executive Leadership has extended the Faculty Annual Leave cutback date to December 31, 2021. Based on the December 31 faculty cut back extension, all unused annual leave in excess of 360 hours, regardless of future leave approvals in the kronos system, will be cutback to 360 hours in January 2022.

We encourage you to review the annual leave balances for the faculty members in your areas and determine if you have individuals who stand to lose leave when the automatic reduction occurs, and if so, we ask that you share this information with them. We also ask that you update all leave records as necessary to ensure we have the correct 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,

Faculty members are eligible to donate annual leave to the catastrophic leave pool per the HRM Policy 48: Catastrophic Leave policy. Due to the extension, the Leave Donation Form must be completed and sent to the HRM Leave Administrator ( or Fax 843-792-9533) by December 15, 2021.

If you have questions concerning annual leave cutbacks or accruals, please contact Monique Robinson at or 843-792-7225.

Supervisors are asked to distribute this information to the employees in the area in which they are responsible. Thank you.
The Master of Public Health (MPH) students and Department of Public Health Sciences are collecting donations of feminine hygiene products for The Homeless Period Project, a non-profit in our area that provides feminine products to women and girls in need. Donations are being collected through Friday, Aug. 20. Items can be dropped off in the DPHS office, 135 Cannon Street, Suite 302J, or purchased directly from their Amazon Wish List and shipped to the office.

The CPCS office is currently taking referrals for youth and adults for outpatient therapy and/or medication management. The CPCS office is located at 26 Bee Street and is seeing patients either virtually or in the office. All patients are self-pay at the time of the appointment and will be provided with the necessary paperwork to submit for reimbursement from their insurance companies. All department of psychiatry faculty members are eligible to see private patients in CPCS.


To make a referral or schedule an appointment, call 843-792-9396.


For more information about making a referral or joining the practice, feel free to contact Hilary Bernstein, LISW, DHA at


Check out our website:

Like our Facebook page: Comprehensive Psychiatric Care Specialists

The Medical University of South Carolina's values are the heart of the institution and each day these values are exhibited by employees who help to fulfill MUSC's vision statement, leading Health Innovation for the Lives We Touch.
Each year, the President's Values in Action award recognizes five deserving employees who demonstrate MUSC's five values: compassion, respect, innovation, collaboration, and integrity.
Award Submission Process
  • Fill Out the Nomination Form
    • Nomination information must include:
      • Sponsor Name, Email, Department
      • Nominee Name, Email, Department
      • Value Demonstrated: Compassion / Respect / Innovation / Collaboration / Integrity
      • A letter of recommendation from the sponsor, addressed to President Cole, explaining why the nominee is worthy of the award.
  • The deadline for nominations is October 19, 2021.
  • Nominees will be notified upon receipt of nomination. Sponsors will be copied on this notification as well. All nominees receive a certificate of nomination; sponsors of the five individuals selected for awards will receive a separate notification and details about award presentations in early November 2021.
  • Winners will be chosen by President Cole based on the award criteria outlined below:
    • Nominations are submitted to recognize an individual who has demonstrated one of the five institutional values within the course of the current calendar year between February and September 2021. Only five winners will be chosen during this time; one winner per MUSC value.
    • Nominees can be submitted from any department across the MUSC enterprise, including the MUSC Regional Health Network.
    • Nominations for individuals will be accepted. Self-nominations and team nominations will not be accepted.
    • Diversity, equity and inclusion is a priority for the criteria of the Values in Action award, as the aim is to offer an award and recognition opportunity to all department and team members. This will provide an inclusive opportunity to recognize values that are demonstrated from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets.



For specific questions regarding the Values in Action award, please contact Heather Woolwine.


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.


Mental Health Disparities & Diversity


**NEW** Bilingual (Spanish/English) Clinician/Coordinator (UNIV, Full-Time): The Telehealth Outreach Program (TOP) is seeking a Bilingual (Spanish/English) master's level provider. Position will assist with coordination for Spanish-speaking patients seen through the TOP program, as well as provide Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy via telehealth to patients seen through the TOP program. This is a remote position, so applicants are not required to live in the Charleston area. BILINGUAL IN SPANISH/ENGLISH REQUIRED. Experience with TF-CBT or telehealth preferred, but not required. (CLOSING TODAY, AUGUST 12, 2021 AT 11:55 PM)





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”


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.


**Updated University Directives can be found here.** 



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.

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.
View this email in your browser
You are receiving this email because of your relationship with MUSC Psychiatry. Please reconfirm your interest in receiving emails from us. If you do not wish to receive any more emails, you can unsubscribe here.

MUSC Psychiatry | 67 President St., MSC 861, Charleston, SC 29425

Update Profile/Email Address | Forward Email | Report Abuse