MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update | September 16, 2021
September 16, 2021
MUSC Psychiatry Chair Update
Thomas W. Uhde, M.D.
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Institute of Psychiatry

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.


The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.


The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.


We are fortunate to have Hispanic American champions serving in a variety of significant roles across the nation and in our MUSC community, some of whom have served for many years and others who are emerging as new leaders, providing important leadership across all our missions.
We hope you will join us in celebrating the Hispanic heritage and culture this month and encourage you to participate in the many fun and educational activities being held in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month. A listing of on-campus activities can be found at the link below.

The Mental Health Disparities and Diversity Program (MHDDP) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences was established to increase the understanding of the factors affecting mental health service disparities in underserved populations and generate research and knowledge to eliminate them. 


The MHDDP takes a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to the inequities in mental health access and quality of care. Our program seeks to address mental health disparities and related diversity issues through research, educational training, community outreach and information dissemination, and clinical service.


Staff from the OVC-funded National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center honor the legacy of the victims of the September 11 attacks and reflect on how the attacks impacted the Nation. This compelling page lists every individual who died on that tragic day and features:

  • commentary from Director Dean G. Kilpatrick, Ph.D. as he remembers the immediate aftermath of the attacks and how we can honor the memory of victims moving forward,
  • a podcast on lessons learned over the past two decades,
  • research on how the mental health impact of the attacks, and
  • reflections from a recent visit to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City

Visit the 20 Years Later: Remembering 9/11 page in honor of the memory of the victims of September 11 and discover how to support victims, survivors, and communities impacted by terrorism and mass violence.


Please join us in recognizing these colleagues for their contributions to our culture of innovation as part of our I am an MUSC Innovator program:


Andrea Coyle, DNP, Alyssa Rheingold, Ph.D., and Tenelle Jones, for creating the Resiliency Program.

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.

On July 29, 2021, FDA approved a modification to the Clozapine REMS. The modification to Clozapine REMS will go into effect on November 15, 2021. Important changes include:

  • All prescribers and pharmacies must be re-certified by November 15, 2021, or they will no longer be able to prescribe/dispense clozapine.
  • Prescribers must re-enroll their patients who will continue clozapine by November 15, 2021. Patients who are not re-enrolled by that day will no longer be able to receive clozapine. 
  • Re-certification and re-enrollment can begin on August 16, 2021.
  • Pharmacies will no longer be able to use the telecommunication verification (also known as the switch system) to verify safe use conditions. The authorization to dispense will be obtained either through the contact center or online via the REMS website.
  • A new Patient Status Form will document absolute neutrophil count (ANC) monitoring for all outpatients. This form must be submitted monthly. Patient monitoring must continue per the Prescribing Information.

To re-certify and re-enroll in the Clozapine REMS, please see the Important Program Update at More information about changes and Clozapine REMS requirements can be found here.


The Psychiatric Pharmacy group will be disseminating some additional information in the next few weeks you can or you can contact the group at if you have questions.


Update: August 17, 2021


A recent ruling by the South Carolina Supreme Court confirmed that public institutions of higher learning are not prohibited from requiring all individuals to wear masks in campus facilities to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

As you know, masks have continued to be required in the hospital and in all MUSC Health facilities. With this recent ruling by the highest court in the state, the university is now able to be aligned with the mask requirements of MUSC Health and in agreement with recommendations from the CDC and DHEC.

For the safety of all of us at MUSC and for those we serve, we are implementing a mask mandate for all students, staff, faculty, and visitors on MUSC’s campus indoors in the presence of others (classrooms, conference rooms, other shared spaces) until further notice. This mandate is effective immediately.


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.


Please continue to be safe and stay apprised of the MUSC University Directives.

A call for nominations is underway for the MUSC Advancement, Recruitment, and Retention of Women (ARROW) Award for Advancement of Women Faculty. The purpose of the award is to recognize the MUSC faculty member who best demonstrates excellence in his/her commitment to the advancement and promotion of women faculty at MUSC. 
The deadline for submissions is 5:00 pm, Friday, October 8, 2021. Note that nominations will require a mentoring table to be considered. Please contact the ARROW program coordinator, Rachel Simmons at if you have any questions.

Struggling with Depression?


We are currently seeking individuals between the ages of 21-70, diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) to participate in a research trial using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). Treatment and study related assessments will be provided at no charge.




Join the MUSC Psychiatry Team at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Out of the Darkness Charleston Area Walk!


So far, the team has 22 Team Members registered and

has raised $5,568.00 towards our team goal.


Shout out to Dr. Brian Sherman for being the team's top fundraiser so far!


The MUSC Psychiatry Team is currently the

TOP Fundraising Team for the event!



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


Updates related to COVID safety protocol: At this time, the event is still planning to be in-person; however, the planning committee is closely monitoring the trends and this may change to accommodate participant and staff safety. We are strongly encouraging masking during the event (and masks will be available at the site) and will follow city regulations on masking at the time of the event. We are also encouraging anyone who feels unwell to remain at home for the safety of others. AFSP National is working on a virtual ceremony option in November for those who are not comfortable attending in person or who are unwell on the date of the event. We will also be working on reduced contact with t-shirt pick up and have a shorter ceremony, as well as spacing out walking groups to reduce crowding. Team members are welcome to fundraise online, attend the event, or a combination of both - whatever feels most comfortable in these unusual times.


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 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.





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