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Currents Oct. 7

To Medical Center Employees:
In the weeks ahead we will hold a series of medical center town hall meetings. The town hall meeting schedule is below and additional sessions may be added as needed. Topics will include an update on our goals, with a particular focus on efforts to improve our financial status.
In recent months we have worked diligently to reduce costs and increase patient volume while ensuring for compassionate high quality care. Although we have made good progress in identifying cost savings, it has become clear that the medical center will be unable to fund merit pay adjustments this year. We expect to fund some market equity adjustments in January for highly competitive jobs. Additional details will be disseminated to the directors and managers in the weeks ahead.
MUHA is not immune from the current economic situation and like other businesses, we are experiencing some tough times. We are making good progress in controlling our costs and this work will continue. Everyone’s understanding and support is needed. MUHA has weathered financial difficulty in the past, and in the long run we will be a stronger organization.
Thank you very much.
W. Stuart Smith
Vice President for Clinical Operations
and Executive Director, MUSC Medical Center

Town hall meetings
Oct.13, 11 a.m., IOP; Oct. 14, 2 p.m., SEI Auditorium; Oct. 17, 10:30 a.m., ART; Oct. 21, 11 a.m., 2 W Amphitheater; Oct. 22, 7:30 a.m., 2 W Amphitheater; Oct. 27, 3 p.m., ART; Oct. 28, 3:30 p.m., IOP; and Oct. 29, 1 p.m., SEI Auditorium

People—Fostering employee pride and loyalty
Joan Herbert, IOP administrator and hospital chair for the 2008 Trident United Way (TUW) campaign at MUSC, addressed managers and introduced TUW guest Tom Walker.
Walker spoke about the TUW organization and how the program has continually brought together people, businesses, government and agencies to help identify service problems and find solutions to assist Lowcountry families.
Walker specifically spoke of the success at the Children’s Medical Home in North Charleston, and of Andre and his mother. The home is a model for providing primary care services to the Lowcountry’s Medicaid-eligible and uninsured children. The program is a partnership between MUSC and TUW.

Walker urged employees to consider partnering with TUW and assist others like Andre seeking short-term medical care, plus other needs in the community. TUW donations fund this and similar programs that can help make a difference in the lives of children in South Carolina.

According to Walker, about 86 cents out of every dollar pledged to TUW stays locally to help fund various programs. Donors can submit their gift via pledge card or give electronically through payroll deduction starting in January. MUSC’s 2008 campaign goal is $215,000, which continues until Dec. 15.
“The TUW is a great way to remind MUSC employees to take a moment and look beyond ourselves and needs and pay attention to the needs of others in our community,” said Herbert.

HR update
  • Tuition Assistance Policy (#17, Section A)—Modifications were made for eligible employees, who are working in a regular, permanent position and must have successfully completed the one-year probationary period.
  • Tuition Assistance Policy (Section B) – Maximum tuition assistance is $5,250 per fiscal year. This modification goes into affect with prior tuition assistance course work approval after Oct. 6. q  Certification Incentive—Effective Jan. 1, certification incentive one-time lump-sum bonus will be $750.
  • Recertification incentive is up to $500 and requires supporting documentation. q  Hiring bonus—Effective immediately, no new hiring bonus(es) will be offered. Exceptions will be addressed on a case-by-case basis and requires the approval of the vice president for clinical operations and executive director.
  • 2008 Employee Service Awards Ceremony— Rescheduled for 3 p.m., Nov. 5, Room 100, Basic Science Building.
  • Benefit Enrollment—Briefings will take place at 2W Amphitheater—4:15 p.m., Oct. 10; 3:15 p.m., Oct. 14; 10 p.m., Oct. 15; 1:15 p.m., Oct. 16; 12:15 p.m., Oct. 21; 12:15 p.m., Oct. 22; 8:15 a.m., Oct. 24; 10 p.m., Oct. 29; and 1:15 p.m., Oct. 30. ART Auditorium—12:15 p.m., Oct. 6; 12:15 p.m., Oct. 17 and 8:15 a.m., Oct. 21.
  • Benefits Fair—9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 15, Children’s Hospital lobby.
  • University Employees working at MUHA weekly time record—Effective Sept. 28 to Oct. 11, the pay period for MUHA employees who also are university employees (primary employer) will utilize the new time record form and should be faxed directly to Ron Straub, Payroll, 792-8591 (fax). Forms may be accessed on the MUHA HR Web site under forms. For information, contact Patty Burn, 792-7544.
  • Separation Notice Forms—Original notice forms should be sent to MUHA HR with supporting documentation; a copy of the notice is sent to Payroll. To access a copy of the notice, visit the HR forms Web site.
Benefit for the Month—October
Linda Formby, R.N., Infection Control and Prevention manager, announced that this month’s benefit is the availability of the flu vaccine, free of charge, for all MUSC employees from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 15 and 16, at the tents in front of the Library/Education Center and Ashley River Tower.
MUSC, MUHA, UMA, MUSC volunteers, Dietary/Sodexho and Crothall staff are eligible. Students can receive the vaccine at the tent at the Library location. Volunteers, especially nurses, are needed for both days and locations.
Flu vaccine also will be available for MUSC employees at adult ED locations from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m., everyday beginning Oct. 17. Flu vaccines also will be offered during Wellness Wednesdays, from Oct. 22 through Nov. 26 in the Children’s Hospital lobby and possibly at ART. Bring a completed flu consent form to take advantage of the “express lane” at distribution locations. Volunteers for both Wellness Wednesday locations are still needed.
Last year, managers requested flu vaccine and supplies to help vaccinate their own staff.
Managers are encouraged to participate again in 2008. To locate the form to request vaccine for your staff, visit
The deadline is Oct. 10. For information, contact Formby at 792-4308 or
Department educators should provide influenza vaccination education using the PowerPoint presentation and bulleted info sheet available on the Education Rollout Committee Web site.

Education roll out update
Laurie Zone-Smith, Ph.D., R.N., manager for the Center for Professional Development and Clinical Education Resources and interim manager, Dialysis and Hemapheresis, reviewed the minutes from the Sept. 18 and Oct. 2 meetings. She reviewed details about the revised chart audit/pain reassessment documentation; MAR discrepancy process; NDNQI data collection process (suspended Sept. 8); quality indicators in nursing intensity database; cardiac monitoring; Get it Done patient influenza vaccine program; blood borne pathogen protocol; UTI prevention bundle and syringe/needle disposal safety.

  • Kathy Wanstall, R.N., was named 10E interim nurse manager.
  •  Sharon DeGrace, R.N., Medicine Acute and Critical Care Service Line administrator, reviewed changes to support the medical center’s new standardized models for ICU. DeGrace announced that the operations coordinator position within Medicine Acute and Critical Care was changed to a joint director position for both areas.
  • Seasons, IOP’s partial hospitalization program that offers intensive outpatient services, completed the partial Joint Commission survey on Oct. 2. There were no recommendations.
  • The next communications meeting is Oct. 21.

Friday, Oct. 10, 2008
Catalyst Online is published weekly, updated as needed and improved from time to time by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.