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MUSC Rumor Mill separates fact from fiction

Storm Eye Institute main elevators
Rumor has it that the main elevators are structurally unsafe and that there is some confusion as to who is fiscally responsible. And until that can be resolved, which could be months or more, the only elevator for the eight floor building is the well hidden one at the back entrance. Is any of this true?
Answer: The elevators in Storm Eye Institute are inspected regularly for operation and safety, as are all MUSC elevators. The two elevators you mention were found to have a stabilizing support in need of repair. This support provides horizontal stability. It was repaired and the elevator was put back in service. Many of MUSC facilities have costs shared by university entities. When a need is identified, management assigns financial responsibility so the repairs can be made.

Service lines
Is it true that the service lines are just an excuse to give current directors a raise? Since no outside applicants were hired, it sure looks that way.
Answer: It is not true that service lines are just an excuse to give directors a raise. In previous Currents newsletters the purpose of service lines has been explained. For additional information, contact Pat Cawley, M.D., or Stuart Smith. The service line administrator and medical director's positions were posted. To the extent possible, it is in the medical center’s best interest to first consider internal candidates.

Motorcycle parking
First, I want to thank you for your timely response to my question regarding parking motorcycles under ART. However, when I attempted to park in the Courtenay Garage, as you recommended, I was unable to get a ticket or open (trip) the gate. The attendant kindly directed me to the proper gate, but stated that motorcycle parking was not free. Is this true?
Answer: Motorcycle parking is free in the Courtenay Garage as long as you park in the motorcycle parking areas on floors three and four. The gate sensor will not consistently detect motorcycles. Call Brenda Marcelais, Parking Management, at 478-7022 for garage entry and exit procedures for motorcycles.

Health plan coverage
I owe a great deal of money on a helicopter ride that I did not approve from a car accident that I did not expect. I was wondering why the state health plan does not provide coverage on emergency transportation from an accident 70 miles from MUSC to the state capital.
Answer: This is an issue that should be discussed with the billing department of the hospital that treated you following your accident. Additional information since original response was posted: The MUHA benefits manager has been in touch with the State Employee Insurance Program (EIP). Based on his discussion with EIP, he suggests that you appeal this denial since this transport was medically necessary rather than simply a convenience. There is a possibility that the cost of the transport may be covered through an appeal. The appeal process is typically detailed on the bottom of the Explanation of Benefits that is received by the patients. If you have other related questions, contact Mark Stimpson, medical center manager of Human Resources Benefits and Records.

ART buses
Last Thursday night I was waiting for the 8:38 p.m. bus outside the Wellness Center, where I always have, and at 8:45 p.m. there was still no bus. At this time a bus came up along ART, where they drop us off in the mornings, turned right and proceeded on to the main hospital. I walked to the main hospital to catch it there. Did the bus schedule change and are we supposed to be waiting somewhere else now?
Answer: The ART bus stop was permanently moved to the Ralph Johnson side of ART for all times, morning, evening and mid-day. This was done in conjunction with expanding the CARTA Medical Shuttle to include ART. The only time buses will stop on Courtenay to serve ART is if flooding or other traffic concerns cut off access to Ralph Johnson via Bee Street. In these cases, a sign will be placed at the Ralph Johnson stop to let people know the stop is temporarily moved.

I am asking for clarification to a response I saw to a question regarding employer match to the 401K. It was stated there is no employer match to an employee’s 401K contributions. Each time employees contribute 6.5 percent of their pay to either the state pension plan or the optional retirement plan, the medical center is required to send the retirement system 12.63 percent of each employee's pay. I thought employees contribute 6.5 percent of their pay, and MUSC contributes 6 percent toward the retirement plan. (varies from 6 percent to 6.5 percent depending on plan) Your response makes it seem that MUSC take 12 percent of an employee's pay out of the employee’s paycheck. Please clarify.
Answer: When an employee has 6.5 percent of pay deducted and sent to the retirement system, MUHA is required to send them 12.63 percent of each employee's pay—these dollars are paid by MUHA, not employees.

Ashley River Tower
I heard that in Ashley River Tower (ART) there is an elevator (E11) that will stop in between floors, and that a response time is one to two hours before someone can get you out. Since there have been several mishaps with ART elevators why we don't have an emergency response team with experience for this type of event?
Answer: Ashley River Tower has 16 elevators for patient, the public and staff use. The elevators, installed by Thyssen Krupp, are under warranty. Several outages have been experienced using the elevators since opening. Most of the outages have been related to computerized controls for starting, stopping and floor selection. Thyssen Krupp has acknowledged the problem and has been making repairs and replacing parts as needed. MUSC standard elevator maintenance contracts call for elevator response time of two hours campuswide after hours. Until ART elevators’ problems are resolved and service is reliable service, a 30 minute response time between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and a 60 minute response time after hours will be required. (ART only).

I have heard that Easter is not considered a holiday because it falls on a Sunday, as opposed to it falling during the week. Why are employees who are required to work on the weekends not receiving holiday pay for this holiday?
Answer: The medical center’s Human Resources policy 18, Paid Time Off, outlines the seven designated holidays. Holiday differential is authorized for eligible hourly-paid employees whose work shift begins during the designated holiday. Please refer to the Human Resources policy 15, Compensation for additional details or contact your manager. Visit

Reproduced from


Friday, April 4, 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.